Yup, as everyone knows, we've got great snowpack up there in the Blue River basin. It looks like inflows to Green Mountain this spring will be around 150% of average. Consequently, it's likely we'll bump releases up this time next week. I'll keep ya posted.
But, before you get all excited and head up there
, remember: our goal is to fill Green Mountain without spilling (i.e. w/o big releases). We won't be bypassing those inflows. Spring is the time of year we start filling to store water for later. We'll fill the reservoir up to full (we're hoping).
As a result, the releases to the Lower Blue don't normally pop up until late summer--that's when our demands come on. But because we'll likely fill sooner this season than usual, we'll also run some different programs at the dam this spring and summer--so I thought I'd give you a head's up on those.
It looks like we'll run the Coordinated Reservoir Operations program for endangered fish this year. That 's not for certain, yet, but it's a good bet. That has the potential to increase releases from the reservoir to the Lower Blue during the spring run-off. So, keep an eye out for that. It could make for a fun weekend, or two.
Then, because we'll have a high water elevation at the reservoir this summer, we can FINALLY get back in there and finish the gate work we started years ago on the pipes that carry water from the reservoir to the power plant. Last year, we were able to remove the second gate and send it out for some needed TLC. This year, we can put it back in. While we're puting the gate back in place, we'll make releases to the Lower Blue via the spillway. So most of the summer, you'll see releases coming over the spillway. I don't know if that will change the cfs much, but it will certainly look different.
Last, but definitely not least-- and possibly of most interest--we have moved to a timer on the gate. This means, there is no more waiting for a human body to show up and lock or unlock the gate above the put in area. It will automatically open at 8 in the morning and close at 4 in the afternoon, Monday through Thursday. Likewise, Friday-Sunday, it will open at 8 in the morning and close at 7 in the evening. So, that is good news. We were running tests on the gate timer last week and it should be fully operational, now.
And that's the Green Mountain scoop so far.
As for this week: currently, we're releasing around 350 cfs to the Lower Blue. Like I mentioned earlier, releases will probably go up in about a week. Everyone is running their operations forecasts for the new month. When those are done, I'll have some new info to share with you.
Have a great season!