Office of External Affairs
Mountain-Prairie Region

NEWS RELEASE

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Mountain-Prairie Region
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - P.O. Box 25486 - Denver Federal Center - Denver, CO 80225 - (303) 969-7322 - Fax (303) 969-7327

 

NEWS RELEASE

 

Media Contacts:                                                                                                                                          June 4, 2010

Jana Mohrman: 303-236-4486 jana_mohrman@fws.gov

Kara Lamb:  (970-962-4326), klamb@usbr.gov

Michelle Garrison: (303-866-3441,x3213), michelle.garrison@state.co.us

 

Releases for Endangered Fish Begin Today

 

LAKEWOOD, Colo. – Coordinated releases from a series of Upper Colorado River Basin reservoirs begin today and are anticipated to carry on through next week as part of the Coordinated Reservoirs Operations Program.

 

Managers of the reservoirs completed a conference call today, agreeing to voluntarily run the program this year. The program benefits the endangered fish of the Upper Colorado River Basin.

 

Green Mountain Reservoir, operated by the Bureau of Reclamation, will increase releases by 200 cubic feet per second (cfs) today and tomorrow.  Releases will go up another 400 cfs on Saturday before reaching 1400 cfs in late afternoon. Releases from Green Mountain include inflows bypassed by Dillon Reservoir, operated by Denver Water.

 

Denver Water also operates Williams Fork Reservoir, which will continue to pass its inflows downstream. Outflows from Williams Fork are currently about 600 cfs but may increase over the weekend with increasing inflows.

 

Wolford Mountain Reservoir, operated by the Colorado River Water Conservation District, is currently passing inflows of approximately 500 cfs.  Outflows will be increased to approximately 200 cfs above inflow by Saturday evening.  Inflows may increase over the weekend, further increasing the outflows from Wolford Mountain Reservoir. 

 

Increased outflows from the participating reservoirs may continue through Wednesday, June 9th.  The Colorado Basin River Forecast Center (CBRFC) has incorporated these planned reservoir operations into their streamflow forecasts.  Based on weather forecasts and planned reservoir operations, anticipated flows for the weekend and early next week on the Colorado River are as follows:


 

                            Approximate                    Anticipated                      Anticipated

Location            Current Flow                  Peak Flow                       Day of Peak                                  Notes

 

Kremmling        3,400 cfs                        4,200 – 4,600 cfs          Saturday evening  remain above 4,000 cfs through next

                                                                                                       Wednesday before decreasing

Dotsero             7,900 cfs,                        9,200 – 10,200 cfs        Monday afternoon

 

Glenwood

Springs              11,500 cfs                       14,700 – 16,300 cfs      Monday afternoon

 

Cameo               13,500 cfs                       17,100 – 18,900 cfs      Monday night into Tuesday morning

 

Palisade             11,000 cfs                       16,000 – 17,000 cfs      Monday night into Tuesday morning

 

More detailed information about forecasted streamflows in the Colorado River basin are available from the CBRFC website at www.cbrfc.noaa.gov.  A map-based interface allows viewing of hydrographs detailing recent, current and anticipated flows.

 

“The releases boosting this year’s Colorado River peak are a tonic that will make the river healthier, and that benefits everyone from water users, to recreation, and all the fish that call the river home,” said Bart Miller, Water Program Director for Western Resource Advocates.  “All the parties that have come together to make this happen are to be commended."

 

The Coordinated Reservoir Operations program was established in 1995 as part of the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program.  Its purpose is to enhance spring peak flows in a section of the Colorado River upstream of Grand Junction, Colo., determined critical to the survival of four endangered fish species: the humpback chub, razorback sucker, bonytail chub and the Colorado pikeminnow. In years with sufficient snowpack, surplus inflows to the reservoirs can be passed on downstream to benefit these fish.  

 

For more information, contact Kara Lamb, Bureau of Reclamation’s Eastern Colorado Area Office, at

(970) 962-4326, klamb@gp.usbr.gov; or Michelle Garrison, Colorado Water Conservation Board, at (303) 866-3441, ext. 3213, michelle.garrison@state.co.us.

 

The Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program is a cooperative partnership of local, state and federal agencies, water developers, power customers and environmental groups established in 1988 to recover the endangered fishes while water development proceeds in accordance with federal and state laws and interstate compacts.