I just did the old cut and paste thing so here is the text from the paddlefest post. Today here in the upper Ark we are gettin snow and they say more is on the way for the next couple of days... If it we get the warm up they say is on the way for next week we should see some increase in flows by the weekend of 22 -23rd.
Here is what I know about the flows now and for paddle fest....
It has been a cold late april / early may this year and this means that not much run off yet so low water in the ditch.. Also there will be no releases for boating until the river drops below 700 sometime in mid to late july.. This is the same as every year.
Right now and for the entire year other than July 1 - Aug 15th - the Ark is managed for the caddis hatch and other typse of fishing. The Ark is flowing below natural flow and damn near at historic lows as there is very little to no water comming out of the Lake or clear creek drainages. Expect the water to come up when it warms up and not before.
The snowpack is holding well and the low flows in the early spring here will = higher flows in June and July.. If we get the snowstorm that they say is on the way for mid week it will bump the snowpack over 100% and higher than last year at this time..
From what I know it takes 3- 4 days of warm temps in the hills before the snowpack will "break loose" and start to flow. It does not look like it will happen this week so if I had a nickle to bet I would say that next monday the ark will still be very low or IMO maybe we will be at 400 - 500 cfs tops here in BV..
I would expect by the weekend of the 28th - 31st we will get some warm temps and the Ark will be over 1000 cfs for paddle fest.. I am gettin as tired as anyone with #'s and piney runs at 250 cfs but the longer the Ark flows stay low the longer the water will last into the season..
The only water from Lake Creek that actually hits the Ark is the VFP (voluntary flow program) water. There is usually 10 - 12 Arc/ft of space that is reserved for this water and once it is used up it is gone.
This water is put in the ditch is when the Ark drops below 700 cfs at wellsville after run off... This year I bet it will happen in the 2nd to 3rd week of July.. The rest of the water you see heads over to the front range.. They do not release any water for boating this time of the year.
So if you like to run Lake it is great to have the 2X natural flows for most of the summer but out of the 50K - 75k+ acr/ft that comes over every year only 10K acr ft tops goes into the ditch.. The rest heads over to the front range.
Oh yea and laps at the Cauldron went yesterday and are fun at 175cfs
Also here again is the link to the Lake tunnel guage.. 175 is not bad for a 1st run of the year and when it gets to 250+ you can run from the bed and breakfast down to the cauldron...