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Old 03-26-2009   #1
Grand Junction, Colorado
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11
Dolores River Flows


The Bureau of Reclamation has scheduled a McPhee Reservoir Operations meeting in Cortez at 60 South Cactus on April 15, 2009 at 2:00 PM to present a 2009 proposed operating plan for releases to the Lower Dolores River. Reclamation has received comments/suggestions on downstream release options from various stakeholder groups and individuals concerning what they would like to see in downstream releases to the Dolores River this year. If you have any questions about the meeting contact Vern Harrell at 970-565-0865.

I will post information about expected flows and our proposed operating plan after the meeting on April 15th.

Justyn Hock
Bureau of Reclamation
Western Colorado Area Office - GJ

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Old 04-22-2009   #2
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 262
What's the good word?

Originally Posted by Justyn Hock View Post

I will post information about expected flows and our proposed operating plan after the meeting on April 15th.

I am curious to know, how did it go?


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Old 04-22-2009   #3
Grand Junction, Colorado
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11
Dolores River Flows

This informaiton is posted at:


Please remember: "This data is provisional and subject to change due to Dolores River inflow, future precipitation, weather patterns, fill and spill criteria, and user demand."

Dolores River Below McPhee Reservoir


March was not a good precipitation month for us. The storms that rolled through brought mostly high winds and dust, and almost no precipitation. The current forecast for April 1 has dropped the spill to approximately 30,000 AF. Therefore our best estimate at this time is that the spring runoff will be below normal. The rafting window has closed some, but water that becomes available will be released around the end of May.

What that means in numbers is a managed spill of around 30,000 AF based on our current reservoir elevations. Flows in April will stay low at 50 CFS. We may start increasing releases in early May towards 400 CFS. We hope to facilitate the Colorado Department of Wildlife fish surveys for the week of May 11 to 15, when releases might run 400 CFS. After that week we will raise flows to rafting levels of 800 to 1200 CFS. We expect those flows to last about 2 weeks at this point and should include Memorial Day.

So rafting concentrated around end of May. As always, June rafting will be more unpredictable, so plan around May 15 to 31, 2009. We will get new updated forecasts in early May which will confirm or modify this forecast. It’s never too late to think snow! A late storm would help solidify this year’s rafting releases.
We will periodically update this website as new information. Twice weekly updates should start as flows rise for May 11, 2009 fish survey.

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