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Lake Estes and Olympus Dam


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In anticipation of a jump in runoff tonight in the Big Thompson River, we will increase releases out of Olympus Dam to 175 cfs. This is a tiny increase that should not have any impact on any activities along the Big Thompson Canyon.
At 9:00 p.m. tonight, releases will increase to 225 cfs to the Big Thompson Canyon to pass inflow. At midnight, we will begin a series of increases, in 50 cfs steps, until reaching 425 cfs. The flow will be noticeable, but it does not present any ...concern.
Additionally, the Big Thompson Powerplant and the Wasteway will be returning another 550 cfs at the mouth of the Big Thompson Canyon. That water is taken away from Lake Estes through the Olympus Tunnel and the southern arm of the system to generate power, which helps to keep the canyon flows lower.
It is highly likely that the releases from Olympus Dam will go higher as the week progresses. We will do everything we can to keep those releases as low as possible.
 

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be heads up for culverts in the sections below the gnar. The upper canyon is free of culverts but there is wood in a few spots.

also, why are they keeping flows to a minimum below the res.? for fisherman? I am guessing its to keep the culverts from washing out, either way 450 is a great level in there.

keep in mind, the big thompson is MEAN!!! those rocks are sharp and that shit doesnt let up!!!!

have fun boys and girls!!!!!
 

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Where are the culverts? They're not passable?

In the main section below the gnar.

After the floods they used culverts for the home owners access on the non-road side. there were at least 4 or 5 in the main section below the gnar and couldn't handle much flow, be heads up. quick moving water leading in, not many big eddys. I will get some pictures up this evening.
 

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They're probably trying to keep it as low as possible because there is no place for that water to go. I was just walking down by the Big T in Loveland and it's practically bankfull in places - normally they send that water to horsetooth, but horsetooth is currently full.

You can see a number of culverts from the road. I haven't run it since the flood, just driven up the canyon, so I can't say if there are culverts in the places where the river goes away from the road.

Big T is super fun if you are rightside up, less so if you roll or swim.
 

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I have not boated Big T, but I did drive up and down the canyon the other day. There are some big yellow highway signs specifically worded for kayakers at river level warning of upcoming culverts. I do not know the sections they're in or if they precede all culverts. Hope this is marginally helpful.
 
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