Reclamation Increases Releases from the Aspinall Unit to Meet Flow Targets on the Gunnison River

Media Contact: Justyn Liff, 970-248-0625, jliff@usbr.gov
Erik Knight, 970-248-0629, eknight@usbr.gov

For Release: May 17, 2017

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – The Bureau of Reclamation began increasing releases from the Aspinall Unit, consisting of Blue Mesa, Morrow Point, and Crystal reservoirs on the Gunnison River, on May 14, 2017. The increased release will attempt to meet flow targets on the Gunnison River, designed to benefit endangered fish species downstream while continuing to meet the congressionally authorized purposes of the Aspinall Unit.

Flows in the Gunnison River through the Black Canyon will increase at a minimum of 500 cubic-feet-per-second a day resulting in flows through the canyon that may reach 12,000 cfs by approximately May 23. Flows will remain around 11,500 cfs to 12,000 cfs for 3-5 days before incrementally decreasing toward a range of 5,000 cfs to 5,500 cfs around May 29.

Reclamation will be monitoring the river and working with stakeholders during the increased releases. The release schedule is subject to modifications.

For more information on the Aspinall Unit water operations visit https://www.usbr.gov/uc/water/crsp/cs/asp.html. To be added to our Aspinall Unit operations email list, send your email address to jliff@usbr.gov.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States, and the nation's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at https://www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.