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McPhee Release Update for Monday June 24, 2019


McPhee is currently releasing flows of approximately 1,200 CFS downstream.

  • After a brief spike in inflows Friday, cold weather brought inflows rapidly down. Releases have ramped down to 1,200 CFS to allow McPhee to fill the last 5 inches.
  • Releases are expected to remain at 1,200 CFS through Thursday June 27th and at or above 1,000 CFS through next weekend, Sunday June 30th. More details will continue to be announced on later posts.
  • When McPhee reaches full, managers will begin operating releases to balance inflows and maintain reservoir elevation at full. Due to the variation in inflows caused by both diurnal shifts and unpredictable weather patterns, it is possible releases will fluctuate at times through the end of the spill over the next 7 – 10 days.

Currently, inflows are expected to turn up later during the week as the warming weather brings down any remaining snowpack. How high inflows get and how long they may last is unknown; however, after this week’s bump in flows, it is expected that the final recession in inflows will begin.

The managed release is now winding down for the year. The ramp-down from 800 CFS down to basic fishery releases is expected to start sometime in early July, and should last approximately a week, then the spill will be over. Please continue to check back on this site regularly for new updates, primarily on Mondays and Thursdays.

Over the weekend, inflows dropped more steeply due to the colder weather than the River Forecast Center projected, and McPhee is not as full now as managers predicted. The question today is, “How much of the drop in inflows is reduction of snowmelt due to the cold weather and how much is the drop in inflows from the snowpack running out?” If there is an indication within the next two or three days that the snow is running out, managers may be forced to start the spill ramp-down earlier, potentially before the end of the month.


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:



The following are links to the American Whitewater River Inventory pages for the lower Dolores River:

Bradfield to Dove Creek

Dove Creek to Slickrock

Slickrock to Bedrock

Bedrock to Gateway

Gateway to Confluence with the Colorado River