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The Mountain-Prairie Region


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228


                              UPPER COLORADO RIVER

Robert Muth                                               ENDANGERED FISH       Ralph Morgenweck

   Program Director                                     RECOVERY PROGRAM                Regional Director

Recovery Program                                                                 Implementation Committee

 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - P.O. Box 25486 * Denver Federal Center - Denver, CO 80225 - (303) 969-7322 - Fax (303) 969-7327
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service * U.S. Bureau of Reclamation * Western Area Power Administration - Colorado * Utah - Wyoming

Environmental Defense Fund e National Audubon Society - Colorado Wildlife Federation - Wyoming Wildlife Federation Colorado Water Congress - Utah Water Users Association * Wyoming Water Development Association * Colorado River Energy Distributors Association


 May 17, 2004                                                                  Contact:  George Smith, Recovery Program 

Kara Lamb, Bureau of Reclamation


 LAKEWOOD, Colo. – A voluntary river flow program to provide spring peak flows for endangered fish is not feasible this year because owners and operators of Upper Colorado River Basin reservoirs must capture all incoming river flows to rebuild storage capacity.

 The Coordinated Reservoir Operations Program (CROPS) was established in 1995 as part of the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program (Recovery Program). CROPS coordinates water releases from major Colorado reservoirs including Granby, Dillon, Green Mountain, Wolford, Williams Fork and Ruedi to enhance spring peak flows to the Colorado River to improve habitat and facilitate spawning of two endangered fish species -- the Colorado pikeminnow and the razorback sucker.  

 While this year’s early snowpack was near average, a record dry and warm March dramatically decreased snowpack and the forecasted runoff. Sustained drought has resulted in the augmentation of spring peak flows during only three of the eight years since CROPS was implemented.

 CROPS members include the Colorado River Water Conservation District, Denver Water, cities of Aurora and Colorado Springs, the Recovery Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Weather Service, Colorado Water Conservation Board, Colorado Division of Wildlife and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.  

 For more information, contact George Smith, 303-236-4485, or Kara Lamb, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, 970/962-4326,


 Established in 1988, the Recovery Program is a voluntary, cooperative program whose purpose is to recover the endangered fishes while water development proceeds in accordance with federal and state laws and interstate compacts. 


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