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Conservancy District: McPhee Spill Starting Next Week, 1,200 CFS by Memorial Day Weekend

Daniel Rayzel
McPhee Reservoir on May 7.

The Dolores Water Conservancy District has announced a managed release, also known as a “spill,” from McPhee Reservoir in time for Memorial Day Weekend.

According to a statement issued by the district Tuesday, McPhee will begin spilling May 21 and increase about 400 cubic feet per second each day until Friday, May 24. After reaching 1,200 cfs that morning, the district plans to maintain the rate through Memorial Day.


By Tuesday, May 28, the spill will ramp down to 800 cfs and is expected to continue through noon Thursday. After that, the duration and flow levels of the spill are “impossible” to determine, due to uncertainties in the forecast. The district’s statement says a substantial amount of remaining high-elevation snow will cause variation for reservoir inflow.


Starting next week, the district is planning for biweekly updates on spill information.


Outside of boating, a managed release also brings ecological benefits to the Lower Dolores River, including bankside plant life.

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