Colorado River Water Levels After Labor Day - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 08-28-2007   #1
 
Join Date: May 2005
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Colorado River Water Levels After Labor Day

Does anyone know what the story is concerning the levels of the Colorado River after Labor Day? With the Shoshone plant down for maintenance until at least next spring , we're not guaranteed the 1,250 cfs we're used to. I heard one rumor that it might get cut to 800cfs, which means that below Burns where I do my float trips it will be very bony! Any info that anyone has would be appreciated.

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Old 08-28-2007   #2
 
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Fort Collins, Colorado
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Originally Posted by Jack Bombardier View Post
Does anyone know what the story is concerning the levels of the Colorado River after Labor Day? With the Shoshone plant down for maintenance until at least next spring , we're not guaranteed the 1,250 cfs we're used to. I heard one rumor that it might get cut to 800cfs, which means that below Burns where I do my float trips it will be very bony! Any info that anyone has would be appreciated.
I have heard several different stories about what is to happen to the Colorado after Labor Day. The plant is not supposed to open again till next spring. With that, their senior water right will be used in other places or the water will be kept in Green Mountain Res. I heard today 400 cfs is what it will be reduced to next Tuesday. Again, that is just what I heard.
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Old 08-28-2007   #3
JBL
 
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What will that make the level at Westwater this fall??
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Old 08-28-2007   #4
 
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What will that make the level at Westwater this fall??
We will just have to wait and see. Unless other downstream senior water calls come in, Westy my get very low. I've been down at 2500 cfs, pretty boney, but still fun. Unless it drops below that, it should still be high enough to drag a boat down. What is the minimum level people have taken 14' rafts down?
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Old 08-28-2007   #5
 
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I remember waaay back in the day, like 2002, when the drought was at its worst, Westy was down around 1,500 cfs. This made Skull really tricky. Guys that I know who've been boating Westy since the 70s say its never been too low to boat, though that may just be a matter of perspective...

As for the flows we can expect this fall, this is a time for someone to send a PM to Kara Lamb of the BOR. She should have a good handle on what the expected releases will be from Green Mt. Res.

Another place to check will be the NRCS flow forecast website:
COLORADO - DOTSERO, NR (EGLC2)
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Old 08-28-2007   #6
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Yeah, I had some friends run Westwater so low they went right of the big rock at Skull which is normally the hole at Skull. It was the line that the rangers were recommending. It was 2002 when the water was so low. Check out these images Westwater Canyon-August 2002--Low Water
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Old 08-28-2007   #7
 
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I've run Westwater down to 1,200 CFS, and yes, there were lots of rocks I'd never seen before that season.

There is a very tight run (exactly the width of my 16 NRS cat) right of Skull Rock and even less room to the left of Razor Rock. Lots of folks were running the holes to the right of Razor and cutting left of Skull, but the 18' commercial boats were squeezing right of Skull.

Alvin has a set of pictures of Skull at about 1,200 hanging on the wall in the ranger station. Ask him to see them, and you'll get an idea of what it really looks like.

FWIW.

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Old 08-28-2007   #8
-k-
 
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How about Shoshone, does it go at 400?
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Old 08-29-2007   #9
 
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Originally Posted by JBL View Post
What will that make the level at Westwater this fall??
Of course I am just adding to the rumor mill - but what I last heard was that The Roaring Fork was going to be expected to keep up the water levels after the Shoshone goes 'dry.' Since Shosho has the senior water rights - when they close the dam the down river water rights have to be accomidated elsewhere... I would look into the dam below West Water & see what their required water rights are flowing into them... that will give us a clue. Especially since this year is maintenance and not drought.
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