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Old 05-23-2015   #1
Gunnison, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 11
Gunni gorge flows

Does anyone have information about the expected Gunni gorge flows? I am planning on running it next weekend but would like a little more water for the raft.

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Old 05-23-2015   #2
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yetigonecrazy's Avatar
Phuoc My, Da Nang, THE 'NAM
Paddling Since: 1845
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,988
This has been discussed here recently....Try scrolling back a few pages, should find what you are looking for

"Don't f$&@ing eddy out, just run it! Whaddya doin??" -LMyers
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Old 05-23-2015   #3
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 65
Maybe this is what you are looking for as I believe this is what was posted the last time this was brought up.
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Old 05-23-2015   #4
Montrose, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 274
Yep this was covered by Eric Franz from the Dept. of Reclamation, and they plan on maybe adjusting up to 600cfs. sometime in June, but we have received alot of rain in May, so this may change. Even 600 is tight for bigger rafts on Cable and The Squeeze rapids with wrap potenial. Like I always say, keep an eye on the weather forecast more than flows cause you really don't want to be in that gorge during a heavy downpour. Best of luck.
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Old 05-27-2015   #5
Castle Rock, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 321
Wow, this must be really hammering the driftboat guides.
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Old 05-27-2015   #6
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 184
If you are a regular user of the Black Canyon or Gunny Gorge you may want to send a quick email to Erik Knight at Reclamation and ask to get on his Aspinall Release update email list. His email is eknight at usbr dot gov or phone (970) 248-0629. He sends an email anytime something changes with a little info about operating parameters, inflow to blue mesa, and target flows on the USGS Gunnison at Whitewater Gage.

His most recent update was this morning:
Releases from Crystal Dam will be decreased from 1300 cfs to 1200 cfs on Wednesday, May 27th at 10:00 AM. This release decrease is in response to a decrease in diversion to the Gunnison Tunnel. The current forecast for April-July unregulated inflow to Blue Mesa Reservoir is 520,000 acre-feet which is 77% of average.

Flows in the lower Gunnison River are currently above the baseflow target of 1050 cfs. River flows are expected to stay above the baseflow target for the foreseeable future.

Pursuant to the Aspinall Unit Operations Record of Decision (ROD), the baseflow target in the lower Gunnison River, as measured at the Whitewater gage, is 1050 cfs for May.

Currently, diversions into the Gunnison Tunnel are 950 cfs and flows in the Gunnison River through the Black Canyon are near 400 cfs. After this release change Gunnison Tunnel diversions should be around 850 cfs and flows in the Gunnison River through the Black Canyon should be near 400 cfs. Current flow information is obtained from provisional data that may undergo revision subsequent to review.

This scheduled release change is subject to changes in river flows and weather conditions.
A little primer about how Gunnison flows work:
  • Based on Blue Mesa pool level and projected inflow a monthly baseflow target is set.
  • downstream flow is measured at this gage: USGS Current Conditions for USGS 09152500 GUNNISON RIVER NEAR GRAND JUNCTION, CO.
  • Basically, Flows in the Black Canyon and Gunny Gorge crank up as the flow at the Whitewater Gage drop below the baseflow target
  • More rain and/or snowmelt in the basin = more flow in the North Fork, Uncompaghre, Roubideau, etc and less water in the Gunny Gorge. Dry conditions equals higher gunny flows.
The takeaway, Don't hold your breath for anything more than 400cfs. Even if the June baseflow target increases to 1500cfs, we are still well above that at 4000cfs. There is no need to increase above the current 400cfs to meet the baseflow target.

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Old 05-27-2015   #7
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Telluride, CO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 26
As a few others said, Erik knight with aspen all unit will get you on the update list for planned releases from the dams. Very accurate data !

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Old 05-27-2015   #8
GJ, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 478
Originally Posted by gunnerman View Post
cause you really don't want to be in that gorge during a heavy downpour. Best of luck.

I hiked down Chukar in a monsoon 2 summers ago. Hiked in our drysuits if that tells you anything--cold rain pounding down for 24 hours before we got there, and all through our day.

The wash was flowing slowly as we exited it to the put-in beach, and ~20 minutes later when we were shoving off the takeout beach was gone--non-existent, under flowing water. The entire gorge was a cascading, gorgeous, muddy mess. But the river difficulty seemed not one iota different than any other time I've been in there, other than less visibility in the water.
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Old 06-11-2015   #9
Montrose, Colorado
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 70
Flows through the Gunny Gorge are bumping up to 2,100 cfs today (6/11/2015). Should hold at that level for a while.
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Old 06-11-2015   #10
Eagle, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 46
How long do you suspect they will push that much water through? I'm putting on Sunday June 21st and flows will dictate which boat I'm bringing. Crazy how 2-3 weeks ago flows were expected not to exceed 600!

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