Bureau of Reclamation Updates
Composed by David Coulson, Colorado State Editor, FishExplorer.com, from Kara Lamb, Public Information, Bureau of Reclamation, Eastern Colorado Area Office
(970) 962-4326 emails
With spring run-off in full swing, the Bureau of Reclamation is busy making adjustments to their many reservoirs around the state.
Effective June 11 the releases out of Green Mountain reservoir have been increased resulting flows around 1400 cfs in the lower Blue River.
Carter Lake has reached full reservoir elevation, as a result June 11 the pump has be shut off resulting in more water flowing into Horsetooth Resevoir, which will continue to see rising water levels.
Pinewood Reservoir is low because of the need to maintain operational flexibility as Carter and Horsetooth Reservoirs are filled. Sittingin the middle of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project's southern
power system, it sometimes bears the burden of providing the flexibility as water is moved around. With one unit at the Flatiron Power Plant down below still undergoing maintenance, this flexibility is even more important. As more of the upper mountain snowpack starts to melt and come down, Pinewood will start to rise again--that could be as soon as this weekend.
As the weather continues to change, forecasts for snow melt run-off across the state change as well. Operations on the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project reservoirs are being adjusted accordingly.
Since June 6, some of the native inflows to the upper Arkansas portion of the Fry-Ark Project (Turquoise and Twin Lakes reservoirs and the Half Moon diversion) drop off slightly. As a result, the native inflows being sent down the Mt. Elbert Conduit for hydro-power generation at Mt. Elbert power plant have been curtailed.
When native flows diverted via the Conduit declined the release of native east slope water from Twin Lakes Dam to Lake Creek cuts back as well. As a result, the Twin Lakes release is now around 700 cfs.
With less native flow moving through the Fry-Ark pipe system (the Conduit), there is more room to pipe project water. With both the Fry-Ark project and Busk Ivanhoe pulling imports from the upper Fryingpan River Basin (which is still showing snow pack daily averages well above 200%), we are filling the Conduit with the imported project water. That water pipes to the Mt. Elbert Forebay, generates hydro-electric power at the Mt. Elbert Power Plant and then is deposited into Twin Lakes. The project imports are helping speed up the rise of the water level elevation at Twin Lakes.
Meanwhile, the native east slope run-off that was piped from Turquoise Reservoir to the power plant has to go somewhere as it is no longer going through the conduit. Native water is owed to the Arkansas River. Consequently, that water will be delivered via Sugarloaf Dam to Lake Fork Creek. Releases from the dam to Lake Fork Creek went go up by 50 cfs June 10, which means the Lake Fork Creek below Sugarloaf Dam should be running at about 250 cfs.
For more information, you can check the Bureau of Reclaimation webpage: www.usbr.gov/gp/ecao, or visit the Pueblo Reservoir webpage: http://www.usbr.gov/gp/ecao/pueblo/pueblo.html. Or, feel free to e-mail or call Kara Lamb, Public Information, Bureau of Reclamation, Eastern Colorado Area Office