Colorado River Storage Project
Flaming Gorge Working Group
August 23, 2007
This meeting was held at Western Park Convention Center, Vernal, Utah
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 on time with 21 in attendance. Ed opened the meeting with introductions and then turned meeting over to Rick Clayton who presented the hydrologic conditions of the Green River Basin.
This presentation is available as a pdf document through a link near the bottom of this page. The current elevation of Flaming Gorge is about 6022.8 feet above sea level and inflows are averaging about 600 cfs with releases averageing 825 cfs. The reservoir elevation is declining slowly and is projected to fall only about 1 foot during the fall and winter months. Snotel conditions only achieved about 60-70% of normal at the peak of the snowpack building season this year as compared to above 100% of normal for water year 2006. Snow conditions in the Yampa and Upper Green River basins was similar for 2007. Operations during the spring of 2007 were targeting a Jensen peak flow of at least 8300 cfs for a duration of at least 7 days. The Yampa River peaked twice in 2007. The first peak occurred in early May and the second peak occurred in mid May. Reclamation made a powerplant capacity release of approximately 4300 cfs timed with the second peak which resulted in achieving the target flow of 8300 cfs for 12 days. The powerplant capacity release lasted 6 days. Peak flows at Jensen exceeded 12,000 cfs for 2 days during the peak.
Base flows for 2007/2008 will target 1000 cfs at Jensen Utah and releases from Flaming Gorge will be 800 cfs until next March. The Annual Operating Plan of the Colorado River shows that Flaming Gorge will likely be about 3 feet below the desired draw down limit of 6027 feet above sea leval on May 1, 2008. For this reason it is very unlikely that releases in excess of 800 cfs will be necessary this year before next spring.
Denny Breers asked a question about the proposed diversion from Flaming Gorge to the front range of Colorado. Rick asked if this was referring to the Aaron Million proposal. Denny said yes. Rick answered that this proposal was in the very early stages of developement and the Reclamation has done some preliminary modeling to determine the feasibility of such a diversion. Rick stated that it will likely take decades to put such a diversion in place if the politics can be ironed out. There appears to be much opposition to this proposal from many different stake holders of the Colorado River and these oppositions will have to addressed.
Denny Breers stated that anglers and guides would be in favor of a flushing flow if possible from Flaming Gorge Dam in 2008 to clear some of the sediment build up that has occurred over the past 2 years. Denny believes this would be healthy for fishery.
Rick informed the group that DWR has requested special flows on Sept. 17th and 18th for the fall annual trout fishery. Western has been informed of this and is okay with the dates and times so Reclamation will be scheduling special releases for these dates. This will cause two peaks of 1600 cfs for approximately 6 hours to occur in the evenings of these 2 days. The Forest Service does have an issue with a boat ramp that has silted in and it is hoped that the peak flows on the 17th and 18th will wash this silt downstream. If not the Forest Service may request a special release to flush this sediment out.
The next meeting will be held in Vernal, Utah at the Western Park Convention Center at 10:00 am on April 16, 2008.
Flaming Gorge Working Group Meeting Minutes:
|Floyd Briggs||Daggett County|
|Kevin Clegg||Flaming Gorge Resort|
|Dan Alonso||USFWS/Ouray NWR|
|Kevin Clark||USBR/Flaming Gorge|
|John Hayse||Argonne NL|
|Kirk LaGorgy||Argonne NL|
Email comments/inquires to: ResourceMgr@uc.usbr.gov