Skip to main content

2017 McPhee Release Update


Wednesday May 31, 2017:  McPhee is currently releasing 78 CFS, but the next little bump is in sight.  We will start ramping up on Monday June 5 and have minimum boatable flows, 800 CFS, by Tuesday June 6.  They should reach Bradfield by noon – 12:00 PM – Tuesday.

Ramping up will be rapid on Monday, +/- 100 CFS increase every 3 hours. During this extended boating release, flows may fluctuate between 800 CFS and 1,200 CFS to maintain a consistent reservoir elevation.   

We see at least 3 days at 800+ CFS, including Tuesday.  On Monday’s update we hope to confirm whether inflows will allow us to achieve the full 5 day target period. 

We are confident about the next 4 – 5 days filling the reservoir and requiring the release of additional excess water, but we are not sure about the duration of this early June water.    The snow pack continues to shrink and CBRFC forecast shows a minor inflow increase over the weekend and then the final descending recession limb of the runoff.  The extra releases could run for a week to 10 days depending on actual volume of inflow during the extra releases and how fast the recession limb drops.

Starting Monday June 5, we will post updates more often, daily Monday – Friday.  Ramp down below 800 CFS will extend over 6 days (Daily Avg. releases of 700 CFS, 600 CFS, 500 CFS, 400 CFS, 300 CFS, 200 CFS) allowing those on the water some time to land.

 Current Notices:

SLICKROCK:  Continue to monitor DRBA for latest on Slickrock. Slickrock put-in/take-out access will happen on private property downstream of Hwy 141 bridge (bridge crosses Dolores River) about 200 yards past bridge on river left.  Look for small flagging in bushes on left.  DO NOT use the old boat ramp on river right upstream of bridge.  That is private property and is not accessible this season.  Additional info about Slickrock access and other information here from Dolores River Boating Advocates:

BEDROCK BRIDGE:  CDOT updates at .

American Whitewater also provides good information about this year’s rafting opportunities and details for boaters at

DOVE CREEK PUMPHOUSE ROAD:  Please be careful of heavy traffic in and out of the Dove Creek Pumps launch site.  The road narrows and trucks with trailers cannot pass each other at certain points.  Consideration of others and patience are appreciated here.

Dolores Gage:

McPhee Elevation & Capacity:

Dolores below McPhee:

Slickrock Gage:

Bedrock Gage: