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Old 06-20-2006   #1
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 14
Is there any way to find out releases from Cheesman

How would one find out, if possible, when Denver Water, has releases scheduled out of Cheesman or Strontia Springs? I tried this last year and ended up talking to the guy who actually controlled the dam, but he really had no say on when there were releases. He said it was up to the engineers in Denver.


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Old 06-21-2006   #2
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 480
That pretty much sums it up. Denver Water is very tight lipped and doesn't communicate when they will release out of Cheesman. There was someone with CW that had worked out something with DW for the North Fork but that was last year. Not sure where that is now.

Basically, they have to bring water down to Strontia Springs to satisfy demand which is usually higher on weekends. Trouble with that is the water comes down during the week when you are at work and not on weekends.

Keep trying. Maybe someone else can shed some light on this.

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Old 06-21-2006   #3
oh yeah
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 535
i too would like to see boatable releases on cheesman. i've mentioned this to my contact at denver water but he hasn't gotten back to me. i'll keep working it.

geezer, i've been posting updates on denver water's predictions for the north fork weekly (we missed two updates this season). i guess you missed them. i should have another later today or tomorrow for this weekend.

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Old 06-21-2006   #4
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
I know this has been brought up before, but I'd like to see how we could get CW and AW to tag team to try and get some recreational releases in colorado. I know colorado water law is crazy and complicated, but I'm sure it could be done to some extent, and its worth a try. Just some thoughts on rivers that would be worthwhile

-South platte - cheesman
-Big Thompson
-Blue - upper and lower
-Boulder Creek
-South Boulder Creek
-Gunnison - gunny gorge and black canyon
-Ark - they already prop us releases, but there could be improvement.

I talked to Kara Lamb for a while about some of this. My thoughts were that if we shot for a 1 weekend release on a couple of these sections and figured out a way to keep the water around that it could work. If water is being transferred at 250 cfs 24/7 why not crank it to 500 for a 8 hr period, and then scale back to keep the total volume over a couple of days the same?

I know that there are fisherman involved etc, but its worth an effort. Think of a scheduled boatable release for boulder canyon. Nice. What about a late season day on the ark where they bumped it up to 1200cfs for one day or one weekend, and let it trickle at 300 for a couple of days to make up for it, instead of a 600 cfs trickle all week, when not a lot of people can get out there. With success there could be a lot more colorado late season options than gore, shoshone, westwater, or low water ark.

Just a thought. I'd be willing to help, but I'm not sure how. I am a member of CW and AW, so I support both orgs.
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Old 06-21-2006   #5
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Summit, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,085
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They do something like that on the Madawaska River in Canada (I know, that's a whole different country). The Madawaska Kanu Centre kayak school/camp has a deal worked out with the hydroelectric authorities upstream so that instead of releasing an unrunnable 20 (cms) all the time, they release 35-80 (depending on the season's precipitation) from 9am to 3pm and then something like 10 the rest of the time. Apparently they only have to supply a certain amount of energy in a given time and it doesn't matter if it comes in a steady trickle or regular flashes. Wouldn't this be cool on every dam controlled river? Yeah, I sure wish.

"The world would be a better place if everyone kayaked."-Brad Ludden (Valhalla)
"You only get one chance to run a drop blind."-DD
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Old 06-22-2006   #6
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 557
many rivers in the southeast release during the day and are off at night. I imagine there is some environmental effect with this, but it seems like it works.
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Old 06-22-2006   #7
Ft. Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 139
Add to that list the Poudre, even though its designated "wild and scenic" its largely dependent on artificial flows from ditches and reservoirs at the headwaters. 100-500 cfs typically comes out of Long Draw reservoir (Western slope RMNP water from the Grand Ditch). There's also the laramie poudre tunnel, joe wright reservoir, and Chambers lake. Would be nice but the rafting companies probably have a much better chance of negotiating releases than us private boaters.

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