Colorado-Big Thompson update

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From email from Reclamation (Kara Lamb):

Just a quick update before the Fourth of July Holiday Weekend. We are starting to get back, almost, to more normal operations after the peak of what turned out to be a very late snowmelt run-off season. High run-off peaked last weekend and we have been adjusting the Colorado-Big Thompson Project accordingly.

With the majority of the snowmelt behind us, releases from Olympus Dam to the Big Thompson River have returned to about 125 cfs. Lake Estes is also on the rise. Currently it is at an elevation of 7471 and will probably go up a little more tonight. It should stay up through the weekend.

Pinewood has been experiencing some fluctuations as we move water on downstream through the project. It dropped pretty significantly today–to an elevation of about 6565–but is now on its way back up. It will be up–a handful of feet down from full–for the Holiday weekend. But expect it to start dropping again top of next week. Then we will refill it. As we move water through the project, Pinewood will see fluctuation like this, this summer.

Meanwhile, a little more water is coming into Carter and Horsetooth Reservoirs. Carter is at an elevation of 5747 and Horsetooth at just under 5420–both pretty full. They will remain at or near those elevations through the Holiday weekend.

From email from Reclamation (Kara Lamb):

[Thursday] afternoon, we are reducing releases from Ruedi Dam to the Fryingpan River. As you have probably noticed, we have been reducing releases throughout the week. The snowmelt run-off has peaked, the peak has passed, and we are responding accordingly. As of this evening, flows in the Fryingpan should be right around 300 cfs. They should stay at that level through the weekend.

From email from Reclamation (Kara Lamb):

Earlier this week, we were able to scale back releases from Green Mountain Reservoir to the Lower Blue to under 2000 cfs. But all that changed today with a localized rain storm. We are back up to about 2680 cfs. We have been increasing releases all afternoon in response to the storm.

Because we are working with the weather, I have no prediction for the weekend. We are anticipating releases to stay at this level or perhaps go a little higher, but depending on Mother Nature, those plans could change. As always, I advise to please check the gage before you head up to the Lower Blue. And please keep in mind that we could make changes while you are on the water this weekend.

From email from Reclamation (Dan Crabtree):

Inflow to the Aspinall Unit has finally decreased to levels at which we can begin to slowly reduce releases from Crystal Reservoir. This evening (Wednesday) releases from Crystal will be reduced by 200 cfs and another 200 cfs will be cut Thursday morning. This will bring flows in the Black Canyon and Gunnison Gorge to about 2,700 cfs. No further release changes are anticipated through the Holiday Weekend.

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