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Fontenelle DamFontenelle Dam

Colorado River Storage Project

Fontenelle Working Group
Meeting Minutes
August 18, 2004


This meeting was held at the Seedskadee Wildlife Refuge,Wyoming. Attendees are listed below.

Purpose of Meeting:

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 Fontenelle 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 10:30 a.m. with 9 people present.

Fontenelle Hydrology

Rick Clayton gave a presentation on the current and anticipated hydrology for Fontenelle Reservoir (download this presentation). The Annual Operating Plan scenarios were presented (Min, Most, Max) to show the potential operations for WY05. The min inflow scenario was 34% of normal, the most was 79%, and the max was 123%. These inflow scenarios are discounted from normal due to drought conditions. Under all but the min scenario Fontenelle Reservoir fills during WY 2005.

Fontenelle Reservoir filled to very near full capacity (elevation 6506) during July 2004. Bypass releases were necessary to prevent use of the spillway and the maximum total release during the summer of 2004 reached 3000 cfs. Summer rains that occurred in late June and early July contributed to the storage in Fontenelle Reservoir.

Ben Bracken (JPWB) was concerned about the lack of communication during the bypass release that began in early July and continued to the end of July. JPWB did not received a return phonecall from Fontenelle Dam when JPWB inquired as to what the operational plans were. The lack of information caused a shut down of the water treatment plant due to high turbidity rates in the water. The plant could have remained online had it been able to know that trubidity rates would be increasing in the very near future. Reclamation promised to correct the communication problem.

Future Releases

Future release will be decreasing to about 1000 cfs during September in order to control the draw down rate for the reservoir. In late August there will be a slight increase for 2 days for a kayak event on Aug. 27th and 28th. This will be an increase from 1200 to 1300 cfs for approximately 48 hours.

The reservoir elevation will be steadily drawn down over the next 6-8 months until April of 2005. If releases need to be decreased further, these changes will occur by the first of October to minimize impacts between the September fish spawning and ice development on the river.

The kayak flow release for late August was discussed. These events occur in late June and late August each year. Optimal flows for this park are approximately 1100 to 1500 cfs according to event organizers. Requests have been made for releases from Fontenelle Dam to provide optimal flows during these events for 2004. In the past, the Green River Chamber of Commerce has made a request to the Wyoming Water Development Commission (WWDC) for release of this water. This year, the request has come directly to Reclamation as Reclamation does hold a water right in Fontenelle Reservoir. Because flows are currently at 1200-cfs the request to increase flows to 1300-cfs was approved. In the future it was requested by Ed Vidmar that WWDC should initiate this process and requests should not be made to Reclamation directly. Once a request has been made in writing from the Chamber of Commerce, the city of Green River and Reclamation can discuss the special release and make the appropriate decisions regarding the timing of such releases.

Previous Meeting Minutes:

Fontenelle Working Grooup Meeting Minutes: April 14, 2004

Next Meeting:

The meeting adjourned at 11:40 p.m. The next meeting of the Fontenelle Reservoir Working Group is yet to be scheduled and will occur in mid-April of 2005. Contact Rick Clayton for confirmation of the time and location prior to attendance. Rick can be reached at 801-524-3710 or at rclayton@uc.usbr.gov.

Name Organization Telephone Number
Rick Clayton Reclamation 801-524-3710
Amy Thatcher Reclamation 801-524-3635
Bryan Seppie GR/RS JPWB 307-875-4317
Ben Bracken GR/RS JPWB 307-875-4317
Dave Zelinka WWDC 307-777-7626
Robert Keith WGFD 307-875-3223
Carol Damberg USFWS 307-875-2187
W. Russ Findlay Reclamation 801-379-1084
Ed Vidmar Reclamation 801-379-1182

Email comments/inquires to: ResourceMgr@uc.usbr.gov