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Old 06-07-2012   #1
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,096
Poudre: Long Draw Release Update

I spoke with the long draw operators today. They noted that they plan on dropping long draw from the current flows of 200 cfs down to 30 cfs starting tomorrow at mid day. They plan to keep flows down through the weekend, and start long draw back up in the 200-250 range starting next tuesday (could be mon or wed). They plan to run the water from tuesday until saturday and will cut it off sat at noon. They don't have enough water to sent to farmers continuously, so they are making water deliveries in batches of several days. We were lucky to get the first batch over the weekend.

Unfortunately this means that the big south will be very low, probably below min for most this weekend. I'd guess between 1-1.5 marks on the big south rock. I thought 1.75 was bone zone min when I did it. If someone is in the upper canyon friday night after they turn long draw off, it would be great to give a big south rock update for weekend boaters. It also means that the big south will be low next weekend as well. This is just my rough guess, big south could still be runnable if natural flow is enough to keep it going.

While plans are fluid... the long draw guys plan for this next release out of long draw next week to be the last "big" release out of long draw for this season. After that, they will continue to do some on/off water deliveries, but they plan on using both long draw and chambers, and expect long draw to be in the 100-150 range vs. the 200-250 range.

If you are trying to get on the big south at decent flows this season, next week during the week will be the best bet. Friday would be good. If you got on the river early saturday, you could stay ahead of the water drop. They usually make flow changes around 11-noon. If you busted out the barnes meadow paddle hike early, and got on the river by noon, I think you would be OK. It probably takes a couple of hours for the flow drop to get from long draw to the half way point.

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Old 06-07-2012   #2
Buckrodgers's Avatar
Teacher, Fort Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 251
Thanks for the update Ian--us FoCo locals really appreciate it!

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Old 06-07-2012   #3
Steamboat, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 458
Thanks Ian! Much appreciated. That really great info. I'll be in the upper Poudre Canyon tomorrow afternoon (around 3-4pm'ish) and will report back on upper canyon flows.

On a related note, do you have any info on releases out of Chambers? Knowledge of release schedules out of both Long Draw AND Chambers gives us insight on what we can expect down the main stem (including Joe Wright, Spencer, and all downstream runs).
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Old 06-07-2012   #4
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Frenchy, I think the long draw guys operate chambers too. I asked him if they were doing anything to chambers to see what the overall impact would be to the poudre and he said that they weren't changing chambers. I think its got 100 something cfs inflow and they are passing that through and into the river is what the guy told me (if I heard him right).

Not sure if the flow drop will be down to the BS takeout by 4PM for you to look tomorrow, but it might.

Also, long draw is almost full. They expect long draw to start spilling over monday/tues, and will then pump up the release. Weather could change how fast water fills up long draw so there is some play in when they will open up long draw flows again.
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Old 06-07-2012   #5
SimpleMan's Avatar
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: '05
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 394
Finally some real information. I'm so tired of the rumors! Appreciate the update bro.

Dude, I'd see you on the river but I'm hardly ever out there.
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Old 06-07-2012   #6
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,096
One caveat... plans change, and weather, rain, snowmelt etc can cause things to change. The near term info of turning off long draw tomorrow is probably pretty solid. What happens next week is a little more fuzzy. I'll give a ring next week to get better info on flows next week.
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Old 06-07-2012   #7
Steamboat, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 458
10-4. Thanks Ian!
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Old 06-07-2012   #8
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 772
100 out of Chambers should mean Joe Wright should be close to in. That must be where the extra water that brought the flow up is coming from.

The first weekend of May when Joe Wright was in the Big South rock was at 1 or 1.5 marks with nothing from Long Draw. JW was medium, the Boneyard rock was just under 2 and Pineview was at 3.1. Last weekend JW was pretty dry, BS was 5 to 5.5 (assuming I remember there being 7 marks correctly) and Boneyard was lapping over 2. I think Pineview was 2.9 or 3.

There isn't much correlation between Pineview and the upper canyon but I think it's a safe bet that if it's at 3 Spencer is high enough to be worth the drive.

Lot of useless information but I know I'm not the only one looking to get a good feel for flow correlations in the upper canyon.

Frenchy, what's your weekend plan? If Joe Wright is in I would be up for it and Spencer this weekend.
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Old 06-07-2012   #9
Steamboat, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 458
Hey Nathan. Right, when Pine View's reading 3ft then Spencer Heights is typically in, and you can usually paddle Joe Wright or Big South, depending on where the water's coming from.

The BS rock gauge has 6 marks, which puts last weekend's reading at 4.5, not 5.5. I'll check levels on BS, JW, and Spencer on my way through the canyon tomorrow. I'm guessing Big South and Spencer will be too low this weekend after they turn off Long Draw. Joe Wright may be going though.

I'm in Greeley Saturday and can paddle Sunday on my way home. Thinking the Poudre or Bailey. I'll call you...
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Old 06-07-2012   #10
Ft Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 160
Great beta, thanks! Hope to get up there tomorrow morning sometime. Will report findings...


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