Runoff news: The Yampa River below Craig still high — 2,420 cfs this morning


From the Craig Daily Press (Andy Bockelman):

Yampa River State Park Manager Ron DellaCroce said water levels in the river have “dropped substantially” from where they were in mid-May. However, the water is still surging at an above average rate. “It’s at least three times the normal level,” said…

At the Yampa’s Hayden location, USGS measured 2,560 cubic feet per second in Friday afternoon’s reading, down from May’s 7,700. Farther downriver, the Maybell section charted at 3,740 cubic feet per second on Friday, a considerable dip from May’s 11,900…

“The reading we have (for Friday) is the highest we’ve had for this date since 1957,” he said. “The levels we have are what we’d normally see in June.”

From the Loveland Reporter-Herald (Madeline Novey):

Water enthusiasts were allowed back into the Cache la Poudre River on Tuesday after Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith lifted a ban that had closed the river to inner tubes and other floatation devices since mid-June. The city of Fort Collins and its Parks and Natural Areas also lifted river access closure, according to a press release from the city.

From The Crested Butte News (Allisa Johnson):

“Taylor Park reservoir got as close as we’d like to have it to filling. We’ve been having very high releases over the last few days to bring that down because there’s concern of thunderstorms settling in the basin,” said Frank Kugel, general manager of the Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District (UGRWCD).

According to a Tuesday update from the Bureau of Reclamation, the Taylor was being drawn down at a rate of 700 cubic feet per second (cfs) and would likely be reduced to a rate of 600 cfs by Thursday. Inflows into the reservoir had finally begun to drop off and the Bureau anticipated having enough space in the reservoir to accommodate heavy rains. The update went on to say that a July 15 forecast calls for a total inflow volume of 38,000 acre feet in July—or 190 percent of average.

According to Kugel, releases from Taylor Reservoir are typically around 350 cfs this time of year. He also said that Blue Mesa Reservoir is within two inches of spilling—officially considered full by the Bureau of Reclamation. And as of Tuesday, the East River near Almont has been flowing at 400 cfs, more than twice the long-term average, and the Gunnison River is flowing at 2,300 cfs. The Gunnison normally runs below 900 cfs.

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