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McPhee Release Update for Monday June 10, 2019


McPhee is currently releasing approximately 2,600 CFS downstream.

  • Managers increased releases on Sunday to 2,600 CFS to abate reservoir elevation gain as inflows into McPhee Reservoir exceeded projected peak inflows over the weekend.
  • Releases are expected to remain at approximately 2,000 to 2,600 CFS through this week and next weekend, June 15th and 16th, as current model runs suggest the current near-peak inflows (around 4,000 CFS) will continue through Sunday.
  • Following the weekend, releases are expected to ramp down some as inflows recede, though timing and target flows are still uncertain.

Releases will remain at a minimum of 1,200 CFS through Sunday June 23rd, after which flows are yet to be determined. Based on the margin of error in current inflow forecasts, it is possible there will be additional rafting days – this should become more clear in coming weeks. Details on flows following June 23rd should be available the week beforehand. More details will continue to be announced on later posts.

On Sunday morning, inflows into McPhee reached a peak of 4,880 CFS. This peak was both higher and earlier than forecasted, filling McPhee faster than was expected when the last update was posted. Because of this and the continued higher inflows projected for the upcoming week, the lower releases (1,200 to 1,800 CFS) originally intended for Tuesday through Thursday of this week would have caused the reservoir to fill earlier than desired, reducing control over the remaining releases downstream.  To avoid this, releases are now scheduled to remain above 2,000 CFS through the present week. Releases are still expected to be at optimal rafting flows or more for the weekend, June 15th and 16th.

McPhee is currently about 15,000 AF below full capacity and should fill steadily over the next two or three weeks. As demonstrated by the change in releases this week, there remains the possibility that, should inflows increase dramatically beyond what is forecasted, managers will be forced to increase releases to maintain the desired steady gain in reservoir elevation. Please continue to check back on this site regularly for new updates, primarily on Mondays and Thursdays.

Currently, a high-pressure system is present over central Colorado, and above average temperatures are expected through Friday June 14th; however, some scattered cloud cover remains over the Dolores headwaters. The high temperatures combined with the substantial amount of snowpack remaining at high elevations are expected to sustain inflows around 4,000 CFS through to the weekend.

If you have questions, the best way to address DWCD is through the “Contact” page of this website. Otherwise you can try calling 970-882-2164 extensions 5, 1 or 6.

Dolores Gage:

McPhee Elevation & Capacity:

Dolores below McPhee:

Slickrock Gage:

Bedrock Gage: