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McPhee Release Update for Monday May 22, 2023



 Notice: Starting at noon today, releases from McPhee began ramping down from 4,000 CFS to 3,000 CFS, which they will reach by midnight tonight.

This morning, USGS confirmed that instrument malfunction on the Dolores River at Dolores Gauge was causing the gauge to report artificially high flows. They are repairing the gauge now. In reaction, reservoir operators are reducing releases to maintain McPhee’s storage.

Currently, releases are expected to stay at 3,000 CFS into the weekend, but this may vary. Please check tomorrow’s and Thursday’s updates to confirm.

As usual, we will continue to monitor conditions and will update this page as the spill progresses.

The following is a message from Dolores River Boating Advocates:

As releases from McPhee exceed 3,000 cfs, the water becomes swift with limited eddys. It is important to be aware of your location on the river, especially if navigating through Snaggletooth or the rapids below Gateway. Camps will become inundated in some cases, and in others hard to catch or overgrown.

Potential hazards include bridges at high water levels with potentially limited clearance. Additionally, as the river rises, logs and wood will become mobilized and possibly create strainers and hazards. Further, in some areas, the channel may be braided, and it is important to be alert and aware of various options.

As flows increase or decrease, be sure to be aware of fluctuations and tie your boats up appropriately. Always bring necessary safety gear, and required equipment including a groover and firepan.


For more details on the current official forecast, go to


Useful Links:

Dolores Gage:

McPhee Elevation & Capacity:

Dolores below McPhee:

Slickrock Gage:

Bedrock Gage:

Bureau of Land Management:

The BLM has a detailed boating map of the Dolores river posted on their website. Link below.

BLM Avenza Map page for the Dolores:×40




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