Dolores River (CO) 2019 Spill Forecast Update
The Bureau of Reclamation and the Dolores Water Conservation District (DWCD) hosted a 2019 Spill Meeting for the boating public on April 18th at the Dolores Community Center. American Whitewater was joined on the panel by Dolores River Boating Advocates, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Riparian specialists from Fort Lewis College, and the Colorado River Basin Forecast Center (CRBFC). The CRBFC presented on how they develop their forecasts and all the variables included. Then we heard from the DWCD and Bureau about how the inflow forecasts would affect their operations plans for 2019. A two to four week boating season was predicted at the meeting. However, both entities were clear that the highly variable spring weather will do a lot to contribute to what that actually ends up looking like for boating.
DWCD put out their most recent predictions on April 23rd. More can be found on their website. We are expecting an updated forecast on May 6th and will be meeting with them on May 9th to begin discussions on how the recreational boating releases can align with other ecological goals. American Whitewater has developed a wide range of guidelines on how a spill can meet both recreation goals and goals to improve aquatic species and riparian health.
According to the DWCD, the first week of June is a good time to shoot for. Stay tuned for more updates on when to plan your Dolores river trip this year.
Photo credit: Cody Perry, Rig to Flip