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McPhee Release Update for Thursday April 9, 2020



McPhee is currently releasing approximately 35 CFS for the
downstream fishery, which will continue through the end of April at the
direction of CPW, when releases will increase to 50 CFS.

A managed release from McPhee continues to look unlikely for
this runoff season. For more information on the forecast, see below.

Notice from the USBR:

The Bureau of Reclamation does not anticipate hosting a public meeting regarding reservoir operations this spring because of the reduced likelihood of a managed release and to help prevent spread of COVID-19 in accordance with CDC, state and local guidance.

A note from the
Dolores River Boating Advocates (DRBA):

“Regardless of spill or no spill this season, more info about best boating practices in light of Covid-19 can be found at DRBA’s website and Facebook, and on American Whitewater’s (AW’s) website and Facebook.  Links to both websites are below.  This article from AW expresses boating options for this season:  How to Paddle in a Pandemic:”

We will update this page again later during the season if
there are any significant developments. 

More Forecast Info:

The McPhee basin runoff forecast – which fell steadily as a
result of below average precipitation during February and early March – was
buoyed briefly by the late March storms, but the improved forecast remained
insufficient to fill McPhee.

Since the April 1st official forecast, the CBRFC’s daily model forecasts have continued to fall as dry conditions quickly returned. Looking forward, in the short-term, there is a chance for some more moisture as a storm may be expected this weekend as the result of a closed low-pressure system currently moving west over Arizona. As a closed system, the direction it will travel is difficult for weather forecasters to predict, and there is a high degree of uncertainty with these types of events. It is possible the storm will just skirt the region as it passes to the south. If we do not see significant results from this storm, we can expect the forecast to continue to fall.

Longer term, the uncertainty in the forecast only increases.
The Climate Prediction Center’s 30-day precipitation outlook reports neutral
chances of increased versus decreased precipitation, while their three-month
outlook reports a 40% or greater probability of below average precipitation in
Southwest Colorado.

For more details on
the current official forecast, go to

Useful Links:

Dolores Gage:

McPhee Elevation &

Dolores below



Bureau of Land

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

Bradfield to Dove Creek

Dove Creek to Slickrock

Slickrock to Bedrock

Bedrock to Gateway

Gateway to Confluence with the Colorado River