Why is the Ark so low already? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 08-08-2011   #1
yesimapirate's Avatar
Up shites creek, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
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Why is the Ark so low already?

If I'm not mistaken, isn't the Arkansas regulated in large part by the release of water for Twin Lakes and Clear Creek Lake? With the monster surplus of snow melt this year, you can drive by both of these ponds and see they are filled to the brim (even this late in the year). There might still be a small amount of snow melt still to come, but for the most part I'm thinking it's controlled release that's feeding the flow. Which leads to the question - what's the reason for the low release? I've looked for a thread that might have some official numbers of what is supposed to be released, but either my search skills suck or it's not out there.

The water's obviously still high enough to run, but with such a big snowpack ...I'm greedy and was hoping for more CFS this late in the season. I'm not asking for big water, just a number somewhere around 1K for a week or 3 more!

Note - I totally realize I should be grateful for all the big splashyness the Ark and many other rivers have provided this year.

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Old 08-08-2011   #2
Evergreen, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2007
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I noticed that today as well, I was hoping to get another Ark float in before the end of the season...
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Old 08-08-2011   #3
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I'm pretty sure the agreement is 750 at Wellsville through Aug. 15th. It's 850 at Wellsville.
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Old 08-08-2011   #4
Join Date: May 2006
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1. It's not really that low considering the date

2. The Ark had a pretty average snowpack this year ftp://ftp-fc.sc.egov.usda.gov/CO/Sno...ehiloark11.gif
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Old 08-09-2011   #5
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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Hmmm. The water has dropped because the snow is gone. They aren't going to just dump the reservoirs so we have high water in August. They are releasing aproximately what is coming in. The native flows are high enough that they don't have to augment to keep it above the agreed upon 700 cfs at Wellsville until Aug. 15th. The reservoirs are full, and there hasn't been any calls for project water downstream....so I am guessing we will have boatable water most of the fall.
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Old 08-09-2011   #6
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Salida, Colorado
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Imyers, you nailed it. This recreational augmentation is only a verbal agreement to help the recreation/tourist economy in the Ark Valley. It is only a verbal agreement and all other water users get priority use over recreational. There are never any guarantees. We have had an exceptionally high, great water year, and it looks like it may not go down on Aug 16 like it usually does. This level is perfect with the warm water for duckies, SUB's, mini me's, and fishing. So let's go boating, summer is not over yet.
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Old 08-09-2011   #7
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You can see the target versus curent flow here:
WaterFlow Levels

Based on the past year, the BOR won't draw down the reservoirs until late winter. I recall reading they like the pool to be at a certain level before ice-over so that may result in another release.
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