Coordinated reservoir releases for endangered fish not needed this year |

Coordinated reservoir releases for endangered fish not needed this year

Daily News staff report

Operators of Dillon, Granby, Green Mountain, Ruedi, Williams Fork, Willow Creek and Wolford Mountain reservoirs will not implement coordinated operations this year because river flows in western Colorado are predicted to be out of the banks due to high snowpack levels.

In anticipation of this year’s high runoff, reservoir operators conducted pre-emptive releases instead, making storage space for large amounts of snowmelt.

“Reservoir operators are working hard to minimize any impacts that might result from high flows while still allowing for the natural spring peak flow the endangered fish need,” said Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program director Tom Chart.

A voluntary program, the coordinated reservoir operations were established in 1995 as part of the recovery program to enhance spring peak flows for endangered fish to a section of the Colorado River upstream of Grand Junction. In average snowpack years, reservoir operators simultaneously release water to provide an enhanced peak flow that creates habitat conditions that benefit endangered Colorado pike minnow, razorback sucker, humpback chub and bonytail.

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