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River: Arkansas River Below Pueblo Reservoir

Draining Pueblo Reservoir

Post By: calmark      Posted: 2/11/2018 3:13:54 PM     Points: 325    
Is there a specific month/day that they drain the Pueblo dam into the Arkansas river?? I heard once the do that, the fishing and size of the fish increase dramatically. I am new to the area and have had great luck fishing but just small stockers. Looking to increase the size of the catch. I have heard that they drain it in March??
 Reply by: uglystick      Posted: Feb. 11, 5:05:08 PM     Points: 789    
Yep they drain it to about 6' of water in the lake and the river below is a rager! All fish die and only the ponds produce fish.
 Reply by: gotafish      Posted: Feb. 11, 5:05:40 PM     Points: 186    
They start releasing water March 15 for irrigation. They don't drain the reservoir so to speak.
 Reply by: FishForAll      Posted: Feb. 11, 8:49:04 PM     Points: 15320    
This from Pueblo State Park

February 5 at 5:16pm Pueblo, CO
Water levels in Lake Pueblo are historically high for this time of year due to a combination of high municipal storage and storage of agricultural winter water. The reservoir elevation is 4884.9 or about 82.5% full.
The previous four water years have yielded average to above average runoff conditions in the Arkansas River Basin allowing municipalities to fill their storage accounts in preparation for future drought conditions. Additionally, a wet spring and summer in the eastern plains caused agricultural water users to leave stored water in the reservoir that normally would have been used.

Despite the current conditions, starting in early April, water levels in the reservoir will begin to draw down to an elevation of 4,880.38 feet by April 15th to provide the Army Corps of Engineers with flood storage space.
 Reply by: dizzel      Posted: Feb. 11, 9:00:08 PM     Points: 20646    
FishForAll, That means that the water storage "pool" for John Martin is growing right? Or did I read something wrong in an article from the past?
 Reply by: calmark      Posted: Feb. 12, 7:33:00 AM     Points: 325    
Thank you for the information. So does that mean the fishing on the river improves at all? I have heard various discussions about that.
 Reply by: Whiskerhunter      Posted: Feb. 12, 9:34:41 AM     Points: 307    
The river's fluctuations/flow rates definitely affect the fishing. As for fish size being affected by those fluctuations... There are bigger fish in the river than what you are seeing. You just have to put in the time to figure out what the bigger fish want to eat. I gets hammered pretty hard most of the year, but if you put in the effort/time you can get rewarded. It's just like any other body of water in Colorado that sees constant high fishing pressure.
 Reply by: anglerwannabe      Posted: Feb. 12, 9:46:16 AM     Points: 38195    
^^^ tis true
 Reply by: i2fly      Posted: Feb. 12, 11:50:27 AM     Points: 1346    
Cal, the Drift fly shop on hwy 50 can offer some info on flies & flows. Their website has some useful info. It seems the best fishing is from now til May. Summer time flows are huge. I would think the fishing will get better for the larger trout with a flow around 200 cfs. I have been there for the last five weeks in a row. The afternoon bite has better than morning. When the beatis start to pop. Best fish was 18 on a dry fly. Certainly not special but nice. Last week they wanted a midge in the film #22 Black with a trailing shuck. These are the ones I used.
 Reply by: Hawaiian Punch      Posted: Feb. 12, 4:11:06 PM     Points: 1684    
Homework.....homework....homework! To get a live/up to date water flow,try the state of Colorado "surface water" web site . . . .I follow a few different rivers and cannels and "ditchs" . . .its very good info.
 Reply by: FishForAll      Posted: Feb. 12, 5:35:20 PM     Points: 15320    
I believe that down stream commitments will always dictate what water levels are in both resivoirs. Pueblo always lowers in preparation for spring run off. John Martin has benefited because of favorable conditions further down stream into Kansas, and perhaps less call for water. I'm not sure exactly how all the water laws work, but lessened drought conditions over the past several years have certainly been favorable for our Southeastern plains reservoirs.
 Reply by: DALEHUNTER      Posted: Feb. 13, 5:31:49 AM     Points: 11    
It's about what happens every yr.

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