POSTED BY KEN CURTIS ON JUNE 5, 2017
Monday June 5, 2017: Dolores River inflows will sustain releases for 6 days though at least Sunday June 11 at boatable flows of 800 CFS or greater. Currently downstream releases are 1,250 CFS and will rise to 1,400 – 1,600 CFS over the next few days to maintain reservoir elevation 6924.
While the reservoir tops out we are releasing excess flows above the 850 +/- CFS user diversions. Dolores River inflows rose through the last weekend reaching instantaneous values of almost 3,000 CFS (daily average of 2500 +/- CFS). Will they continue rising or have they peaked? CBRFC still shows the runoff recession starting this week, possibly tomorrow. The rate of recession is expected to start slowly.
Since McPhee is full, the real question is how long will inflows remain above the 1,700 CFS needed to meet minimum boatable flows of 800 CFS and diversions 850 +/- CFS. Even if the downward recession limb starts tonight, higher inflows will sustain through the weekend to Sunday June 11. Boatable downstream releases past Sunday are possible, but a little too far out to be certain at this point.
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.
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/.
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.
Call 970-882-2164 Extension #1, 5 or 6 if you have questions.
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