IIRC, the commercials ran it all season in 2002. Yeah, that's ancient history but they did it then with about the same technology we've got now. Check out the flows during that season if you want to see just how bad it can get:
ARKANSAS RIVER NEAR NATHROP 2002 Season
Note that there's no drop off around 8/15, indicating it was only natural flows with zero flow augmentation. Also note that from late June through the end of the season, the flow was in the sub-300 cfs range.
They'd have been psyched to have a week-long bump up to the current 400 - 450 cfs we've got this season.
Here's 2012 for comparison (300 - 400 cfs most of the season):
ARKANSAS RIVER NEAR NATHROP, CO 2012 Season
And fishermen run it all the time during the low water months.