San Juan trip late August/flows - Mountain Buzz

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Old 06-19-2019   #1
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 14
San Juan trip late August/flows

Anyone have any idea of anticipated flow during late August this year? I know CO is sitting fat for snowpack. In folks experience how’s the river into August for rowing a 16ft gear boat

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Old 06-19-2019   #2
Moab, Utah
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 47
Upper or Lower? Upper almost always has enough water. Lower is a different story.
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Old 07-02-2019   #3
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Flagstaff, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 74
August will likely have flows between 350 and 500 cfs. I don't think the snow is going to last until then,so you're just down to base flow coming from the Navajo Dam. We had an 18' boat down there last year in August, and several 14' boats. We all scraped the bottom a couple of times on sand/gravel bars but no big deal.
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Old 07-03-2019   #4
SLC, Utah
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 152
On the other hand, I once showed up for an early Sept SJ trip in a monsoon rain storm after weeks of 400 cfs, launched on 2k cfs, and was on the river as it peaked at 17k. So the river is like a box of chocolates.....
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Old 08-02-2019   #5
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 4
Update from San Juan River releases from Navajo Dam thread:

From sjnovak3:
Originally Posted by sjnovak3 View Post
Because this has been such a big water year we are actually moving water right now. End of water year goals are typically to go in with a reservoir in a position to avoid spill in the following year, should a large snow year occur.

We are timing these releases to benefit the endangered fish downstream. The San Juan River Recovery Implementation Program has requested a baseflow deviation (from our normal range of 500 to 1000 cfs) to 1500 cfs for the reach from Farmington to Lake Powell through September. That will likely result in a release that ranges between 800 and 1200 for the summer. In October, there will be a transitional period where we assess how much water we actually were able to move, and if it wasn't enough, those operations may continue for another month.

Once we hit November, there will be two weeks where we go as low as possible with the release to try to get the flows between Farmington and Lake Powell as close to 500 as possible. They will be doing some tests and experiments and drone flights to assess the difference in habitat between these two flow levels.

After that two-week period, operations will resume as normal, and we will go back to making releases to target something between 500 and 1000 cfs in that critical habitat reach.

Bottom line: Bluff flows will likely average near 1500 cfs through September and possibly even October. Flows November and later will be closer to 500 cfs.

Feel free to call or email with more questions. I happen to have seen the notification today for this message, but if I don't respond right away just email or call me.

Susan Novak Behery, P.E.
Hydraulic Engineer
Western Colorado Area Office
Durango, CO
[email protected]
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