Eastern Colorado Area Office
11056 W. County Rd 18E
What's New at ECAO
The Area Office is getting ready for spring run-off, that time of year when mountain snow melts and comes down rivers and streams. We capture run-off in our reservoirs for use throughout the year. Typically, run-off in Colorado happens in late May or early June. March is typically Colorado's biggest month for precipitation. April is second. As a result, we do not usually have a run-off forecast until early May.
In preparation for run-off, we will be starting up the Mt. Elbert Power Plant, Colorado's largest hydro-electric power plant, the first week of March. This might break up the ice in both the Mt. Elbert Forebay and Twin Lakes up by Leadville, Colo. Ice-fishers and other winter recreators should be aware ice might become unstable. For more information, please check out our news release.
Water operations across both the Colorado-Big Thompson and Fryingpan-Arkansas Projects are typical for this time of year. Currently, C-BT water is being delivered to Carter Lake and Horsetooth Reservoir. Fry-Ark water is moving down the Arkansas River to Pueblo Reservoir.
Olympus Dam, which impounds Lake Estes in Estes Park, Colo., currently has an outflow of about 25 cfs, a typical native flow for the Big Thompson River this time of year. The C-BT resumed normal operations in mid December after work repairing facilities and clearing flood debris was completed. We are ready for run-off at Lake Estes and Olympus Dam. We have a trash rake at the dam that effectively removes debris in the reservoir. Please keep in mind, however, that the project and the dam are not authorized nor designed for flood control.
Also on the C-BT, Pinewood Reservoir water levels continue to fluctuate with power generation at the Flatiron Power Plant. Releases from Green Mountain Reservoir to the Lower Blue River in Summit County are now around 400 cubic-feet-per-second. To receive regular information updates on Green Mountain Reservoir, please follow it on Facebook.
On the Fry-Ark Project, Twin Lakes and Turquoise reservoirs have also entered winter operations. We are currently releasing about 130 cfs from Twin Lakes Dam to Lake Creek. During spring run-off, operational updates for both reservoirs are available via Reclamation's Pueblo Facebook page.
If you are interested in receiving information on these reservoirs directly to your inbox via e-mail, please contact Kara Lamb, ECAO's Public Information Officer.
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Last Updated: February 27, 2014