Author Archive for Eric Sprague

2017 McPhee Release Update

Lower Dolores River

2017 Post Release

Presentation and Discussion

Wednesday, August 16th

Dolores Community Center

6 – 8 PM

Monday July 17, 2017:  As of today, releases below McPhee are at 78 CFS. Releases will remain around 78 CFS until mid September when they will drop to 40 CFS and hold there through the winter. Flows will rise again to 50 CFS in March.

 

Help Guide the Future

The survey remains open for awhile to provide feedback on your boating experience.  Please take some time to complete the American Whitewater survey at:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/AW_2017Dolores

The survey responses will inform and help shape future managed release planning efforts.

Current Notices:

Call 970-882-2164 Extension 5, 1 or 6 if you have questions.

Dolores River Boating Advocates:  www.doloresriverboating.org

American Whitewater: http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/River/detail/id/385/.

Dolores Gage:    https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?09166500

McPhee Elevation & Capacity:  http://www.dwr.state.co.us/SurfaceWater/data/detail_tabular.aspx?ID=MCPRESCO&MTYPE=ELEV

Dolores below McPhee:  http://www.dwr.state.co.us/SurfaceWater/data/detail_graph.aspx?ID=DOLBMCCO&MTYPE=DISCHRG

Slickrock Gage:  https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?09168730

Bedrock Gage:          http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?09171100

2017 McPhee Release Update

SHORT TERM HIGH FLOWS STILL IN EFFECT, FLOWS DROPPING, ROUGH FOOTING IN THE STREAM BED.

Thursday July 13, 2017:  Releases below McPhee are currently still at 450 CFS and will decrease to 200 CFS this afternoon.  These special releases from CPW are intended to hinder non-native Small Mouth Bass (SMB) spawning down river. Releases will remain at 450 CFS through 3:00 PM today, then flows flows will ramp back down to 78 CFS by early tomorrow morning (4:00 AM).

 

Help Guide the Future

The survey remains open for awhile to provide feedback on your boating experience.  Please take some time to complete the American Whitewater survey at:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/AW_2017Dolores

The survey responses will inform and help shape future managed release planning efforts.

Current Notices:

Call 970-882-2164 Extension 5, 1 or 6 if you have questions.

Dolores River Boating Advocates:  www.doloresriverboating.org

American Whitewater: http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/River/detail/id/385/.

Dolores Gage:    https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?09166500

McPhee Elevation & Capacity:  http://www.dwr.state.co.us/SurfaceWater/data/detail_tabular.aspx?ID=MCPRESCO&MTYPE=ELEV

Dolores below McPhee:  http://www.dwr.state.co.us/SurfaceWater/data/detail_graph.aspx?ID=DOLBMCCO&MTYPE=DISCHRG

Slickrock Gage:  https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?09168730

Bedrock Gage:          http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?09171100

2017 McPhee Release Update

SHORT TERM HIGH FLOWS IN EFFECT, FLOWS RISING, ROUGH FOOTING IN THE STREAM BED.

Monday July 10, 2017:  Releases below McPhee are currently at 200 CFS and will increase to 450 CFS around midnight tonight.  These special releases from CPW are intended to hinder non-native Small Mouth Bass (SMB) spawning down river. Releases will remain at 450 CFS through 3:00 PM Thursday July 13.  Then the flows will ramp back down to 78 CFS by early Friday morning (4:00 AM).

 

Help Guide the Future

The survey remains open for awhile to provide feedback on your boating experience.  Please take some time to complete the American Whitewater survey at:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/AW_2017Dolores

The survey responses will inform and help shape future managed release planning efforts.

Current Notices:

Call 970-882-2164 Extension 5, 1 or 6 if you have questions.

Dolores River Boating Advocates:  www.doloresriverboating.org

American Whitewater: http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/River/detail/id/385/.

Dolores Gage:    https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?09166500

McPhee Elevation & Capacity:  http://www.dwr.state.co.us/SurfaceWater/data/detail_tabular.aspx?ID=MCPRESCO&MTYPE=ELEV

Dolores below McPhee:  http://www.dwr.state.co.us/SurfaceWater/data/detail_graph.aspx?ID=DOLBMCCO&MTYPE=DISCHRG

Slickrock Gage:  https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?09168730

Bedrock Gage:          http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?09171100

HOUSE CREEK BOAT RAMP EXTENDS HOURS OF OPERATION FOR HOLIDAY WEEKEND

DOLORES, Colorado – June 27, 2017

To help accommodate increased motorized boating at McPhee Reservoir, the invasive species inspection station for the House Creek Boat Ramp will extend its hours of operation over the coming holiday weekend. The House Creek inspection station will be open from 6a.m. to 8p.m. Friday, June 30 through Tuesday, July 4. McPhee is one of a few reservoirs in southwestern Colorado with operating mussel inspection stations that allow for motorized boating in its waters. In addition to House Creek, the inspection station at the McPhee Boat Ramp will remain open seven days a week from 6a.m. to 8 p.m.; however, the McPhee Boat Ramp is often more crowded than the House Creek Boat Ramp. All other access points to McPhee Reservoir have been gated to prevent uninspected boats from entering the reservoir.

All motorized boats should be prepped prior to launching to reduce time at the ramp.  Previously inspected boats carrying documentation and tags moving through the inspection station process in about 10 minutes.  The process for boats that have not been cleaned, drained and dried, and thus require decontamination takes more time.

 

For more information, contact Tom Rice at 970 882 6843.

2017 McPhee Release Update

Thursday June 22, 2017:  Downstream releases are at 600 CFS and will hold there until 7:00 AM tomorrow morning before beginning to drop at a rate of 25 CFS every 3 hours again. This pattern of dropping 200 CFS for a day, then holding for a day will continue until flows reach 78 CFS. CPW will then budget the fish pool and final summer release rates will be posted later this month.

Now that the ramp-down has begun and inflows are falling steadily, updates will no longer be posted daily.

As usual, the USGS Dolores River Gage at Dolores remains the best representation of inflows into McPhee (see the links below).

Those interested in utilizing the river during the following days should check the Dolores River Below McPhee Gage for flows directly beneath the dam (link below)

Help Guide the Future

As you finish your raft trip, please take some time to complete the American Whitewater survey at:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/AW_2017Dolores

The survey responses will inform and help shape future managed release planning efforts.

We will continue daily updates.  When the inflows basically equal outflows we will start the ramp down.  Ramp down below 800 CFS will extend over 6 days (Daily Avg. releases of 700 CFS, 600 CFS, 500 CFS, 400 CFS, 300 CFS, 200 CFS) allowing those on the water some time to land.

 

Current Notices:

 

Call 970-882-2164 Extension 5, 1 or 6 if you have questions.

SLICKROCK:  Continue to monitor DRBA for latest on Slickrock. Slickrock put-in/take-out access will happen on private property downstream of Hwy 141 bridge (bridge crosses Dolores River) about 200 yards past bridge on river left.  Look for small flagging in bushes on left.  DO NOT use the old boat ramp on river right upstream of bridge.  That is private property and is not accessible this season.  Additional info about Slickrock access and other information here from Dolores River Boating Advocateswww.doloresriverboating.org

BEDROCK BRIDGE:  CDOT updates at https://www.codot.gov/news/2017-news/march/caution-to-boaters-near-co-90-bedrock-bridge-low-bridge-in-place-through-april-8-intermittent-river-closures-begin-mid-april .

 

American Whitewater also provides good information about this year’s rafting opportunities and details for boaters at http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/River/detail/id/385/.

 

Dolores Gage:    https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?09166500

McPhee Elevation & Capacity:  http://www.dwr.state.co.us/SurfaceWater/data/detail_tabular.aspx?ID=MCPRESCO&MTYPE=ELEV

Dolores below McPhee:  http://www.dwr.state.co.us/SurfaceWater/data/detail_graph.aspx?ID=DOLBMCCO&MTYPE=DISCHRG

Slickrock Gage:  https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?09168730

Bedrock Gage:          http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?09171100

 

2017 McPhee Release Update

Wednesday June 21, 2017:  Dolores River inflows dropped again last night, triggering the ramp-down below boatable flows to begin this morning.  Downstream releases are at 800 CFS and dropping slowly at 25 CFS every 3 hours. Releases will continue to fall at this rate until they reach 600 CFS, then will hold at 600 for 24 hours before beginning to drop at the same rate of 25 CFS every 3 hours on Friday morning. This pattern of dropping for a day, then holding for a day will continue until flows reach 78 CFS. CPW will then budget the fish pool and final summer release rates will be posted later this month.

This late into the season, there is very little data available that can be used to forecast flows within 24 hours. Because it is difficult to discern what inflows will be doing in the short term, operational decisions become largely reactive. Having said that, the warm weather coinciding with reduced flows is a good indication that the seasonal recession has finally taken over.

Updates will continue to be posted at least twice weekly through the ramp-down.

As usual, the USGS Dolores River Gage at Dolores remains the best representation of inflows into McPhee (see the links below).

Those interested in utilizing the river during the following days should check the Dolores River Below McPhee Gage for flows directly beneath the dam (link below).

Help Guide the Future

As you finish your raft trip, please take some time to complete the American Whitewater survey at:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/AW_2017Dolores

The survey responses will inform and help shape future managed release planning efforts.

We will continue daily updates.  When the inflows basically equal outflows we will start the ramp down.  Ramp down below 800 CFS will extend over 6 days (Daily Avg. releases of 700 CFS, 600 CFS, 500 CFS, 400 CFS, 300 CFS, 200 CFS) allowing those on the water some time to land.

 

Current Notices:

 

Call 970-882-2164 Extension 5, 1 or 6 if you have questions.

SLICKROCK:  Continue to monitor DRBA for latest on Slickrock. Slickrock put-in/take-out access will happen on private property downstream of Hwy 141 bridge (bridge crosses Dolores River) about 200 yards past bridge on river left.  Look for small flagging in bushes on left.  DO NOT use the old boat ramp on river right upstream of bridge.  That is private property and is not accessible this season.  Additional info about Slickrock access and other information here from Dolores River Boating Advocateswww.doloresriverboating.org

BEDROCK BRIDGE:  CDOT updates at https://www.codot.gov/news/2017-news/march/caution-to-boaters-near-co-90-bedrock-bridge-low-bridge-in-place-through-april-8-intermittent-river-closures-begin-mid-april .

 

American Whitewater also provides good information about this year’s rafting opportunities and details for boaters at http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/River/detail/id/385/.

 

Dolores Gage:    https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?09166500

McPhee Elevation & Capacity:  http://www.dwr.state.co.us/SurfaceWater/data/detail_tabular.aspx?ID=MCPRESCO&MTYPE=ELEV

Dolores below McPhee:  http://www.dwr.state.co.us/SurfaceWater/data/detail_graph.aspx?ID=DOLBMCCO&MTYPE=DISCHRG

Slickrock Gage:  https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?09168730

Bedrock Gage:          http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?09171100

 

2017 McPhee Release Update

Monday June 19, 2017:  Releases below McPhee started ramping up today at 8:00 AM and will continue to increase at approximately 150 CFS per hour for about 5 hours. Downstream releases will be at 800 CFS around noon today and may reach as high as 1,200 CFS by midnight.

Over the weekend Dolores inflows to McPhee rose faster and higher than expected proving that the final seasonal recession had not yet finally taken over. The Dolores River began increasing on Saturday the 17th and continued through Sunday, even as the ramp-down had reduced reservoir releases. As a result, the reservoir elevation rose steadily over the weekend, triggering additional downstream releases to maintain elevations. 

The forecast continues to show increasing temperatures so increased runoff into McPhee remains a possibility through the next few days.  We will continue to monitor and adjust releases to keep elevations at appropriate levels, and daily release updates will continue to be posted until the ramp-down begins again.

As usual, the USGS Dolores River Gage at Dolores remains the best representation of inflows into McPhee (see the links below).

Those interested in utilizing the river during the following days should check the Dolores River Below McPhee Gage for flows directly beneath the dam (link below).

 

 Help Guide the Future

The survey remains open for awhile to provide feedback on your boating experience.  Please take some time to complete the American Whitewater survey at:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/AW_2017Dolores

The survey responses will inform and help shape future managed release planning efforts.

 

Current Notices:

Call 970-882-2164 Extension 5, 1 or 6 if you have questions.

SLICKROCK:  Continue to monitor DRBA for latest on Slickrock. Slickrock put-in/take-out access will happen on private property downstream of Hwy 141 bridge (bridge crosses Dolores River) about 200 yards past bridge on river left.  Look for small flagging in bushes on left.  DO NOT use the old boat ramp on river right upstream of bridge.  That is private property and is not accessible this season.  Additional info about Slickrock access and other information here from Dolores River Boating Advocateswww.doloresriverboating.org

American Whitewater also provides good information about this year’s rafting opportunities and details for boaters at http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/River/detail/id/385/.

 

Dolores Gage:    https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?09166500

McPhee Elevation & Capacity:  http://www.dwr.state.co.us/SurfaceWater/data/detail_tabular.aspx?ID=MCPRESCO&MTYPE=ELEV

Dolores below McPhee:  http://www.dwr.state.co.us/SurfaceWater/data/detail_graph.aspx?ID=DOLBMCCO&MTYPE=DISCHRG

Slickrock Gage:  https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?09168730

Bedrock Gage:          http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?09171100

2017 McPhee Release Update

Wednesday June 14, 2017:  Due to the low temperatures, inflows into McPhee Reservoir have dropped rapidly during the last 24 hours. Downstream releases remain at minimal boating flows of 800 CFS. Release plans have not changed from yesterday.

Boatable releases of no less than 800 CFS will continue until the morning of Thursday, June 15th, at 10:00 AM.  Afterwards, the standard ramp-down of controlled releases will likely begin. Ramp down below 800 CFS will extend over 6 days (Daily Avg. releases of 700 CFS, 600 CFS, 500 CFS, 400 CFS, 300 CFS, then 200 CFS) allowing those on the water some time to land.

The rate of recession in inflows is unpredictable, and we may continue to match downstream releases to inflows to some degree even during the ramp-down – we will not accelerate the ramp-down beyond the standard drop of 100 CFS per day, but we may be required to extend releases at these lower flows by a day or more as we manage the reservoir elevation. Normally during a spill, we’d do as we have before, and try to forecast these flows, then bunch them together into fewer days at higher flows, but this late in the season, without precise data (especially regarding the effects of weather and the remaining snowpack), daily flows can be erratic, and the recession may accelerate without warning.

As usual, the USGS Dolores River Gage at Dolores remains the best representation of inflows into McPhee (see the links below).

We will continue to make daily posts here on the Releases tab through Friday the 16th or until the ramp-down begins, then we’ll begin posting less – at least twice weekly through the ramp-down. Those interested in utilizing the river during the ramp-down can check the Dolores River Below McPhee Gage for flows directly beneath the dam (link below).

 Help Guide the Future

As you finish your raft trip, please take some time to complete the American Whitewater survey at:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/AW_2017Dolores

The survey responses will inform and help shape future managed release planning efforts.

Current Notices:

 

Call 970-882-2164 Extension 5, 1 or 6 if you have questions.

SLICKROCK:  Continue to monitor DRBA for latest on Slickrock. Slickrock put-in/take-out access will happen on private property downstream of Hwy 141 bridge (bridge crosses Dolores River) about 200 yards past bridge on river left.  Look for small flagging in bushes on left.  DO NOT use the old boat ramp on river right upstream of bridge.  That is private property and is not accessible this season.  Additional info about Slickrock access and other information here from Dolores River Boating Advocateswww.doloresriverboating.org

BEDROCK BRIDGE:  CDOT updates at https://www.codot.gov/news/2017-news/march/caution-to-boaters-near-co-90-bedrock-bridge-low-bridge-in-place-through-april-8-intermittent-river-closures-begin-mid-april .

 

American Whitewater also provides good information about this year’s rafting opportunities and details for boaters at http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/River/detail/id/385/.

 

DOVE CREEK PUMPHOUSE ROAD:  Please be careful of heavy traffic in and out of the Dove Creek Pumps launch site.  The road narrows and trucks with trailers cannot pass each other at certain points.  Consideration of others and patience are appreciated here.

 

Dolores Gage:    https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?09166500

McPhee Elevation & Capacity:  http://www.dwr.state.co.us/SurfaceWater/data/detail_tabular.aspx?ID=MCPRESCO&MTYPE=ELEV

Dolores below McPhee:  http://www.dwr.state.co.us/SurfaceWater/data/detail_graph.aspx?ID=DOLBMCCO&MTYPE=DISCHRG

Slickrock Gage:  https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?09168730

Bedrock Gage:          http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?09171100

2017 McPhee Release Update

Tuesday June 13, 2017:  Inflows into McPhee Reservoir continue dropping as the seasonal recession takes its course. Downstream releases fell from 1,000 CFS down to 800 CFS overnight in order to preserve elevation as, during the night, a brief low-pressure system from the west passed over the headwaters, temporarily reducing streamflow in the upper Dolores by an unknown amount. 

Boatable releases of no less than 800 CFS will continue at least until the morning of Thursday, June 15th, at 10:00 AM.  Beyond that is unpredictable at this time.

It remains unclear how much snow quantitatively remains in the Dolores River watershed, but what snowpack does persist is primarily located at elevations greater than 10,500 ft – areas which are difficult to thoroughly monitor using SNOTEL stations.

The rate of recession in inflows is unpredictable, but we will continue to match downstream releases to inflows until the final ramp-down of releases is triggered. As usual, the USGS Dolores River Gage at Dolores remains the best indication for inflows into McPhee (see the links below).

 

We continue to make daily adjustments to the downstream releases. In order to meet both diversions and rafting flows, daily average inflows of approximately 1,700 CFS are required; this is currently expected to occur around Thursday June 15th.

 Help Guide the Future

As you finish your raft trip, please take some time to complete the American Whitewater survey at:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/AW_2017Dolores

The survey responses will inform and help shape future managed release planning efforts.

We will continue daily updates to confirm the forecast and extend boating days as they become apparent.  When the inflows basically equal outflows we will start the ramp down (1,700 CFS inflow daily average).  Ramp down below 800 CFS will extend over 6 days (Daily Avg. releases of 700 CFS, 600 CFS, 500 CFS, 400 CFS, 300 CFS, 200 CFS) allowing those on the water some time to land.

 

Current Notices:

 

Call 970-882-2164 Extension 5, 1 or 6 if you have questions.

SLICKROCK:  Continue to monitor DRBA for latest on Slickrock. Slickrock put-in/take-out access will happen on private property downstream of Hwy 141 bridge (bridge crosses Dolores River) about 200 yards past bridge on river left.  Look for small flagging in bushes on left.  DO NOT use the old boat ramp on river right upstream of bridge.  That is private property and is not accessible this season.  Additional info about Slickrock access and other information here from Dolores River Boating Advocateswww.doloresriverboating.org

BEDROCK BRIDGE:  CDOT updates at https://www.codot.gov/news/2017-news/march/caution-to-boaters-near-co-90-bedrock-bridge-low-bridge-in-place-through-april-8-intermittent-river-closures-begin-mid-april .

 

American Whitewater also provides good information about this year’s rafting opportunities and details for boaters at http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/River/detail/id/385/.

 

DOVE CREEK PUMPHOUSE ROAD:  Please be careful of heavy traffic in and out of the Dove Creek Pumps launch site.  The road narrows and trucks with trailers cannot pass each other at certain points.  Consideration of others and patience are appreciated here.

 

Dolores Gage:    https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?09166500

McPhee Elevation & Capacity:  http://www.dwr.state.co.us/SurfaceWater/data/detail_tabular.aspx?ID=MCPRESCO&MTYPE=ELEV

Dolores below McPhee:  http://www.dwr.state.co.us/SurfaceWater/data/detail_graph.aspx?ID=DOLBMCCO&MTYPE=DISCHRG

Slickrock Gage:  https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?09168730

Bedrock Gage:          http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?09171100

 

Watercraft Exempt from Mandatory Inspections

What Watercraft are Exempt from Mandatory Inspections?
The following nine watercraft are exempt from mandatory inspection as defined by CPW.
These are the only watercraft in Colorado that are exempt from the mandatory inspection law and
regulations. All others must be inspected.

1. Kayak
2. Canoe
3. Raft
4. Belly Boat
5. Windsurfer Board
6. Sailboard
7. Float Tubes
8. Inner Tubes
9. Paddle Boards

Marine propulsion systems that are gasoline or diesel powered must be inspected, regardless of the
watercraft type. They are NOT exempt. Electric motors must be inspected when they are not on an
exempt watercraft.
Any trailer that goes into the water must be inspected. Trailers are only exempt when they do not
enter water and the watercraft on top of the trailer is one of the exempt hand‐launched watercraft
listed above.
What are the reasons for exempting the above 9 types of watercraft from inspection?

1. Hand‐launched
2. Typically do not have a marine propulsion system
3. Typically do not have interior water holding compartments
4. Typically do not stay on the water long = short exposure time
5. Typically do not stay still on the water = short exposure time
6. Typically do not anchor or make contact with lake or reservoir bottom
7. Typically fully dried out before putting in a car or on top of a car for transport.
8. Provides a low‐risk access option for boaters and anglers when inspections aren’t present and
boat ramps are closed.