Reclamation increasing Green River flows from Flaming Gorge Dam and urges caution downstream

Media Contact: Marlon Duke, 385-228-4845, mduke@usbr.gov
Robyn Gerstenslager, 385-256-8509, rgerstenslager@usbr.gov

For Release: May 21, 2020

Flaming Gorge Dam full bypass release
Flaming Gorge Dam full bypass release
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – The Bureau of Reclamation will increase flows from Flaming Gorge Dam on the Green River in Northern Utah beginning Tuesday, May 26. 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.

Reclamation will increase flows gradually beginning on May 26 to reach an initial peak on May 27 of approximately 8,100 cubic feet per second (4,600 cfs through its hydroelectric powerplant, which will allow full capacity power generation at about 150 megawatts, and another 3,500 cfs through the dam’s two bypass tubes). Flows will most likely be taken down to 6,600 (4,600 cfs powerplant capacity and 2,000 cfs partial bypass) on May 28 and continue to until the next peak later the following week. Based on current weather forecasts, flows may increase an additional 1,000 cfs on Tuesday, June 2, to a peak flow of 7,600 cfs.

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

• Tuesday, May 26, at 4:00 pm – Flows will begin increasing from 950 cfs and should reach full powerplant capacity of 4,600 cfs at or around 10:00 pm.

• Wednesday, May 27, at 8:00 am – Bypass tube opens and flows gradually rise to reach approximately 8,100 cfs at or around 2:00 pm.

• Thursday, May 28, at 8:00 am – Bypass tube opens and flows gradually reduced to reach approximately 6,600 cfs at or around 10:00 am.

• Tuesday, June 2, at 8:00 am – Second bypass tube opens and flows gradually rise to reach approximately 7,600 cfs at or around 10:00 am.

This release plan is subject to change depending on evolving forecasts.

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 18,600 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.

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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The Bureau of Reclamation is a federal agency under the U.S. Department of the Interior and is the nation's largest wholesale water supplier and second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Our facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation opportunities, and environmental benefits. Visit our website at https://www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

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Those recreating on, working around or traveling to the Green River below Flaming Gorge Dam should monitor river conditions by checking Reclamation’s website and all posted signs at river access points.