Salt Lake City, Utah
Released On: May 07, 2004
Current projections are for the Yampa River to peak at about 7,000 cfs during the second week of May. Based on runoff projections, it appears that this peak will be the largest to occur this season.
There are critical spawning beds in the Green River downstream of the confluence of the Green River and the Yampa River. At the present time, the endangered fish are starting to spawn. By timing the high powerplant releases to match the runoff peak of the Yampa River, two critical needs will be met. First, the combined high flows of the two rivers will ensure that sediment which washes downstream will not be re-deposited on the spawning bars and secondly, the high flows will carry the larval razorback suckers into flooded lowlands which are historic critical nursery habitat for the fish.
The flow-enhanced drift of the larval fish mimics the natural pre-dam conditions that are conducive to the razorback sucker’s lifecycle. The low lying areas are nutrient rich, safe areas for the fish to develop before returning to the main river channel.
Concerns of landowners, especially at Jensen, Utah, have been considered. With peak flows of the Yampa River projected near 7,000 cfs next week, flows of the Green River measured at Jensen may exceed 11,000 cfs beginning Wednesday, May 12, 2004. However, the combined flows of the Green and Yampa Rivers will remain below peak flows of the past decade.
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has been consulted concerning the impacts of the releases to the rainbow trout fishery below the dam. While the flows will make fishing the river more difficult, no adverse impacts to the fishery are expected.
DOI | Recreation.gov | USA.gov
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