Coordinated Reservoir Releases for Endangered Fish
Credit: Kara Lamb (970-962-4326)
Michelle Garrison (303-866-3441 x 3213)
Debbie Felker (303-969-7322, x227)
Operators of Dillon, Granby, Green Mountain, Ruedi, Williams Fork, Willow Creek and Wolford Mountain reservoirs will not implement Coordinated Reservoir Operations (CROS) this year because river flows in western Colorado are predicted to be out of the banks due to high snowpack levels. In anticipation of this year’s high runoff, reservoir operators conducted pre-emptive releases instead, making storage space for large amounts of snowmelt.
“Reservoir operators are working hard to minimize any impacts that might result from high flows while still allowing for the natural spring peak flow the endangered fish need,” said Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program Director Tom Chart.
A voluntary program, CROS was established in 1995 as part of the Recovery Program to enhance spring peak flows for endangered fish to a section of the Colorado River upstream of Grand Junction, Colo. In average snowpack years, reservoir operators simultaneously release water to provide an enhanced peak flow that creates habitat conditions that benefit endangered Colorado pikeminnow, razorback sucker, humpback chub and bonytail.
The State tracks Colorado surface water conditions on-line at: www.dwr.state.co.us/Surfacewater/default.aspx. Reclamation is tracking snowpack and reservoirs levels at: www.usbr.gov/gp/hydromet/curres_google.htm?lat=39.0959&lng=-105.5313&zoom=7