2017 McPhee Release Update

Tuesday June 20, 2017:  Dolores River inflows dropped last night, but may hang on a little longer.  Downstream releases are at 1,100 CFS and dropping slowly at 50 CFS every 3 hours until we see what tonight’s peak snowmelt brings down. 

Flows will remain above 800 CFS today and won’t ramp down before Wednesday morning at the earliest.  So we will continue releasing boatable flows all day today and well into tomorrow at a minimum.  

Inflows at 1,500 – 1,550 CFS, as measured at the Dolores gage, seem to be the current balancing inflow against diversions and 800 CFS boatable downstream releases.  The Dolores River gage sits at 1,500 CFS right now.  If tonight’s peak shows a downward trend we will chase the recession down with releases below 800 CFS tomorrow. 

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:


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

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