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Old 06-11-2007   #1
Summit County, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 27
Kayakers, Rafters, Anglers, HELP! - Grand Co.

Tired of no water in the Fraser Valley and the Colorado River? There are projects in the works to develop water management plans in the Colorado headwaters to prevent all the water from being sucked across the divide into oblivion.

But to do this, I need your help! I'm compiling recreational flow criteria for Grand County- this is a longish list, but it you have ten minutes, it would be really helpful to me, as well as you in the long run!

I'm looking for minimum, maximum, and optimum flows...
minimum = sucks, but I can paddle/fish
maximum = holy sh*t I can't believe I paddled that
optimum = um, well, optimum
...for kayaking, rafting, and angling (I don't know how many fishermen there are on the buzz, but I'll give it a shot)

Now, obviously, not all of these areas are currently useable- some are bone dry. But think back to when they could be paddled....what was the flow? What would you like it to be at?

Below is the list- and I'll need your name and location (just for records- you won't be contacted. But for an actual study, I can't just include a bunch of "anonymous"'s -- "John W., Fort Collins" will suffice). Please fill in the list, and send it to me at monkeyaker@yahoo.com. Any information is better than none! If you only have flows for ONE section, please send it in!

We're not only taking recreation into account in this project, but it's a substantial component. If you're interested in more water staying in the Fraser and Colorado Rivers, please, help!!


-Susan Novak



i) Kayaking Flows
(1) Minimum:
(2) Maximum:
(3) Optimum:

ii) Rafting Flows
(1) Minimum:
(2) Maximum:
(3) Optimum:

iii) Angling Flows
(1) Minimum:
(2) Optimum:

1) Fraser R. above Fraser
a) Fraser R. Near Winter Park
b) Fraser R below Vasquez C.
2) Fraser R. below Fraser
a) Fraser R below St Louis C.
b) Fraser R at Granby gage
3) Colorado R. above Fraser R. Confluence
a) Colorado R. below Lake Granby
4) Colorado R. below Fraser R. and above Kremmling
a) Colorado R. below Windy Gap
b) Colorado R. below Williams Fork
c) Williams Fork below Reservoir
d) Colorado R below Troublesome
5) Colorado R. below Kremmling
a) Colorado R. at Kremmling
b) Muddy C. below Wolford


"Hey, put your tongue on that." (Chair 7, Big Mtn.)
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Old 07-02-2007   #2
Summit County, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 27
Aw, c'mon guys, two weeks and no responses? I'm losing faith in the Buzz...

Ok, I'll make it simpler- I know we'd all rather be out ON the river than answering a stupid survey ABOUT the river... so take sixty seconds and give this a shot:

Do you boat in the Fraser? Where? What's the best flow? What's the lowest flow you still boat?

Do you boat on the Upper Colorado? Where? What's the best flow? What's the lowest flow you still boat?

If I get enough info, I can do a better job at incorporating recreational flows into our stream management plan for these rivers, hopefully preventing too much water from being diverted ouf of the streams, and keeping YOU (and me) on the river LONGER!

PLEASE send your response to monkeyaker@yahoo.com. If you don't answer, you can't complain about the front range taking your flows!


"Hey, put your tongue on that." (Chair 7, Big Mtn.)
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Old 07-02-2007   #3
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
Never boated the fraser. Sounds like a nice float though. Boated Byers canyon once. Fun. Have no clue about good flows. Check Kayaking Information for flow info or dig the info out of the trusty CRC.

As for the upper colorado, I think its got a pretty good flow system right now (as far as kayaking goes). The water storage setup that allows for late season flows through gore/pumphouse/shoshone etc ensures that there is generally a good fall season and gives a lot of boaters and rafters a nice late season option.

It would be nice to see some recreational flows on byers and the fraser.
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Old 07-03-2007   #4
Summit County, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 27
Thanks Deepsouth. I have all the info out of CRC, Eddyflower, and various paddling bibles, but now I need user-information. So I'm calling rafting and angling companies, and asking friends on the river.

Hopefully this project will really help the dead stretch of the Colorado between Hot Sulpher and Kremmling, and give folks on the Fraser a season lasting longer than two days!

Anyone else? Bueller? Bueller?
"Hey, put your tongue on that." (Chair 7, Big Mtn.)
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Old 07-03-2007   #5
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Summit, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,085
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I've been wanting to paddle pretty much all of these for quite a while but haven't seen sufficient flows when I've been able to get over there.

"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 07-03-2007   #6
Tabernash, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 22
Let's help her out to keep some water in the Fraser Valley!

Thanks for taking this project on Susan! I had the JOY of running the Fraser over 900 cfs this spring in a RAFT! (it was an 11.5 footer) Tabernash canyon is beautiful and it was a fun class III run at that level. It would be nice if it could run like that EVERY spring!

Let's keep some water in the valley for rec boaters and the river's inhabitants!

Friends of the Fraser River > Home
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Old 07-03-2007   #7
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Winter Park, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 110
I was lucky enough to have gotten in 7 runs down the Fraser in my 11-1/2' raft this spring/summer - the last being a week ago Saturday when it was at 490 cfs (from Tabernash to Granby). The most fun level was when it was over 800 cfs - lots of fun waves and not as much rock-dodging as when it's below 500 cfs. My friends ran it in their "mini-me" as low as 280 cfs, but that's ALOT of rock-dodging.

I live on the Fraser River in Winter Park and have been watching the flow drop daily, but it's nice that we are still recipients of the run-off (as opposed to them sending it over to the Front Rage). As far as rafting on the Fraser above Tabernash or below the softball fields in Granby, there are too many low bridges and wire fences accross the river to be able to do so, so I can't speak to those areas.

That's all I can address of the areas listed in your initial post - I hope it helps
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Old 07-04-2007   #8
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 103
I ran the Fraser gorge for the first time earlier this spring at a bit over 800. That's well above minimum (see above), but I think it's still shy of optimum.
My guess is that optimum would be closer to 1200, but like I said, it was my first run.

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