Green Mountain releases to L. Blue
Today (April 27) is our official "first day of fill" on Green Mountain Reservoir. It's time to start capturing the melting snow and fill the reservoir as much as we can. With the Blue basin somewhere in the 90% of average for snow-pack, we're anticipating we'll get the reservoir close to full this year.
What that means for the Lower Blue below the dam is that yesterday and this morning, we cut releases back. Prior to yesterday (April 26), we were running about 350 cfs out of the dam to the river. By lunch today, we'll be running about 100 cfs to the Lower Blue.
I was asked if we'll have high releases later this spring. The only thing I can see bumping up releases from Green Mountain to the Lower Blue this spring is the Coordinated Reservoirs Operations program that we sometimes run in late May or early June. The goal of the program is to help the endangered fish of the Upper Colorado during peak run-off. Two things determine whether or not we'll participate in that program each year: the flows in the Colorado just upstream of Grand Junction and the amount of snowpack.
Snowpack is not quite as high as we'd like. We're waiting to see how high flows come up in the Colorado. If they do not reach a certain level, we might send releases from Green Mountain downstream to help augment to the benefit of the endangered fish.
If we do not run the program this year, Lower Blue flows will probably stay around the 100 cfs level for a while.
Have a great weekend--by all accounts, it sounds like it'll be a good one.
Eastern Colorado Office
Bureau of Reclamation