Trees have no leaves as we look west across the recreation area up to Pueblo Dam.
(Above) Pueblo Dam and Reservoir have entered winter operations.

Looking west across a half full Pueblo Reservoir. Water in foreground. Mountains in background.
(Above) Pueblo Reservoir maintained a relatively consistent water elevation most of 2014.

Pueblo Reservoir

Reclamation has moved into winter operations across the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project. For a quick recap on Turquoise and Twin Lakes reservoirs this winter, please visit our ECAO Main page.

2014 Water Year in Review

Pueblo reached its peak elevation for the spring and summer season in May. Although, physically it stayed about 60% full for most of the season, that was actually a fair reservoir elevation for a water year like this.The main reason the 60% full mark is still a decent water level elevation has to do with flood control.

Unlike most of our reservoirs, Pueblo is authorized for flood control.The flood control space in the upper reaches of the reservoir's pool is kept empty on purpose from March through September. It is set aside for an unusual event so that there is storage space should the "perfect storm" occur. During those months, Pueblo stands ready to catch flood waters, if such an event materializes.

If we were to remove the flood control space from the total storage of Pueblo, the high mark for water in the reservoir at the beginning of the 2014 season would have been closer to 87% full.

To track how we and other reservoir operators are moving water down the Arkansas River throughout the year, please visit the Arkansas Headwaters Association water operations page.

Voluntary Flow Program

The Voluntary Flow Program is a cooperative effort for augmenting flows in the Arkansas River for recreation enhancement, a major tourism component of central Colorado. The Program was crafted in the 1990s by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Colorado Trout Unlimited, the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District, the Colorado Department of Natural Resources and the Arkansas River Outfitters Association. In years requiring flow augmentation, the State of Colorado sends a letter of request to Reclamation for implementation of the program.

The 2014 Water Year did not require augmentation from the Flow Program. An above average snowpack yielded above average native flows in tributaries to the Arkansas River and in the Arkansas itself.

Pueblo RMP

In February 2014, Reclamation and Colorado Parks & Wildlife closed the first public comment period on the revision of the Lake Pueblo State Park Resource Management Plan.

Comments received from the public helped Reclamation and CPW identify important management actions for both the State Park and the State Wildlife Area. That same input also helped Reclamation identify the scope of the Environmental Assessment that accompanies the RMP.

Reclamation and CPW spent the majority of 2014 reviewing and analyzing the comments and writing related reports. The Draft RMP will outline the plans for both the park and the wildlife areas over the next ten years. The Draft Environmental Assessment will review and summarize the main areas of concern identified by the public during the first public comment period. It is anticipated that both the draft RMP and EA will be ready for a second public comment period by summer 2015.

To be added to the Fry-Ark operations e-mail notification list for Turquoise and Twin Lakes, or for Pueblo, please contact Signe Snortland. Also, please visit us on Facebook.

Last Updated: 3/23/15