Releases To Lower Dolores River Still Certain for 2017
By: Evan Stafford
Cortez, Colorado - American Whitewater and local interests in Dolores Water sat down again this month with the most current snowpack, water supply, and McPhee Reservoir storage data, to determine how releases, if possible, can be timed to provide the best boating opportunities, while doing good things for fish, and the health of the River.
Releases for the lower Dolores River will happen in 2017. Releases are currently set to start in April. We are actively negotiating with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and the Bureau of Reclamation, and while nothing is set in stone yet, we are updating these efforts to provide as much notice of releases as possible – so here is the latest:
Releases to start on April 10, with ramping from 50 cfs to 450 cfs.
Boatable flows of 850 cfs by April 11.
April 12 – 15 @ 1000 cfs
April 16 - 21 @ 1200 cfs
April 22 – May 12 @ 2000 cfs
May 13 – 16 @ 2500 cfs
Ramping to 4000 cfs by May 19 and holding this peak release for four days, through May 23.
Ramping down to 2500 cfs over 8 days to May 31.
Continued ramping down to 800 cfs on June 14.
Please note! This is incredibly exciting to say the least and the forecast is as good for the Dolores as it has looked in recent years, but this flow calendar is still very early in the process and is subject to change.
AW will be working with the Dolores Water Conservancy District, Bureau of Reclamation, and local partners over the next several weeks to finalize the schedule of releases. Stay Tuned as more data and information becomes available.