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Old 05-19-2010   #1
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
Homestake / Gilman rec release opportunity

At the South Platte meeting today, Aurora Water reps noted that in 2012 they plan on completely draining homestake reservoir to do repairs to the 40 yr old asphalt faced dam. Tenative schedule calls for draining homestake reservoir starting late Feb 2012 through June 2012. Aurora hopes to pump most of the water to use for municipal needs, but if they don't have enough storage for it, they will let the excess out through homestake creek. I talked to the Aurora Water rep about the possibility of working with the boating community to plan recreational releases on homestake / gilman during the draining process. My guess is that flows could be enough to paddle on homestake / gilman, but I doubt we could get enough water to make a big impact on the larger riverbed on downstream sections.

My question for buzzards and homestake / gilman boaters is... what would a good recreational release flow be? I've only boating H/G once at 50/450 cfs on the homestake @ gold park and eagle at minturn gauges (decent flow). I'm looking for some feedback on a range of flows that boaters think would be good for either section of river. What kind of min/max flows on homestake or gilman would you like to see if we could get it?

No gaurantees from Aurora Water at this point, but they seemed open to the discussion, and my guess is that they will be hard pressed to take all of the water to the front range. Could be a nice bonus for homestake / gilman boaters.

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Old 05-19-2010   #2
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Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Feb 2007
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350-400 seems like a nice medium flow on Gilman; I feel like I've run it at that level before and been happy with it.

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Old 05-21-2010   #3
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Eagle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 144
I think they like homestake around 100cfs for the teva games. You need to talk to Hobie or someone as I am a wanna be. Sounds like a great oppertunity for more boating. I'm sure Shawn over @ Alpine Quest Sports in Edwards could put you in touch w/ the peolpe in the know.
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Old 05-21-2010   #4
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 78
Those are pretty good numbers for the majority of Homestake/Gilman paddlers. Homestake starts around 75 cfs and 100 is pretty friendly. Less so at 200. Gilman season begins around 250, but 350 is much better. Above 500 it starts to get stompy and gets kinda scary above 700.
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Old 05-22-2010   #5
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 216
I think a lot more kayakers would benefit from the release if they put enough (350cfs) so that Gilman ran. But seeing as it will be early season and Gilman should already be running. 100 cfs is perfect for homestake.
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Old 05-22-2010   #6
Foco/Red Cliff (Vail), Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 66
That is a pretty early release.
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Old 05-22-2010   #7
Indian Hills, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 221
150 in homestake and 400 in gilman. those are good levels for most in my opinion.

early in the release if they bump up homestake to 150, there may not be enough water coming from the upper eagle to make gilman run. but at least one of the two is good.

if they could bump the release in february/ march to 350 then taper off once the snow melt starts in april and more is coming in from the camp hale/ upper eagle that would be a dream come true.

thanks ian for posting. i heard they were doing this. i thought it was going to be this year. was waiting for the flows to start coming up.

Jace Crane
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