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Old 03-31-2006   #1
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 748
Upper Blue Release

I got to talk with the mayor and a city planner type from silverthorne, and they said they had plans to release the blue before runoff to make room in lake dillon, and to prevent potential flooding along highway 9. As of now all of the water in that drainage is scheduled to run off to the west, and not to bailey. They said the plan was something like 1900 cfs for a few days in late april or early may. I am sure it will be announced, but I haven't heard anything else about it. Maybe Kara Lamb knows? This should be the biggest water on the blue in a long while, and I would assume they would let all the inflow flow out of Green Mountain Resevoir to create some bigger water downstream. just a heads up.

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Old 04-01-2006   #2
Arvada, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 84
I drove by green mountain on the way to steamboat yesterday and it has been drawn way down. There are huge peices of ice just sitting there near the inlet.

I looked like they were getting ready for big flows down from Dillon.

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Old 04-03-2006   #3
Loveland, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 510
Green Mountain update

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!
Kara Lamb
Public Information
Eastern Colorado Office
Bureau of Reclamation
(970) 962-4326
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Old 04-04-2006   #4
ZLSeth's Avatar
Dillon, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 132
Kara, thanks for the info.

I have a respectful request regarding the hours when the gate will be open:

Since the Lower Blue is a close local run, it would be nice to have access to it on weekdays after work. Everyone's situation is different, but I work most weekdays. I'd prefer to have later hours on work days rather than non-work days... on a day that I am off, there's no problem getting out of the gated area by 4:00. I'm not suggesting that the gate hours change on fri-sun, but just extend the weekday hours so that those of us who work during the week might have the opportunity to paddle there after work, since that gate is now on a timer.

Thanks again!
"Believe me, my young friend, (said the water rat somlemnly), there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing...." -The Wind in the Willows
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