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Lower Dolores River Releases Will Ramp Down Tuesday Afternoon

Gail Binkly

It’s time to get off the Dolores River if you’re below McPhee Dam and upstream from the confluence with the San Miguel River.

That’s the message from the Dolores Water Conservancy District, which posted an update on its website Tuesday saying inflow into the reservoir has peaked and runoff has dropped significantly. Hundreds of boaters took advantage of the rare recreational spill, which began Friday morning. The district, which manages the dam, says rafting releases below McPhee would start ramping down Tuesday afternoon and drop by about 100 cubic feet per second each day. Wednesday’s flows should be about 700 cfs, Thursday’s 600, and so on. The message comes even as the National Weather Service in Grand Junction warns that above-normal temperatures across western Colorado and eastern Utah are rapidly melting remaining snowpack, meaning many rivers are flowing fast and there may be hazards on and near waterways in the region.

Gail Binkly is a career journalist who has worked for the Colorado Springs Gazette and Cortez Journal. She is currently a freelance writer as well as the editor of the Four Corners Free Press, based in Cortez.
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