Flows on the Ark - Mountain Buzz

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Old 03-03-2014   #1
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Flows on the Ark

Hi all,
Just a quick note about water moving through the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project. We have been moving water down from Twin Lakes and Turquoise Reservoir to Pueblo Reservoir in preparation for spring run-off. Moving water from the upper reservoirs frees up space for the upcoming snow melt.

We are currently releasing about 160 cfs from Twin Lakes to Lake Creek.

Tomorrow morning, we will begin releasing water from Turquoise Reservoir to Lake Fork Creek. We will bump releases up from 3 to 30 cfs.

Water in Lake Creek and Lake Fork Creek flows into the Arkansas River, which carries it to Pueblo Reservoir. Pueblo is about 52% full.

Also in preparation for run-off, this week we are starting up the Mt. Elbert Power Plant, Colorado's largest hydro-electric power plant. This might break up the ice in both the Mt. Elbert Forebay and Twin Lakes up by Leadville, Colo. Ice-fishers and other winter recreators should be aware ice might become unstable. For more information, please check out our news release.

I will likely have other updates later this week and will keep you posted.

Please let me know if you have any related questions.


Kara Lamb
Public Information Officer
Bureau of Reclamation
Eastern Colorado Area Office
(970) 962-4326

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Old 03-03-2014   #2
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Frisco, Colorado
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Thanks for the updates Kara! They're really awesome for those of us who don't get to see the flows in person everyday. Keep the water (and the snow) comin!
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Old 03-04-2014   #3
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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Thanks for the update Kara.

I have a question for you. My understanding is that 10k acre feet used to be the amount allocated to the summer component of the VFMP, but that Roy Vaughn has given CPW the power to decide when they want to move the 10k acre feet now? I have heard some concern that this will amount to significant portions of the VFMP water being moved at undesirable times for whitewater recreation in order to benefit the fishery, leaving less water available for the July1 - August 15th time period.

Can you comment on this?
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Old 03-04-2014   #4
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If you want to know about the Arkansas River's history of recreation and flow management read this: CFWE

And recent news from the fisheries biologist perspective:
TU members thanked for their efforts that created the Arkansas RiverÔ€™s Gold Medal fishery - The Chaffee County Times: Free Content

Roy Vaughan is with the BOR which operates the dams, but doesn't control the VFMP.
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Old 03-04-2014   #5
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In 2009 the aquatic biologist along with the CPW changed the way the water was moved so we would have below boatable flows in the shoulder seasons or March/April or well if they had their way until June 1st. Then again on August 16. Their latest maneuver will get them below boatable flows before that just as it has the last 2 years on average of 5-6 out of 10 years..

It is true that now the aquatic biologist is who will be telling Roy how and when to move the water and it will = no water for the VFP on any water year we do not see huge spring snows. This is a recent change and a fact.

The ultimate goal of Policky and the CPW (he will say himself and in the article posted) it is to de-water the river during the summer as they have gotten it done in the fall and spring. This is the next step the aquatic biologist and rest of CPW will pursue to end the voluntary flow program.

This water was historically set aside for boating use but the fisherfolk "appropriated" it to run year round when ever the aquatic biologist feels is best for the fish. It is a change and a big loss of water for boaters but the wildlife has taken over and parks basically has been marginalized.

I am tired of being the only one beating this drum as only Logan seems to even care and parks is taking private boaters for a ride - or there is no private voice that CPW even listens to well unless you have a fishing pole. Flat out private boaters had 0 input on this change and flat out had the wool pulled over our eyes.

So yes it is Roy's choice to move the water when the CPW tells him to as he has been pulled both ways he basically told CPW to choose. I believe Roy got tired of being the bad guy no matter what he choose so he told the CPW to choose how the water is moved. CPW put all of the "water" apples in the wildlife side of the basket and listens to one aquatic biologist as to when the water is moved so we boaters again get screwed.

Rob White should be the voice speaking for boaters and the VFP but from what I see he does not help out the VFP or keeping water in the river and does what the wildlife side of parks tells him.
"I feel better than any other time when I am in the mountains and uh I cant explain it ya know...." - Shawn Farmer..........
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Old 03-04-2014   #6
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Thx R'Nek. Some of us are trying to follow this. Always appreciate your input.
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Old 03-04-2014   #7
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Similar type of nonsense taking place on Eleven Mile. No boatable flows due to one biologist with the backing of TU who advises Denver Water.

It amazes me the lengths they go to managing flows for an invasive species. I've been fly fishing since I was a kid, but this just pisses me off to no end.
"Let us cross the river to the other side and rest beneath the shade of the trees." ~ Last words of Thomas Jonathan ''Stonewall' Jackson
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Old 03-04-2014   #8
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This from AHRA

Please see the below noted/attached information from Terry Dawson (BOR). This latest information means that an additional 27 cfs will be released into the Arkansas River starting on Tuesday (03.04.14) through Monday (03.31.14). Therefore, during March, the anticipated flow as measured at the Wellsville Gauge should be approximately 477 cfs (450 cfs noted in the email string below + the additional 27 cfs noted today).

Please let your AROA Water Committee Representatives (Mike Kissack / Andy Neinas / Bob Hamel) or me know if you should have any questions.

Thank you,

Rob White
Park Manager
Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA)
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Old 03-04-2014   #9
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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I know part of the issue with Elevenmile is the reservoir is the deepest in DW's system so they use it as a primary storage facility and try to keep it as full as possible (very little evaporative loss). I have been spending more and more time with fisherman, fishing and talking lately and most of them that reside in the valley appreciate whitewater and many are former boaters. I believe that things are being changed and that these changes are being kept from the public, in fact most people seem to be in the same boat, believing 8 and 10 year old documents are accurate representations of water operations.

I believe these issues are far reaching for our community and should be openly discussed public information.
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Old 03-04-2014   #10
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Although it doesn't look like CPW can purchase a lot of water with $100,000, are they no longer committed to do so once the 10,000 AF is gone?
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