Yes to all the posts, so far. Thanks for the GOOD VIBES!
To everyone reading this post, it should be noted that I, as a DRBA board member, have some access to info and some understanding of the pertinent issues/forces, but that DRBA does not have any "vote" in anything, we only have a seat at the discussion table, and that everything in this post is ONLY my best guess and opinion.
We will likely have a release that's counted in weeks, not days. Yes, Memorial Day will be ka-ray-zee, and so will the leading edge of the release, but anyone who can prioritize weekday launches will be rewarded.
Yesterday, as the AW article came out, Ken Curtis (the DWCD water engineer) came on our local radio station KSJD (that interview is likely archived), to talk about this stuff and he tentatively predicted 30-70 days of boatable flows. He is a good guy, who really sympathizes with all sides, but who's job security is tied to the AG community's priorities. So, he tends to be very conservative and cautious in his public statements.
What will be happening in the coming weeks, are communications and meetings between water managers, fishery managers, farmers and boaters, to discuss "shaping" the release for optimal benefit, for recreation, fish, river channel rehab (note: boater input, through proper channels is welcome. Proper channels would be the websites of DRBA, DWCD, AW, BLM, FB and similar. To be helpful, please keep your comments civil and articulate).
This is the kind of opportunity we've all been waiting for, for a number of years. Finally, enough water to "play with". There should be enough water to implement some of these experimental, but untried, flow models, to finally start to see what works and what doesn't. Boaters will likely give up a few days of minimal flows, in order to have a few days of higher (channel flushing) flows. Also, there is a pretty good chance that the lake will fill before the traditional BOR target date of Memorial Day, which means the release may begin earlier in May, by necessity. This will also be a rare opportunity for folks to do the whole run, from Bradfield to Moab, which is about 215 miles (!!), or any shorter version, given all the access points. YAHOO!!
The best places for info are:
Dolores Water Conservancy District
(They just switched to a new website and there is no current info yet, except for lake level info, but they will update release info as it comes in.)
Dolores River Boating Advocates
BLM Tres Rios office (headwaters to Bedrock).
BLM Montrose (Bedrock to Gateway)
BLM Moab (Gateway to Moab)
There is something screwy going on with Utah BLM...can't seem to find the Moab BLM field office site (which used to exist).
AW's Dolores page.
LET'S GO BOATIN'!!