MCPHEE RESERVOIR WATER YEAR 2013 OPERATING PLAN
"This data is provisional and subject to change due to Dolores River inflow, future precipitation, weather patterns, managed release criteria and user demand."
Due to the poor snow accumulation and low reservoir elevations, no
managed releases are expected for recreational boating in 2015.
Due to the poor snow accumulation and low reservoir elevations, no managed releases are expected for recreational boating in 2015.
McPhee 2015 Releases
Current Schedule (Subject to minor adjustments)
Release Period Release Flow
June 17 – August 31, 2015 78 CFS
September 1 -13, 2015 70 CFS
September 14 - 30, 2015 40 CFS
October 1 - 31, 2015
October 1 - 31, 2015 39 CFS
November 1, 2015 - February 29, 2016
November 1, 2015 - February 29, 2016 30 CFS
There are no fish sampling releases at 400 CFS scheduled, or allocated water to supply larger release flows.
June 1, 2015: This spring runoff has been quite a roller coaster ride for Colorado and here on the Dolores River. March 1st, April 1st and May 1st forecasts continued their downward slide. There was never sufficient snow pack to fill the 195,000 acre foot (AF) of empty storage in McPhee on March 1. The extremely dry month of March dashed all hopes of coming close to filling the reservoir. By May 1st the inflow was forecasted at 110,000 AF versus the more normal 295,000 AF median over the last 30 years.
The Colorado River Basin drought continues into the 15th year and the May 1st Dolores Project supplies were forecast at 40% of allocation including the downstream fishery. Downstream releases were dropped to around 20 CFS by mid-April to save more water allocation for the warmer summer weather.
Then the unusual wet May arrived, the normal end of our accumulating runoff season. Precipitation was locally reported at 290% of normal for May. By mid May, the additional runoff was starting to show up in the river and forecasts rose to 156,000 AF, still well below normal inflow. The continued May rain and higher elevation snow will substantially increase Dolores Project supplies and the fishery releases have jumped to 50 CFS late last week based on Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) recent lower Dolores field surveys.
So today, the forecasters are working on their June 1st update, usually an afterthought, since the runoff has usually peaked and started diminishing. The forecast may increase slightly, but not near enough to fill McPhee. With close to a full supply the fishery will have flows up to 50 CFS this summer per the current schedule above. With the runoff ending in a month, final allocation numbers should be complete in July. Based on the final allocations the fishery releases may be adjusted up or down by approximately 10-20 CFS or extend the durations currently scheduled, based on CPW’s (fishery manager) input.
You can also call 970-882-2164, x5, Ken if you have questions or #1 for the control room for current conditions.
Dolores Gage below McPhee: http://www.dwr.state.co.us/SurfaceWater/data/detail_graph.aspx?ID=DOLBMCCO&MTYPE=DISCHRG
Dolores Gage at Dolores: http://nwis.waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?09166500
Slickrock Gage: http://nwis.waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?09168730
Gage at Bedrock: http://nwis.waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?09169500
Gage near Bedrock: http://nwis.waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?09171100
DWR Gages Division 7: http://www.dwr.state.co.us/SurfaceWater/data/division.aspx?div=7
DWR Gages Division 4: http://www.dwr.state.co.us/SurfaceWater/data/division.aspx?div=4
You can create your own “My Stations” on the DWR website to monitor all desired gages at once.
The most current releases are available at Division of Water Resources site, Dolores gage below McPhee, http://www.dwr.state.co.us. See more rafting detailed recommendations from our local Public Lands office at http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/sjplc/recreation/sjdolores.html.
NOTE: Release estimates are approximate and updates will be made available based on emerging weather conditions, in-flow rates and reservoir levels. Future weekly updates will be available at this site.
additional information about rafting on the