Aspinall Unit update: Reclamation is bumping releases from Crystal Reservoir to avoid a possible Blue Mesa spill

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From email from Reclamation (Dan Crabtree):

We continued to be blessed with higher than expected inflows due to late season snowmelt, and now, early season monsoonal moisture. Blue Mesa Reservoir has been rising about 0.7 feet per day and is now at an elevation of 7517.3 feet. Bountiful inflows are expected over the next few days and if releases are not increased there is a definite possibility that Blue Mesa Reservoir could spill. In order to avoid this undesirable event, releases from Crystal Dam will be increased by a total of 800 cfs over the next 3 days. Flows in the Gunnison River through the Black Canyon are expected to increase from a gage reading of 1750 cfs to around 2550 cfs by Wednesday, July 13th. Release changes will be done in 200 cfs increments, well below the recommended maximum ramp-up rate of 500 cfs per day, in order to preserve the safety of any potential visitors to the canyon and to provide a smooth flow increase that all fish can enjoy. We are quite fortunate that river flows in this range (>2000 cfs) will actually provide nearly ideal conditions for this year’s late rainbow trout emergence by providing increased fry habitat as the river level exceeds bankfull within the canyon. This should be of great benefit to all recreational users of the canyon – maybe not immediately, but certainly for the future.

More Aspinall Unit coverage here.

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