Dolores River

Dr. Cynthia Dott and Dr. Julie Knudson

The latest forecast from the Dolores Water Conservancy District points toward McPhee Reservoir filling by Memorial Day. For boaters, the increasing likelihood of a spill means a chance to boat down the Lower Dolores River.


For life along the banks, a spill means a chance for a big gulp of water.

Still from 'The Chicken Raper'

The Dolores River is home to whitewater rapids known by many names, such as the Stateline, the Narrows and … the Chicken Raper. 

Creative Commons

A Colorado water court has ruled in favor of allowing an instream flow water right on the lower Dolores River in Mesa and Montrose counties.

Austin Cope

An online survey is asking boaters who floated the Lower Dolores River over the summer to share feedback and data to help plan future releases on the river.

Julie Knudson / The Nature Conservancy

About 24,000 people boated the Lower Dolores River this summer, according to estimates from the Bureau of Land Management. At a public meeting Wednesday night, leaders from Dolores River Boating Advocates, American Whitewater, and The Nature Conservancy told the Dolores Water Conservancy District they appreciated this season’s regular communication with boaters and other stakeholders about releases from McPhee Dam. However, some said they would have preferred more advance notice on the late summer releases.