I think we've all feared this, as May came and has now nearly gone with no water flowing in. There's no more water coming into Lake Loveland, upstream of Boyd, and none coming out toward Horseshoe Lake, and from there east to Boyd. Boyd islower than it's been in years. Back around 2001 or 2002, as I recall, Boyd's primary boat ramp and the marina were forced to close by early July, and the lake was basically turned into two smaller ponds, with a big mud flat in the middle We're already seeing sandbars popping up everywhere. We've got a number of smaller bodies of water in northern Colorado that are also getting ominously low. If there's no water there's no water, but we'd appreciate any kind of additional information someone can give us.
Reply by: fishthumpre Posted: May. 28, 7:07:43 AM Points: 4418
Afraid Fishman1's right about Boyd the Loveland Reporter-Herald this morning is reporting the lake's down 17 feet, with little hope of more water anytime soon. The campground's full this Memorial Day weekend, but the lake is somewhere around half of capacity.
Soon the main ramp will have to close. If you try to drive your boat onto your trailer, you have to raise your motor as much as you can and still get water into your pump, or your skag will drag. I had to do this last Wednesday, ( and I have a smaller boat( and soon you will need to depend on your crank because your motor will be an issue at any tilt. It is not a matter of going further in the water, it just flattens out. So be careful out there, and protect your boat and motor. The other issue is how much shore line is being torn up by the larger sport boats. The wave they create is huge, and it may be time to put a size restriction on the lake until it recovers most of its' water. There are lakes on the western slope that have done this as the drought lowered the water level. They have restrictions on motor size that they post during low water periods to protect the shore line, especially during the nesting period of waterfowl and even the bass.
Reply by: nparker Posted: May. 28, 8:44:24 AM Points: 1051
I have been reading that the snowpack for the N Platte watershed has been normal. Now it is 85%. The front range gets some water from the west slope. Some of the water comes from the S Platte drainage which is 94% of normal. There seems to be a disconnect between snowpack and available water for Boyd.
So we are concerned about water for the fish. Ag water may be more important to say nothing of domestic and industrial uses.
The wasteful use of water with-in the agriculture community is the most concerning to me. The large rotating water cannons and the flood irrigations systems have almost as much loss to evaporation as they get to the crops. These kinds of systems are mostly not allowed in states like California because of the loss. A large amount of water evaporates before it gets to the ditches that the farmers use, and more is lost in the air as it is sprayed on crops. We pay a fee to support the conservation and public use of these waters, yet we do not get a refund of the fees if the water is not available for our use. Fishing does not deplete the water, but still we can face restrictions of access, while the farms continue to use antiquated techniques to water their crops. They need to step up and use more current systems to become a participant in our conservation.
Bill - this is not good news. The last time I was out there the marina channel had 13 1/2 feet of water in it. Probably 12 days ago. Lake Loveland is almost full but still 2 - 3 feet below the high water mark. And Horseshoe looked to be down around 6 feet. Maybe the recent rains and mountain snow might produce some runoff in the Thompson watershed to go into the lakes.
Harley fisher - you need to do a little more study on water dynamics. And then report back to us what you learned.
Reply by: nparker Posted: Jun. 1, 7:34:20 AM Points: 1051
A thorough objective study of water use would be helpful. I have learned that water use in Colorado is very complicated. Water attorneys know this. I have a simple question. The South Platte snowpack has been about average. Why is Boyd Lake not getting water this spring? What has changed? I do know that Boyd gets water from the west slope via tunnels, The Big T River, Lake Loveland, Horseshoe Lake, etc. Is this source less because of Westslope water conditions? There is a lot of water coming down the Big T now, is it less than normal? I am too lazy to do the research.
This sucks for everyone. As a water owner we have been reduced on the amount of water we can use this year on our fields. We own way more water than we need but yet we still can't use it so the farmers are taking just as much of a hit as everyone else. Water rights in Colorado are very old and supersede most everything else. Because we knew ahead of time there was going to be a water shortage we strictly grew Alfalfa this year and skipped corn. Many people that we know did the same thing. The farmers are trying to do their best with the shortage also.