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Old 04-27-2009   #1
 
El Flaco's Avatar
 
Golden, Colorado
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Bear Creek - NIMBY rapid

This was posted in the Trip Planner forum, but it should probably be posted here too:

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The woman that owns the NIMBY rapid is constructing a stone footbridge right over the lead drop into that rapid. I had to hop out to look, and she came down to the river to talk to me. And guys- she was actually really nice, so don't start railing on her. She apologized that it might impede paddlers - said it would be finished later this summer so "this might be the last year boater's can run the drop".

It appears to me that the footbridge will make the drop interesting, but it shouldn't affect the runnability of the drop until the run gets really high - which because of the in Evergreen, that may not happen again. Right now it's just a wood concrete form, and it wasn't in the way of a 6'4" paddle (myself) setting up for a boof stroke. But we'll see. Not sure she's allowed to construct impediments to navigable waters, but I wasn't getting into it with her today. I thanked her for allowing us to check the drop out, and paddled down.
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Old 04-27-2009   #2
 
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It might be worth striking up a friendly conversation about navagibility issues and that if this bridge prevents kayaking, there will be a lot more portages accross their land. Anyone know if they own both sides of the river? A similar situation happened on lower NSV and I think the forrest service got involved.
Joe
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Old 04-27-2009   #3
 
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She indicated that she did own both sides of the river.

I'm hoping I can get back in there this week and more closely gauge the height of the structure again by catching the eddy in the pool immediately under the footbridge. Part of me thinks that, as long as there's clearance, this rapid would have even more appeal if you had to boof a pourover under a bridge. StarWars style, ya know?

If the structure is legal, and if it's too low for boating at higher flows, we (Bear regulars) might offer to help in the costs to make the footbridge another foot or two higher. All that's there is a form; and maybe she could be convinced that a higher footbridge would be more suitable & prevent "trespassers" from portaging.

I also wonder if this is all a moot point, since the prevailing wisdom around here was that the days of Bear reaching 350 are long gone because of the Genesee Dam.
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Old 04-27-2009   #4
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Originally Posted by El Flaco View Post
She indicated that she did own both sides of the river.
I also wonder if this is all a moot point, since the prevailing wisdom around here was that the days of Bear reaching 350 are long gone because of the Genesee Dam.
Ok, I don't know why this is prevailing wisdom. Can we settle this once and for all? Here are quotes from the thread you pointed to. It sounds to me like the Dam is almost irrelevant:

From Dan O.
The new Genesee Dam is 101 af....or 50 cfs for one day...or 25 af for two days...or 5 cfs for 10 days. I don't know what the pump capacity is to the dam, since it's off channel, but I'll bet its on the order of 5 cfs or less.

I'm pretty damn sure that the Genesee Dam doesn't fill at a rate of more than a few cfs. Genesee's engineering report (from their website) points to 1000 gpm, or about 2.2 cfs. They probably need about 7 horsepower per cfs for pumping. Even if the Genesee Dam could divert lots of water, say 50 cfs (with a 350 horsepower pump), it could only divert that much for one day because the reservoir is only 100 cfs.
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Old 04-27-2009   #5
 
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Hell, I don't know. Don't get all upset - I was mostly reading the folks moaning about the days of bigwater Bear being gone. Ben Rodda thinks it will affect flows, Dan doesn't. Now that I looked at the actual site plan, I can see that it's not an in-channel diversion like I pictured it, nor is the dam situated within a major tributary of Bear, which I also assumed it was. Dan seems to know what he's talking about; presuming that the most capacity they would put into the pump would be a 350HP taking 50 cfs.

When I looked at the timeline, it did seem to fill it kinda fast (~1 month for its 100 a.f. capacity; in August & September of '07). So if 1 cfs produces 724 acre-feet of water per year, it produces 60 af.mo. That means that 1- 2 months of filling that reservoir took no more than 2-4 cfs. BUT- that rate of uptake likely had more to do with it being Aug / Sept; and they % allowed to be diverted was probably minimal. They could, and probably will, steal higher amounts during peak runoff in order to get the reservoir to capacity as soon as possible & while the captured flows aren't affected due to high water.

I guess we'll find out in a few weeks when the temps hit the 90's - there's sure to be plenty of snow in that drainage to get a good gauge as to how much, if at all, the runoff was affected. Chances are good that the reservoir is filled already. Haven't found a gauge for water elevation yet, though...
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Old 04-27-2009   #6
 
Evergreen, Colorado
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If Bear Creek is technically "navigable water" then why the heck can't I float from Byers Canyon to Kremmling? Why can't we float thru "sportsmans paradise"

anyway. Colorado Water Law, enough to make your head spin.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JCKeck1 View Post
It might be worth striking up a friendly conversation about navagibility issues and that if this bridge prevents kayaking, there will be a lot more portages accross their land. Anyone know if they own both sides of the river? A similar situation happened on lower NSV and I think the forrest service got involved.
Joe
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Old 04-27-2009   #7
 
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The bridge may be more of a zoning issue then navagability. Clear Creek County requires a bridge to be 1 foot over the 100yr flood height, can't imagine Jeffco is that different.
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