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No flows for Memorial Day. Sounds like they'll ramp it up for the weekend of June 4th and have sustained flows for about 10 days.

Dolores Water Conservancy District

Also, just FYI, was informed that the Dolores River Guide has gone out of print and are no longer available. Snatch em up while you can...
 

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Mile 157
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Thanks for the beta! I truly hope the water conservancy district is for real with this release. Fyi for those hunting for their own copy, Out West Books in Grand Junction has several copies of the Dolores guide on the shelf for sale.
 

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Pieter Porcupine
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If and when they decide to do a release will they inform the public precisely how long the release will happen? We are shooting for the end of the pour and I don't want to get suck in ponderosa gorge with a boat full of beer when they turn the valve off.

"Playin wit my rivers is like playin wit my emotions."
 

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If and when they decide to do a release will they inform the public precisely how long the release will happen? We are shooting for the end of the pour and I don't want to get suck in ponderosa gorge with a boat full of beer when they turn the valve off.

"Playin wit my rivers is like playin wit my emotions."
Though I can't speak for BuRec/McPhee, we (boaters) have been working on communications and it seems to be improving.
Just gotta stay tuned to the DWCD website:

Dolores Water Conservancy District

They should be giving us firm dates shortly after the Memorial Day weekend. The "shutting off the water and stranding boaters" problem that has happened in the past is less likely, because they are being super conservative in their estimates (which has it's own frustrations), but it's more likely that the release will run long, than be cut short.
 

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Here's the status of the Slickrock access point on the Lower Dolores:

DOLORES RIVER: SLICK ROCK PUT-IN AND TAKE OUT UPDATE
You will be able to launch a raft from Slick Rock on the Dolores River in 2016. The location is NOT the one listed in the river guides. The 2016 launch location will be at river mile 47 ¼, on the west side of the river downstream from the bridge that crosses the river on river left.
There is ample parking at the site and two access points. Parking a vehicle (with or without a trailer) will be $7.00 a day.
This will be the only put-in or take-out at Slick Rock. All of the land upriver and downriver is private with no access. The public access upstream of mile 46 marked on some maps is not viable (rutted and steep with river access blocked by a fence.)
THE OLD LAUNCH that is marked in the river guides WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE.
In one guide this 2016 launch location is listed as, “Chuck Wagon Cafe. Pay Phone and H2O available.” It is also known as the Slickrock Store.
With the help of The Dolores Water Conservation District, The Dolores River Boating Advocates worked with the local landowners to open this site for 2016.
Be Kind and Respect the Property.
Thanks,
Dolores River Boating Advocates
 

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In my guidebook, the old river access point was at river mile 47-1/4 or pretty close to it. This is on the east side of the river upstream from the bridge. Its been fenced off for a few years, so I wouldn't expect it to be available for use. Is the 2016 access point at river mile 48-1/4 since there is a road on the west bank at this location which is also downstream from the highway bridge?
 

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In my guidebook, the old river access point was at river mile 47-1/4 or pretty close to it. This is on the east side of the river upstream from the bridge. Its been fenced off for a few years, so I wouldn't expect it to be available for use. Is the 2016 access point at river mile 48-1/4 since there is a road on the west bank at this location which is also downstream from the highway bridge?
The new access point is on the same property as the old store, which is on river left (the west side), just downstream of the bridge. There is a county road on both sides going downstream, but the road on the east side does not offer legal access to the river.
 

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In my guidebook, the old river access point was at river mile 47-1/4 or pretty close to it. This is on the east side of the river upstream from the bridge. Its been fenced off for a few years, so I wouldn't expect it to be available for use. Is the 2016 access point at river mile 48-1/4 since there is a road on the west bank at this location which is also downstream from the highway bridge?
As I look at my guidebook, I think the 47 1/4 is just a slightly different interpretation of distance. The old (river right) access seems to be a little less than a 1/4 mile from 47 and the new access slightly more.
 

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Shuttle Companies

Kinda a hijack but this seems to be the best place for all things dolores.

Anyone know if there are any reputable peeps still running shuttles on the Dolores. I can't see how anyone would be able to make a go of it, but thought I'd give it a shot.
 

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Kinda a hijack but this seems to be the best place for all things dolores.

Anyone know if there are any reputable peeps still running shuttles on the Dolores. I can't see how anyone would be able to make a go of it, but thought I'd give it a shot.
Not a hijack.

There may be others, but here's what I know:
Dolores River Shuttle Service
(20+ years in biz)
Jamie: 970-677-2301 or 970-739-4561
Torie: 970-560-1475

They have a good reputation, but this is not an endorsement, just sharing what I know.
 

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DWCD update 5/26

Hi all,

Here's the latest update from DWCD on the upcoming release on the Lower Dolores:

Dolores Water Conservancy District

The short version is that the release may get moved up a day or two....or it may not.

Man, courting these dammed rivers feels high-maintenance!
Give me a natural river any day!
 

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If and when they decide to do a release will they inform the public precisely how long the release will happen?
It is very clear to me that they will never again "decide" to release. This year the lake will overflow so they absolutely have to release. They were going to do it over Memorial Day, but ignorantly misjudged the runoff timing and were very happy to re-neg on that as soon as it became apparent that they had the opportunity to delay.

By delaying, they don't mathematically get to release less, but in the mean time they can continue to suck as much out of the lake for irrigation as possible, and by waiting until it absolutely hits the max capacity, they can make sure they don't accidentally send an extra cubic foot down the river valley instead of down the irrigation ditch.

Don't bet that they won't halt release and strand boaters, if they misjudge the runoff again and realize valuable alfalfa water is being "wasted" on the Dolores River they will cut the flow.

I'm really irritated, especially since there's been no release since 2011 and they had the flow so low that they allowed an enormous fish kill to happen when a flash flood of mud hit the river valley - so silty due to no water in the Dolores that it even killed the silt tolerant native fish all while biologists were actively conducting a fish count.

From what I can see they care nothing for the river and have no shame.

Disgusting.
 

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It is very clear to me that they will never again "decide" to release. This year the lake will overflow so they absolutely have to release. They were going to do it over Memorial Day, but ignorantly misjudged the runoff timing and were very happy to re-neg on that as soon as it became apparent that they had the opportunity to delay.

By delaying, they don't mathematically get to release less, but in the mean time they can continue to suck as much out of the lake for irrigation as possible, and by waiting until it absolutely hits the max capacity, they can make sure they don't accidentally send an extra cubic foot down the river valley instead of down the irrigation ditch.

Don't bet that they won't halt release and strand boaters, if they misjudge the runoff again and realize valuable alfalfa water is being "wasted" on the Dolores River they will cut the flow.

I'm really irritated, especially since there's been no release since 2011 and they had the flow so low that they allowed an enormous fish kill to happen when a flash flood of mud hit the river valley - so silty due to no water in the Dolores that it even killed the silt tolerant native fish all while biologists were actively conducting a fish count.

From what I can see they care nothing for the river and have no shame.

Disgusting.
I hear ya. It's very frustrating and even disgusting to watch how the water is managed. This is a very rough number and would not hold in some years, but, I believe if there was a 10% shift in the water allocation, from irrigation to in-stream flow, I doubt if we'd even be having any of these conversations. There would be some sort of boating release more years than not, and the native and sport fisheries would be okay, too. 10%.

And it's a minor miracle that those biologists were even down there on a survey to witness and document that fish kill, otherwise, no one would've even known about it.
 

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CBrow
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Nice call out. And true to the point. We are at the mercy of the bean farmers. I hope the river keepers realize that the Dolores is going to need a sustained release matching the current in flow and predicted run off which sounds very promising = big water for at least a week or so.
 

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A Political Theorist
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Don't Blame Dry Land Bean Farmers

The bean farmers tried to prevent the damned dam.

Reagan's 1980s greed is still good in the alfalfa-loving Dolores Water Conservancy District. If they could snort enough water to keep it out of the Dolores River below McPhee, I believe they would.

Warm weather and a freaky big/stalled storm could bring down the snow and force a big release sooner, and for fewer days. A speed run might still be in order.
 

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We're at the mercy of the people who own the water rights. If you don't like it, raise the money to buy the water rights and donate them to a non-profit whose purpose is to maintain streamflows in the riverbed.

Or just change the state constitution and laws that allows anyone to appropriate any water in the state for a beneficial use without any concern for public, recreational, or environmental use.

The Federal or State Government could probably use eminent domain to force the sale of the highest priority water rights and allocate those for public use/benefit.

Buying the rights, even through eminent domain (which many will argue is not an honest "buying" of rights) is easier than trying to change the state constitutional provisions about appropriating water.
 
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