Head's up for Lower Blue - Mountain Buzz

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Old 08-31-2006   #1
Loveland, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 510
Head's up for Lower Blue

As you've probably noticed, releases from Green Mountain bumped up yesterday to about 860 cfs. Before you make your holiday weekend plans, however, I have an important update regarding tomorrow.

The contractor working on the ring seal gates inside the dam is trying to wrap up the work before the holiday weekend. Divers will be removing the bulkhead tomorrow morning. In order to help them do this appropriately, we have to scale our releases to the Lower Blue back by about 400 cfs, or so.

We are scheduled to scale releases back by about 40 cfs tonight and then another 400 cfs tomorrow morning around 9 a.m.

We will be down in the 400 cfs range for about three hours. By tomorrow evening, we should be able to bump releases back up in two shifts, both in 200 cfs increments. So, if all work goes well, by tomorrow evening, we should be back up in the 800s for the Lower Blue.

Because the ramping down and back up of the releases will put some waves in the river at times difficult to predict (because they are dependent on work progress), it might be better to stay out of the Lower Blue until tomorrow evening.

Meanwhile, to prevent a "hole" on the Colorado River resulting from our ramping down, we are borrowing water from William's Fork and Wolford. They will both be upping their releases tomorrow morning to cover for our scaled back release. This should help keep flows more consistent through Gore Canyon and on downstream.

I'm in tomorrow for at least half the day--so feel free to shoot me an e-mail or give me a call if you have other questions or concerns.

And--have a great and safe Labor Day weekend!

Kara Lamb
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Eastern Colorado Office
Bureau of Reclamation
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Old 08-31-2006   #2
lmaciag's Avatar
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 674
Just curious... does this mean the flows are going to start coming off the bottom vs. the top? It's nice to know before you make the trek from the parking lot to the river if it is going to be mildly warm or freezing cold.

As always, thanks for the info Kara!

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Old 09-01-2006   #3
Loveland, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 510
Hi Laurie,
That's a very good question! Yes, it'll be colder--if they get all the work done today.

Once the work is complete, we'll be taking water from the bottom of the reservoir and releasing it through the powerplant again. And, the reservoir water level will finally start to drop down off the spillway gates.

I haven't heard otherwise, so it is safe to assume they've dropped the release level down to around 350-400 cfs and the divers are in the water. It should be like that until 1 o'clock this afternoon and then the bumping up will start.

By this evening, flows should be back in the mid-800cfs range.

Kara Lamb
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Eastern Colorado Office
Bureau of Reclamation
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