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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings mountainbuzzards!

Denver Water is planning on draining antero reservoir at the head of their southern delivery system. They are going to do some dam repairs to Antero. Plan is to completely drain the reservoir some time this year. Details aren't there yet... they depend on snowpack, reservoir storage etc.

I have lobbied Denver Water to consider recreational paddling flows as the reservoir is drained, but I would like some feedback from paddlers on what optimum flows are for the Cheeseman and Elevenmile stretches. I have never run either of these, but my memmory is that a range of 300-500 cfs might be a good range of flows.

What flows would you like to see? Whats the prime flow?

Thanks,
Ian
 

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I think 3-400 is best for Cheeseman, though according to whoever I talked to most recently about running it (Tom Janney I believe), it is a woody mess at the moment. If my memory serves right 3-600 is ideal for Elevenmile. Since many people will not run the class V put-in and take-out drops, a little more flow is ideal for rest of the run. I think 350-75 is probably optimal for both stretches. So ya, you're on the right track.
 

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Eleven Mile used to be in my back yard. 450 - 500 would be fantastic due to the smaller stream bed. I've run it at 600 and it was a blast. If you need any help hit me up Ian.
 

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I'd need to look at my book of zen, but I seem to recall "450-good, not worth it any lower." So there you have it, 600 to 900 in 11-mile would be about perfect, no lower than 450. Above 900 would probably get spicy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the input. Prob don't need a flow survey for this Evan. I just want to give DW a range of flows that enable good paddling as one of the many inputs they are working with. Sounds like the current plan is to drain June to August roughly. The main focus on this reach is fish management but we might be able to get some good flows. I'll keep you posted as it progresses.
 

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Although the same river, these two sections have very different optimum flows.

500 is a good low flow for Elevenmile, and that same 500 is slightly pushy for Cheeseman. Elevenmile would be great with 800, and that is probably too much for most of the Cheeseman rapids.

That said, Cheeseman is a woody mess right now, so 1200cfs might help flush out the wood. Maybe we can start with a high water release, and then drop it down over the course of draining.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Latest from Denver Water is that they will start draining antero starting in June and hoping to wrap up in early August.

Based on back of the envelope math, draining should release ~75-125 additional cfs. Not a whole lot of extra flow, but on top of runoff it might be enough extra juice to get cheeseman or elevenmile good.

As the time gets closer, my plan is to have conversations with DW to ask them to keep in mind optimal boating flows and see if they are willing to potentially bump up releases to help get good flows for at least a period of time.
 

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We were in there at the end of last summer, Holy crap there was a lot of wood.
That said, could be a fun clean out mission. Chainsaws and come alongs would definitely be needed. We were thinking hike down from Madacat Road and camp/stage at the fire ring on river left in the middle of the run. I'd imagine it would take a pretty burly crew quite a few days to clean it up. If anyone's interested, hit me up I'd be happy to join, just need to put some motivation to put on the stokey pants. -Shannon
 

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Ran Eleven Mile at 315 last year and still had a great time but that was about the lowest I'd want to bother with it. Even that low we had to skip the V's because they looked like 6's. We had to get out for one log and gorilla armed over another. They were big logs and would take a chainsaw to get out. Both would have been safe to paddle over and not too pushy to be scary with another 50-100 cfs. More than that and you'd probably have to get out to walk around both for fear of being flushed into the branches accidentally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hard to say how drainage will impact the tunnel. Simple answer is that an extra 120 cfs from the south platte is 120 cfs less needed from the north fork, so my guess is that tunnel flows would be slightly less than otherwise needed in June/July.

I talked to DW about the tunnel flows for the season... I think we will still need tunnel flows in late july and aug, when prime bailey after runoff season is in play. The DW reservoirs are pretty full, which means we have decent supply on the east slope. DW noted that they may turn on the tunnel before runoff hits is things stay dry and water demand goes up. More likely scenario is the tunnel won't turn on til later in the season. With the below avg snowpack we are having this year, my guess is a decent season on the north fork.
 
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