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Old 07-10-2006   #11
Loveland, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 510
Pueblo info

Howdy All,
I was reading through this thread and wanted to answer some of the questions/concerns posted by Liam and BKP.

But before I do, here's some info on what has been happening at Pueblo Dam. First, there was some misinformation or malfunction from the gage at the dam. I think over the weekend it was reading incorrectly. We've been releasing around 3000 cfs from Pueblo to the Arkansas. The gage was reading higher. I think they got it readjusted this morning.

We'll be making another change in about 20 minutes. We just got the call from the State to open the gates at the dam a little more. So, by 12:30 this afternoon (7/10), we'll bump up releases from 3160 to 4360 cfs. That will put more water in the play park.

Back to the questions earlier in this post: The first one was about "closing the gates at Pueblo dam." To be truthful, we actually never close the gates all the way. If we were to do that, there would be no Arkansas River below the dam. So, the gates are always open.

How wide open they are is a different matter. And that gets to the other question of any lead time before a decision to change the release rates from Pueblo is made.

As I've mentioned on this site before, because of the flood control component in Pueblo Reservoir, there are more proverbial cooks in the kitchen when it comes to operating Pueblo Dam's gates. Mainly, the State is invovled. Instead of responding just to contractors who store water in Pueblo like we do on other reservoirs (Ruedi Reservoir or Horsetooth, for example), the State calls us when we need to change the release rate. Not that the State doesn't know about our other reservoirs and release programs--they definitely do and all of our project operations fall under State water law even though our programs are federal--but the State plays a larger role in Pueblo's ops because it is that much more complicated and critical in its location.

I am trying to find ways to better circulate our information on releases from Pueblo Dam. With the shorter lead time, us waiting for the call instead of just making it ourselves, my Pueblo notes would typically be after the fact instead of simultaneous to or just head of the release changes. Today, it just so happened I was reading this thread while on the phone with our Pueblo office when the State called. So, I am quickly posting!

I've asked before and will continue to leave the option open: If you guys think an e-mail list for Pueblo and the Ark like I have for the Lower Blue, the Big Thompson, and the Fryingpan rivers would be helpful, please let me know. What, if anything, would you like to see from Reclamation on Pueblo ops and where would you like to see it? Feel free to share your thoughts publicly with me on this thread or in a PM, etc. Pueblo is always a bit of a communications condundrum for me, so I am definitely open to suggestion!


Kara Lamb
Public Information
Eastern Colorado Office
Bureau of Reclamation
(970) 962-4326
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Old 07-10-2006   #12
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
Kara, always appreciate the input, thank you. A post here about any change that is out of the ordinary would be enough for me.

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Old 07-10-2006   #13
TimWalker's Avatar
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 205
No Pics but we took some video this morning, I can't post anything, as my friend has the footage. The play park was awesome at 5AM this morning, somewhere around 3200 -3500, I think. Number 1 was really fast, good for blunts, back stabs, donkey flips, and other fast wave moves - one boat. Number 2 had just good all around play - multiple boats. Number 3 is for the front/back surfers, good for spins, cartwheels in close to eddy and maybe a loop if you are fast - two boats can play. Number 4 is the best hole, in my opinion, big (about 6 feet in trough) and soft at this level and anything goes but it is medium hard to to attain from service eddy - charge hard to cross seem then paddle like hell if you get on the corner of the foam pile - one boat plays. Number 5 does not have eddy service but is about a four foot high foam pile and big enough for many moves multiple boats. Number 6 is the loop hole (especially around 2000 (+/- 500) but decent at 3500 ish, more flushy, though - two boats can play. Number 7, scary, 10 to 12 foot screaming back fill but the river right side can provide a last time surf. Number 8 is for a tired wave wheel as you paddle to take out.

2000+ CFS is great play. But don't trust me as we like it to our selves so stay up in Boulder and protest something.
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Old 07-10-2006   #14
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
Yes river left side of number 7 is very scary. You were able to get back into number 5 from the eddy at 3300 cfs? I must be a bigger wuss than I thought. I couldnt make it.
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Old 07-10-2006   #15
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 14
Yes, Pueblo is CRANKING BIG TIME!!!!

I know BKP was down there with his trusty side-kick assistant, la cámara fotográfica. Given his mad skills using her, he should have some good pictures.
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Old 07-10-2006   #16
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Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 205
gh - It was number 4, not 5 and I was able to get in about 4 out 15 attempts. It is a surge issue, I think. Everything can be perfect in approach and it rejects as you hit the foam pile, luckily for me I got in the first time which boosted my confidence in repeating the act. The reward was nice, like a fine porter.
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Old 07-10-2006   #17
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
Wow, I guess I gave up too early. Nice job.
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Old 07-10-2006   #18
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Photographer, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 229
I just posted a photo of Mike Griffin playin' in the foam of hole number 4 in the Pueblo Whitewater Park. The water is ROCKIN'!!!!!

"You gotta fight for your right to paddle!"
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Old 07-10-2006   #19
castle rock
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 120
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definately worth the drive from denver. numbers 3 and 4 were where everyone was. at one point at least 15 boaters within the 2. number 3 good for spins and cartwheels, number 4 just amazing for blunts and nice and fast. a LOT of fun
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Old 07-10-2006   #20
TimWalker's Avatar
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 205
Liam - I'm glad you enjoyed. Let's hope for more monsoon moisture.

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big water

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