Aspinall Unit operations update (April 5, 2022): Bumping releases up to 750 cfs #GunnisonRiver #ColoradoRiver #COriver #aridification

The boat ramp at the Lake Fork Marina closed for the season on Sept. 2 due to declining reservoir levels. The Bureau of Reclamation is making emergency releases out of Blue Mesa Reservoir to prop up levels in Lake Powell and preserve the ability to make hydropower.

From email from Reclamation (Erik Knight):

Releases from the Aspinall Unit will be increased from 700 cfs to 750 cfs on Tuesday, April 4th. Releases are being increased as diversions to the Gunnison Tunnel continue to increase. Currently snowpack in the Upper Gunnison Basin is 106% of normal and the forecasted April-July runoff volume for Blue Mesa Reservoir is 83% of average.

Flows in the lower Gunnison River are currently above the baseflow target of 1050 cfs. River flows are expected to stay at levels above the baseflow target for the foreseeable future.

Pursuant to the Aspinall Unit Operations Record of Decision (ROD), the baseflow target in the lower Gunnison River, as measured at the Whitewater gage, is 1050 cfs for April and May.

Currently, Gunnison Tunnel diversions are 300 cfs and flows in the Gunnison River through the Black Canyon are around 400 cfs. After this release change Gunnison Tunnel diversions will be around 400 cfs and flows in the Gunnison River through the Black Canyon will be near 350 cfs. Current flow information is obtained from provisional data that may undergo revision subsequent to review.

Leave a Reply