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2017 McPhee Release Update


Monday June 19, 2017:  Releases below McPhee started ramping up today at 8:00 AM and will continue to increase at approximately 150 CFS per hour for about 5 hours. Downstream releases will be at 800 CFS around noon today and may reach as high as 1,200 CFS by midnight.

Over the weekend Dolores inflows to McPhee rose faster and higher than expected proving that the final seasonal recession had not yet finally taken over. The Dolores River began increasing on Saturday the 17th and continued through Sunday, even as the ramp-down had reduced reservoir releases. As a result, the reservoir elevation rose steadily over the weekend, triggering additional downstream releases to maintain elevations. 

The forecast continues to show increasing temperatures so increased runoff into McPhee remains a possibility through the next few days.  We will continue to monitor and adjust releases to keep elevations at appropriate levels, and daily release updates will continue to be posted until the ramp-down begins again.

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

The survey remains open for awhile to provide feedback on your boating experience.  Please take some time to complete the American Whitewater survey at:

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


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:

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


Dolores Gage:

McPhee Elevation & Capacity:

Dolores below McPhee:

Slickrock Gage:

Bedrock Gage: