Skip to main content

2017 McPhee Release Update


Wednesday June 7, 2017:  Dolores River inflows continue down, possibly influenced by yesterday’s cloud cover & mountain showers.  Our downstream releases are chasing the dropping Dolores at Dolores Gage numbers and we expect to release at 1,200 CFS over night.  We continue to make daily adjustments to downstream releases, but the releases will not drop below 800 CFS through Sunday June 11. 

Inflow and corresponding downstream releases could bounce up slightly tomorrow, but will generally be headed down.  We foresee a 1,000 CFS day tomorrow or Friday, then one or two at 800 CFS before the final ramp down.  There remains a chance that releases continue at 800 CFS or more a day or two past Sunday, but that remains unclear today. 

So the final runoff recession appears to have started, but will remain sufficient to require excess releases downstream through Sunday June 11.  McPhee downstream releases will remain 1,000 – 1,400 CFS for the near term and above 800 CFS through Sunday.  To meet both diversions and rafting flows requires daily average inflows of approximately 1,700 CFS that could last past Sunday.

 Help Guide the Future

As you come off the water we hope you will take some time to complete the American Whitewater survey at:

The survey responses will inform and help shape future managed release planning efforts.

We will continue daily updates Monday – Friday to confirm the forecast and extend boating days as they become apparent.  When the inflows basically equal outflows we will start the ramp down.  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:

Call 970-882-2164 Extension 5, 1 or 6 if you have questions.

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: