Sounds like you been on this ride before... Yeah, I expect your prediction to be pretty accurate.Claiming this from the last Dolores thread...
I'd be willing to wager that the present snowpack has been inaccurately gauged, the reservoir will reach full pool, and the Dam crew will have to spill water.
The spillage, however, will come in the form of a poorly planned slow leak that never reaches "boatable flows".
But I'm going to go ahead and amend to add that the spill will last much longer than they claim, so if you miss Mem day weekend, you can still get some. However there will be no advanced notice that they will continue spilling. Or they will ramp down, but inflow will continue, so they will let the water dribble out, but at a minimal flow, as capacity is exceeded. ....dipshits.
Grumper,Sounds like you been on this ride before... Yeah, I expect your prediction to be pretty accurate.
I am curious. Where have they gone wrong? I have been looking at the site and until the last 4-5 days it was looking slim from the data I could find (NOAA/CRBF, NRCS, etc). It sounds like locals had a good guess a better spill was going to happen.
Its obvious snotel gauges are limited in the area which would affect predictions though the long term average would still be useful. But if a basin/headwaters area got saturated with snow and was not reflected in their measurements that would have a massive influence on predictions.
Thoughts? Curious to know how to better read the situation in the future.
Sorry for interjecting -- seeing as you were asking someone else's opinion, however, here goes my short version..
Snotell aggregation rarely tells an accurate story of a watershed that spans nearly 7,000 vertical feet of elevation range. As an example, spring weather can cause every station below 10,000 feet to melt out - meanwhile snow accumulates copiously at the few high elevation stations -- they should know not to rely on the average of the watershed.
Further, the vast majority of snowpack is stored up high on north faces and gullies. So even if early runoff appears very weak, it could be another month before weather warms adequately to release the bulk of the snowpack. By then the damkeepers are caught off guard and make release decisions which do not benefit boaters.
It seems every year that the dam does fill, the damkeepers are way off in their analysis, predictions, and guidance to boaters.
Yeah and thanks for your part, too. And to address part of your earlier post about what might bring about change (paraphrasing): It's gonna have to be cultural or a legal mandate. The water managers in this area don't really take our concerns (rec, fish, habitat) seriously, they just stay in the conversation out of obligation and a fear that the feds might come in and dictate policy to us all. I could go on and on, but I'll stop there.Yeah, the field efforts in Idaho are a great example of the benefits of supplementary field work. The snotel info is definitely limited in that area but can be misleading in general. I know my home basin can differ noticeably from year to year and isn't always reflected by the available data.
Thanks for sharing guys. Local expertise is always appreciated.
Dang. I had called around and gotten the owner's phone number and was planning to call....but now I guess I won't bother. Yeah, it will have an impact on some folks' plans, for sure.I called the BLM today to find out the latest details. What a mess. Their weblinks don't work. In addition, I found out that as of 5-16-16, Slickrock access is no longer, see below. I have a voice mail into the BLM guy to find out more.
Subject: Slickrock boat launch
Shannon, the Slick Rock boat access along the Dolores is on private land. In the past, it has been made available to the public for use (at a charge, I believe). I received a call from the landowner this morning, and he is not going to make his land available for use this year. That would be a pretty big deal IF there was a flow (which right now looks like a negative). Nonetheless, he would like us to take Slickrock off our our webpage. I looked at the webpage this morning. Pasted below is what we have on our webpage, along with my notes in RED as to how I think we should make adjustments:
Bradfield Launch to Slick Rock*
*The access point at Slick Rock located on private property. As of 5/16/16, the landowner has made the BLM aware that he will not be opening his property up to public use. Please respect private property rights and do not attempt to access the Dolores River at this location. The nearest BLM provided river access is located at the Gypsum Valley Recreation Site (see Gypsum Valley Boat Launch Map linked here).