Colorado River Storage Project
Flaming Gorge Working Group
April 15, 2004
This meeting was held at the Western Park Convention Center in Vernal, Utah. Attendees are listed below.
The purpose of operation meetings (held in April, and August) is to inform the public and other interested parties of Reclamation's current and future operational plans and to gather information from the public regarding specific resources associated with Flaming Gorge Reservoir. In addition, the meetings are used to coordinate activities and exchange information among agencies, water users, and other interested parties concerning the Green River.
The meeting began at 10:00 a.m. with 28 people present. Latecomers throughout the meeting brought the total attendance to 39. Ed Vidmar gave brief introductory remarks and attendees introduced themselves.
Rick Clayton gave a presentation on the Flaming Gorge hydrology (see link below to download this presentation) and expected spring peak runoff. Because of the continuing drought conditions, the scheduled 2004 spring peak flow in accordance with the 1992 Biological Opinion will be 4600 cfs (power plant capacity) for one week.
John Hayse of Argonne National Laboratory introduced Steve Railsback and Tamara Grand who gave a presentation on the studies and modeling they are doing on the effects of fluctuating flows on trout and on endangered fish in the Green River.
Clayton Palmer of the Western Area Power Administration spoke on the requested flows for additional power generation at Flaming Gorge between January and March of this year. The request was made in order to make up for anticipated power generation shortfalls at Glen Canyon due to experimental flows at that dam. Rick Clayton noted it would have been preferable for Western to give more advance notice on their request, and Clayton Palmer said that they were unsure of the quantities which delayed their request. In actuality, the excess flows were only used four times, once in January and three times in March. Clayton Palmer was asked whether Western might see a need for such a request again next winter; he replied that in general, they expect power generation at Flaming Gorge to be available upon request, but at this time they do not believe there will be experimental flows at Glen Canyon next winter. Eileen Richmond of the Forest Service asked whether there were reservoir elevation drops associated with the power requests; there were not in this case, but she noted that reservoir elevation affects the local economy. Rick Clayton pointed out that the weekly FG email updates include reservoir elevation information; let him know if there are any concerns. Melissa Trammel of the National Park Service asked why experimental flows affect power generation and this was explained.
Next, a representative from the Upper Colorado River Recovery Program spoke about their request for a 13,000 cfs flow for three days in the Green River at the Jensen gauge below the Yampa River confluence during the 2004 spring peak runoff season. This request is being made to attempt to flood particular habitat along the Green River for endangered fish studies. Noting that the drought continues, the request is to compress and shape the planned week-long powerplant capacity peak such that a higher and shorter duration peak can be achieved; if 13,000 cfs is not achievable they would like to try for 9,000 cfs. Ed Vidmar noted that one of the bypass tubes is down for maintenance, and Reclamation will not entertain use of the spillway this year, so the maximum flow from Flaming Gorge to try to achieve the requested flow would be 6,600 cfs. Rick Clayton pointed out that we would need 8,000 cfs flows in the Yampa to attempt to meet this request. At this point it appears unlikely that Reclamation can fulfill this request but we will continue to monitor the forecasts and keep interested parties informed via the weekly email update. Chas Cartwright, Superintendent of Dinosaur National Monument, stated that in general the Park Service supports such high flows but given the drought situation, a decision by Reclamation not to make the attempt this year is reasonable and supportable.
The meeting adjourned at 12:30 p.m. The next meeting of the Flaming Gorge Working Group will be held on August 19, 2004 in Heber; Ed Vidmar will confirm meeting time and location.
|Craig W. Collett||Daggett Co.|
|Kirk Robbins||Uintah Mosquito|
|Steve Romney||Uintah Mosquito|
|Dee Holladay||UG Outfitters|
|Deloy Adams||Flaming Gorge Lodge|
|David Jones||Flaming Gorge Recreation|
|Jerry Taylor||Flaming Gorge|
|Ray Tenney||Colorado River Water Cons. Dist.|
|Tamara Grand||Consultant to Western|
|Steve Roilsback||Consultant to Western|
|John Hayse||Argonne National Lab|
|Kirk Lagory||Argonne National Lab|
Email comments/inquires to: ResourceMgr@uc.usbr.gov