McPhee is currently releasing 5 CFS for the downstream fishery, which will increase to 10 CFS on Thursday. In late May, releases will increase to 25 CFS where they are expected to remain until the end of June when they will drop to 15 CFS where they will remain until mid-September. After September, releases will begin to ramp down for the season at 10 CFS. Flows will reach 5 CFS by mid-October and remain there through the end of March 2023.
There will be no managed release of excess water from McPhee this runoff season.
The McPhee basin runoff forecast is currently at 53% of the historical 30 year average (CBRFC official 1-MAY 50% exceedance forecast). The forecast started low this year in response to dry conditions, and in reaction to concerns about the basin runoff efficiency. This, combined with McPhee’s low storage after drought years 2020 and 2021, put the Dolores Project firmly into a water shortage before the 2022 runoff season.
Looking forward, CPC estimates are for the remainder of May to be warm and dry.
Dolores Project supply is expected to be about 18%.
For more details on the current official forecast, go to https://www.cbrfc.noaa.gov/wsup/graph/front/espplot_dg.html?year=2021&id=MPHC2
Dolores Gage: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?09166500
McPhee Elevation & Capacity: https://dwr.state.co.us/surfacewater/data/detail_tabular.aspx?ID=MCPRESCO&MTYPE=STORAGE
Dolores below McPhee: https://dwr.state.co.us/surfacewater/data/detail_graph.aspx?ID=DOLBMCCO&MTYPE=DISCHRG
Slickrock Gage: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?09168730
Bedrock Gage: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?09171100
Bureau of Land Management: https://www.blm.gov/visit/dolores-river-srma
The BLM has a detailed boating map of the Dolores river posted on their website. Link below.
BLM Avenza Map page for the Dolores: https://www.blm.gov/documents/colorado/public-room/map/colorado-dolores-river-100k-boating-map-17×40
The following are links to the American Whitewater River Inventory pages for the lower Dolores River:
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