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Old 11-20-2014   #1
treehugger's Avatar
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 198
Ark winter flows

Hey all,

Got a winter flow report from Greg Felt with Ark Anglers. So not tailored to the WW community but it looks like there may be boatable flows thru some of the winter.

From Greg Felt via Trout Unlimited.

If you are heading towards Salida , Colorado to do some fly fishing. Here are the upcoming Arkansas River conditions >> From Greg Felt at Ark Anglers:
We expect flow management on the Arkansas River to be somewhat different this winter, both in the short and long term. Over the next couple of weeks, flows will be ramped up artificially to simulate a mild high water experience. This is being done so that safety modifications implemented this fall at the low head diversion dam in Buena Vista, also known as the Silver Bullet rapid, can be tested while the contractor is on-site and well in advance of next year’s boating season. Releases from Twin Lakes will be incrementally ramped up, starting yesterday, such that flows at Wellsville next Wednesday (11/26) will briefly hit about 1200 cfs. Releases from Twin Lakes will then be incrementally reduced so that the flow over the Thanksgiving weekend will be in the 800 cfs range (about 400 cfs coming down Lake Creek). After the Thanksgiving weekend, we anticipate the Bureau of Reclamation will reduce the Twin Lakes release still further, probably to 250 cfs, and such a change would result in Wellsville flows of 600-650 cfs.
There is approximately 45,000 acre feet of water in Twin Lakes and Turquoise Reservoirs that needs to be moved to Pueblo Reservoir prior to next year’s runoff. With flows in March, April, and the first half of May being critical to the health of the brown trout population in terms of fry emergence and conditioning for runoff, as well as to the quality of the spring fishing experience itself, the intention of the BOR is to move all necessary water during the winter and then reduce the flows to native (under 400 cfs) by early spring. So, given a “normal” winter, we expect the flows to be maintained at the 600-650 cfs level through February. An abnormally weak or strong winter precipitation season could modify these plans – the model used for projections was based on an average snowpack.
While the foresight and efforts on behalf of the fishery are appreciated, those who fish the Arkansas River during the next three months may wonder what to expect. We don’t know. But one would think that with a greater flow, the river will be harder to wade but also less likely to freeze over and less susceptible to fluctuations in water temperature. Winter holding water will mostly remain the same as it has been, just deeper and maybe a little more turbulent. I think the positives and negatives will probably balance, with the big plus of low spring flows making this a good approach to fishery flow management. We will communicate any modifications to the plan as the winter goes on. For now, though, this is what fish and anglers can expect for the months ahead.

"A true patriot must always be prepared to defind his country against its government." Edward Abbey
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Old 11-20-2014   #2
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,910
They're moving 45,000 AF to Pueblo Res. this winter. Because they just couldn't have moved any of that water in August or September....

Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 11-24-2014   #3
Southernsherpa's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 25
I will be running the Ark thur morning, would you happen to be paddling Thur?

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