Black Canyon/Gunny Gorge. - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 03-09-2014   #1
 
GJ, Colorado
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Black Canyon/Gunny Gorge.

Got a Wateralert on Friday that the flows below Crystal Res bumped to over 600 cfs.

USGS Current Conditions for USGS 09128000 GUNNISON RIVER BELOW GUNNISON TUNNEL, CO

Anyone know why they'd be spilling so much/so early, when Blue Mesa is something like 40' low?

Anyone have any idea how long it's expected to last?

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Old 03-12-2014   #2
 
GJ, Colorado
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Up to 856cfs as of mid-day today. Seems like enough water, for long enough already, that any remaining ice should be long gone.
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Old 03-12-2014   #3
 
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Hell yeah I think we will be down there this weekend if anyone wants to share shuttle Saturday morning. We are going to get a hold of the folks down at Pleasure Park to get the scoop or the mule man....Someone should know of the conditions.
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Old 03-13-2014   #4
 
Delta, Colorado
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Gunny Gorge

Mike,
I met you in the canyon last year. I follow all your trips. Someday I would love to get a chance to boat or bike with you guys.

We have been running the gorge all winter. It only froze a little. We had to make a few portages around a couple rapids. Last winter was a different story. It has been ice free for quite a few months now.

The Bureau of Rec thinks there is enough snow pack that they will fill Blue Mesa. A lot of us have been writing to them and pleading not to let out small amounts but to save up and do a big flush. The canyon needs to see something like 8000 cfs (even if its only for a day) to get the silt off the bottom to restore habitat for the bugs. The CDW thinks 2200 cfs is enough to move all the new silt out but we have all seen 2200. It is a fun level but not even close to what is needed to flush the canyon.

Let me know if you are in town. We are always up for a trip.
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Old 03-13-2014   #5
 
GJ, Colorado
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I understand that they're moving water because they think the res's will fill, but I just can't imagine (nor calculate) how one winter worth of snowpack will fill Blue Mesa when it's something like 45' below full pool right now.

Anyhoo...

I hope they're right, or at least close.

Agreed on the flush--hasn't happened in far too long.

Some talk of doing the GG in a day this coming Monday if you want to join. Might be able to scare up a buttboat if you don't already have one/and want to use one.
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Old 03-13-2014   #6
 
Salida, Colorado
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Blue Mesa holds 830,000 AF at full pool, it's got just under 400,000 in it now. Projected runoff is over 850,000 AF. Pretty simple math for why they're moving water. Course a lot can change in April....
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Old 03-13-2014   #7
 
crested butte, Colorado
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I was told last October 2013 the water at that time in the mesa had already been sold for 2014.
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Old 03-14-2014   #8
 
carbondale/BV, Colorado
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If y'all go Monday I would love to join. Pm me to make a plan. I'd be coming from carbondale.
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Old 03-14-2014   #9
Edd Franz, BLM Montrose
 
Montrose, Colorado
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Email From BOR 3/6/2014

Knight, Erik
Mar 6 (8 days ago)


The March 1st runoff forecast for Blue Mesa Reservoir projects 850,000 af of inflow between April and July which is 126% of average. This represents a 35,000 af increase from the February 15th forecast.

Considering the wet conditions and increasing forecast, releases at Crystal Reservoir will be increased by 200 cfs on Friday morning, March 7th. This will bring releases and river flows up to 600 cfs. Then releases will be increased another 200 cfs on Monday morning, March 10th which will bring river flows up to 800 cfs.

On Monday, March 17th releases at Crystal will be reduced to 300 cfs for the day to accommodate an inspection of the stilling basin below Crystal dam. Flows in the Gunnison River through the Black Canyon will begin to drop to 300 cfs on Sunday before returning back to 800 cfs by Tuesday, March 18th.
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Old 03-14-2014   #10
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
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Row cold in the river right now? Probably not Kayakable for the sane?
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