POSTED BY ERIC SPRAGUE ON JUNE 21, 2017
Wednesday June 21, 2017: Dolores River inflows dropped again last night, triggering the ramp-down below boatable flows to begin this morning. Downstream releases are at 800 CFS and dropping slowly at 25 CFS every 3 hours. Releases will continue to fall at this rate until they reach 600 CFS, then will hold at 600 for 24 hours before beginning to drop at the same rate of 25 CFS every 3 hours on Friday morning. This pattern of dropping for a day, then holding for a day will continue until flows reach 78 CFS. CPW will then budget the fish pool and final summer release rates will be posted later this month.
This late into the season, there is very little data available that can be used to forecast flows within 24 hours. Because it is difficult to discern what inflows will be doing in the short term, operational decisions become largely reactive. Having said that, the warm weather coinciding with reduced flows is a good indication that the seasonal recession has finally taken over.
Updates will continue to be posted at least twice weekly through the ramp-down.
As usual, the USGS Dolores River Gage at Dolores remains the best representation of inflows into McPhee (see the links below).
Those interested in utilizing the river during the following days should check the Dolores River Below McPhee Gage for flows directly beneath the dam (link below).
Help Guide the Future
As you finish your raft trip, please 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. 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.
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: www.doloresriverboating.org
BEDROCK BRIDGE: CDOT updates at https://www.codot.gov/news/2017-news/march/caution-to-boaters-near-co-90-bedrock-bridge-low-bridge-in-place-through-april-8-intermittent-river-closures-begin-mid-april .
American Whitewater also provides good information about this year’s rafting opportunities and details for boaters at http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/River/detail/id/385/.
Dolores Gage: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?09166500
McPhee Elevation & Capacity: http://www.dwr.state.co.us/SurfaceWater/data/detail_tabular.aspx?ID=MCPRESCO&MTYPE=ELEV
Dolores below McPhee: http://www.dwr.state.co.us/SurfaceWater/data/detail_graph.aspx?ID=DOLBMCCO&MTYPE=DISCHRG
Slickrock Gage: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?09168730
Bedrock Gage: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?09171100