GC High Flow Experiment 2013? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 01-26-2013   #1
 
North Creek, New York
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GC High Flow Experiment 2013?

Hello-
We were on the river from Nov 16 - Dec 6, 2012 and experienced the High Flow. We made it to Nankoweap to watch it come up and then traveled from Nankoweap to above Hance on the 43k. While we were retreating through the night from the rising water, I joked that "Next High Flow Event we'll have to bring sandbags to keep the flood water out of our camp."

No one but myself knew at that point (not even my wife), that I also have a permit for Nov 16, 2013, and I'm wondering if we might be lucky enough to experience the High Flow again? I read somewhere it was a multi-year experiment, but don't know if that means consecutive years or if it will even be the same time period.

Any info?

Thanks
-Nate

pic is Hermit ~25k
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Old 01-26-2013   #2
 
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Nate -
The new High Flow Experimental Protocol for 2012 - 2020 stipulates that HFE's may be considered when trigger conditions are met. Those trigger conditions primarily revolve around the Paria river - if monsoon rains have brought enough sediment to the mouth of the Paria, an HFE may be conducted.

So the answer is.....maybe...but it would pretty much be chance.

Check out more info on HFE's here: Glen Canyon Dam 2012 High Flow Experimental Release
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Old 01-26-2013   #3
 
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Controlled Flood in Grand Canyon a Dud

FYI, tom

Living Rivers and Colorado Riverkeeper
PO Box 466, Moab, UT 84532
435-259-1063 www.livingrivers.org

For immediate release:

Contact: John Weisheit @ 435-260-2590 (cell)

Controlled Flood in Grand Canyon a Dud
Federal Scientists Say Sand and Beaches Continue to Erode Away

PHOENIX, Arizona - January 23, 2013 - Just two months after Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar opened the jet tubes at Glen Canyon Dam, launching a five-day (24-hour peak) controlled flood into Grand Canyon, the results are in and they are not positive.

During today’s Annual Reporting Review for the Grand Canyon Adaptive Management Program’s Technical Working Group, representatives from the Glen Canyon Monitoring and Research Center reported:

- Just 55% of the target beaches showed improvements, while 36% remained the same and 9% were worse off.
- 25% of the sediment scientists had hoped to mobilize and distribute with the flood never moved.
- No evidence of improved nursery habitat for native fish.
- Nothing is stopping the long-term erosion of sediment from Grand Canyon’s river corridor.

“Ken Salazar claimed that this was going to be ‘A milestone in the history of the Colorado River’, but like the three previous experiments in 1996,
2004 and 2008, it too has shown that at best some beaches are temporarily improved, but the long-term prognosis for the Grand Canyon is a system without sediment,” says Living Rivers Conservation Director John Weisheit

Since 1963, 95% of sediment inflows to Grand Canyon National Park’s river corridor have been trapped behind Glen Canyon Dam. This has completely transformed habitat conditions for Grand Canyon native fish, leading to the extinction of the Colorado pikeminnow, razorback sucker, bonytail chub and roundtail chub, and the endangerment of the humpback chub.

The November 19th 2012 flood is the first to occur in a ten-year time window that scientist have been granted to experiment with Glen Canyon Dam operations. Additional controlled floods can be attempted if certain conditions are met, mainly the existence of large amounts of sediment entering the Colorado River from two tributary rivers that feed into the upper part of Grand Canyon, the Paria and Little Colorado.

“Far too much public time and money is wasted on preparing for, publicizing, executing and monitoring these useless floods that do nothing but perpetuate a science welfare program masquerading as an endangered species recovery effort,” adds Weisheit. “Scientist know, but won’t publicly state, that the only real solution to addressing Grand Canyon’s sediment deficit is to transport it around Glen Canyon Dam or decommission the dam altogether.”

###

For more information: Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center www.gcmrc.gov
928-556-7380

Commentary @ www.charliechub.com
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Old 01-26-2013   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Martin View Post
“Scientist know, but won’t publicly state, that the only real solution to addressing Grand Canyon’s sediment deficit is to transport it around Glen Canyon Dam or decommission the dam altogether.”
The real solution is kind of obvious eh...
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Old 01-26-2013   #5
 
North Creek, New York
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Well that doesn't sound good Tom, but it was a sight to see. Really looking forward to another trip either way. Thank you for the info.
-Nate
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Old 01-26-2013   #6
BCJ
 
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Grand Junction, Colorado
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Sorry to hear, but it's what I expected. As in Westwater and other places, long-term beach erosion continues due to the absence of natural high-water incidents that bring sediment down from far above. The sediment and water needed to deposit beaches in the Grand Canyon is being trapped behind Glen Canyon Dam. The sand is settling on the bottom of the upper reaches of Lake Powell and also and farther up in Cataract Canyon when the lake was higher. Anyone who floated between the gigantic sand cliffs in the lower end ofCataract Canyon when the reservoir level was down would have seen this. Some should take Senator Salazar and whoever else is interested up there to see where the missing sand is.
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Old 01-26-2013   #7
 
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From reading the first hand accounts of the 1950's river runners, 45,000 cfs is a GREAT flow to boat on. Flows up to 126,000 cfs were boatable and were boated back then, so Nate, glad you got a chance to run on that water! But, the sediment (and organic matter like driftwood) is trapped now behind dams and no where near enough is coming in to replenish or even sustain what is in the system now. Anyone who has looked for sand in the section below Hoover Dam to Willow Beach, or in Topock Gorge, will see a Colorado River denuded of sand and driftwood. It is only a mater of time until the river corrects all this. What would a Franken-storm on the upper Colorado River Basin do to the BOR's plumbing? I dread to think what the de-watering on Vegas, Phoenix and San Diego would do... we will see this if we live long enough... best to you all, tom
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Old 01-26-2013   #8
 
North Creek, New York
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I'm glad we got to experience it too. It was my first trip so it was pretty intense on that volume. From what I recall, Kwagunt and 60 Mile were semi-washed out. We saw the research crew above the Little Colorado. Lava Canyon Rapid was huge and our friends from Vermont were camped right below it RL. Above Tanner Rapid I got separated from the group when I got off line and took a huge couple laps in the eddy. Took all I had to get out of there. Biggest rapid of the day on that flow : Class 2 Basalt! Tried like hell to scout Unkar, nowhere to land, ended up being mostly washed out, on the inside anyway. All those camps were under water. I don't remember what Nevill's was like, but when we got to Hance it was mostly underwater. There was a woman there doing some time-lapse of the river level. We talked to her, but she didn't mention the camera. In the AM I saw the box on the hill and we were camped right in the frame. Oh well, we were part of the flood. Thanksgiving Layover at Hance with the teepee and wood stove.
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Old 01-26-2013   #9
 
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Nice Photo and thanks for sharing! In Big Water, Little Boats, when Fulmer was rowing on 126,000 cfs in 1957, the biggest ride they encountered was a hydraulic roller coaster between Lava Chuar and Tanner. The next year on 80,000 cfs, the hardest thing they dealt with was Granite Narrows just above Christmas Tree Cave where the river boils up on river left and sheets across the river, perpendicular to the river channel direction, and piles up into the right wall. One day the LCR will flood big-time, and the lucky folks on the river will have one heck of a wonderful ride! Was just reading about the 1927 Clyde Eddy river trip. The San Juan was flowing 50,000 cfs the last few days of June.... and the LCR passed 50,000 in 1929... Yours, tom
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