Reclamation announces increased Green River flows from Flaming Gorge Dam and urges caution to those below

Media Contact: Marlon Duke, 801-524-3774, mduke@usbr.gov

For Release: May 30, 2019

Flaming Gorge bypass tube releases
Flaming Gorge bypass tube releases
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – The Bureau of Reclamation will increase flows from Flaming Gorge Dam on the Green River in Northern Utah beginning Monday, June 3. The Green River is a major tributary to the Colorado River. Higher release flows are based on current reservoir and river conditions, snowmelt projections, recent storm activity and current weather forecasts, as well as input from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Western Area Power Administration and Flaming Gorge Working Group. Reclamation urges rafters, fishermen and anybody recreating or working along the Green River below Flaming Gorge Dam to exercise increased caution as the river will run high, swift and cold—conditions that can quickly overcome even the strongest swimmer.

At the highest rate, the dam will release approximately 4,500 cubic feet per second through its hydroelectric powerplant, which will allow full capacity power generation at about 150 megawatts. Another 4,000 cfs will flow through the dam’s two bypass tubes to reach a total release volume of 8,500 cfs. Flows are expected to continue at that rate for seven days.

The planned flow ramp-up schedule is as follows (all times are in Mountain Daylight Time):

Monday, June 3: 6:00 p.m. – Flows will begin to rise from approximately 2,000 cfs and will reach full powerplant capacity of approximately 4,500 cfs after 10:00 p.m.

Tuesday, June 4: 8:00 a.m. – First bypass tube will open and flows will gradually rise over two hours to reach about 6,500 cfs after 10:00 a.m. 12:00 p.m. – Second bypass tube will open and flows will gradually rise over two hours to reach the maximum planned release of 8,500 cfs after 2:00 p.m.

Combined with forecasted flows from the Yampa River, which is unregulated and joins the Green River below Flaming Gorge Dam in Dinosaur National Monument, flows near Jensen, Utah, are expected to be at or below 22,000 cfs. Flood stage capacity at Jensen is approximately 24,000 cfs. Reclamation will closely monitor actual and forecast flows and will reduce Flaming Gorge Dam release rates if the Yampa River is projected to considerably exceed current forecasts.

This release plan is subject to change depending on evolving forecasts. Those recreating on, working around or traveling to the Green River below Flaming Gorge Dam should monitor river conditions by checking Reclamation’s website (https://www.usbr.gov/uc/water/crsp/cs/fgd.html) and all posted signs at river access points.

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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.