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Old 04-05-2016   #1
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 28
Tusher Diversion Dam status

I just talked to the engineering company in charge of the Tusher dam project and they said scheduled completion of the project was May 7th but the contractor is ahead of schedule and the new completion date is April 23. The engineer said the new boat chutes will be fully operational by the end of April.

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Old 04-05-2016   #2
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 28
I was just contacted by the engineer.

Update: the boat chute will be accessible and navigable.
BUT, there are gates that pose a strainer hazard that should be avoided. According to the engineer, those gates will not pose a barrier to entry of the chute. There are booms to help deflect objects from hitting the gates. The controllers for the gates have been delayed until mid June.

Just be aware of and avoid the gates and aim for the boat chute.

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Old 04-06-2016   #3
Centerville, Utah
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 18
This is awesome news! Doing a Deso-Cat expedition just got much, much easier AND way safer. Just read about this on American Whitewater too! Here's a quote-
"What this means for paddlers, is:
1) the dam will be re-built so as to eliminate the "keeper hydraulic" formed immediately downstream of the dam. This will improve downstream boat passage at high flows.

2) the new structure will include a boat chute in the center of the dam, that will allow for downstream boat passage at low flows.
3) signs upstream, will inform paddlers of the dam and the boat chute option.
Additionally, the NRCS's 147cfs water allocation will keep enough water in the boat chute to float a large raft at low flows. Think of that as 147 basketballs flowing through the center of the dam."
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Old 04-24-2016   #4
Gunni, Colorado
Paddling Since: 07
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 7

I'm sure it will be appreciated by many if someone posts photos of the shoot/dam at some point from either a personal run or any engineer/gov supplied photo.
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Old 04-24-2016   #5
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Fraser, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,046
I would ad to this thread to watch out for the rapid directly below the dam, especially at low water. I ran the Tusher for the first time last fall, and the rapid was more of an issue at low water then the center run at the dam. Not a huge "Oh my god" rapid by any means, but plenty of rocks with pin and maybe wrap potential for the un wary. By the looks of it, that rapid probably changes a lot from new debris.
" I wish I were a headlight, on a North bound train..."
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Old 04-29-2016   #6
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 28
Update 4/29/16:

Apparently a "retentive" hydraulic has formed at the bottom of the boat chute.
This is a recent video at around 7kcfs.

They will be posting signs that say the section is "closed" to boaters until they can figure out the hydraulic situation. They will not be blocking access.

The characteristics of the hole are obviously going to change at other flows so... take that for what it's worth.

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Old 04-29-2016   #7
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Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,910

Thanks for keeping everyone appraised of what's going on out there!


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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