My understanding from DWB is that Strontia has about a 24 hour holding capacity. That is, what comes down Bailey today goes out the dam tomorrow. I believe that it would be very simple to tailor flows within a given day so that there could be recreational releases.
DWB doesn't give much notice or schedule, they just call that water down, right? They can guestimate, but the proof is in the pudding when they actually make the call. Well, that water is water they would need for the following day if I have the facts correct. So, what we could ask for is a pattern of release flows to be used whenever there is a call: if there is no call, then no release. If there is a call, then the release would be structured in a manner that promotes boating and still gets the water to Strontia so Denver (or the farmers out east) can use it.
How many times have we looked at the gauge and seen a flow of something like 120 cfs? Let's assume 100 of that is from Roberts.
24h x 100cfs = 2400 cfs-hours
(20h x 50cfs = 1000 cfs-hours)
+ (4h x 350cfs = 1400 cfs-hours)
=2400 cfs-hours (the same volume of water at the end of the day)
This gives 4 hour release on the good end of a medium flow. Consider that Bailey is fun down to 175, and many have run it much lower, and you can see how the season can be stretched out easily.
Boaters could submit a table of how we would prefer to see the flows structured for given levels and for what flows on what days of the week - late afternoons on weekdays, mornings on the weekends, etc. Mix it up a bit so there is some variation for people with odd schedules if you want, but it's not rocket science.
There are three big considerations. First, would DWB be willing to work with us on this? My guess is that it depends on the answers to the next two questions. Second, is there a *legal* issue as to doing an environmental assessment or EIS? Rivers out east (Nantahala, Ocoee, basically any TVA river) do these kinds of releases and have been for decades and there has been no noticable impact on the river or aquatic life that I am aware of, but I am no expert in that kind of thing (Claire are you out there?). Third, we would be wise to get the fishermen involved. They have as much of an interest in this sort of thing as we do and our desires may or may not mesh nicely, but together we could have greater influence. The fishing lobby is a heck of a lot more powerful than any whitewater non-profit and they have the numbers to require that they are listened to, so if we can team with them, all the better.
And if I recall correctly, you're right that without a Denver call, the water goes out the Blue.
Danger - check your PMs.
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