Leadville News – May 8

 Water Flow Reports for Turquoise, Twin

The sun is shining and spring is awakening in Leadville Today. It’s also the time of year when conversations turn from snow and ice, to water flows and cfs (cubic feet per second). Many regular river users may have noticed that some of the regular reporting agents have been delayed in getting out the water flows report for the Arkansas River.

Fishing_June_2017_Twin Peaks

Pictured here is Forebay Reservoir located above Twin Lakes. This water way is part of the Fryingpan Arkansas transbasin diversion project. Photo: Leadville Today/Kathy Bedell.

So LT reached out to the Bureau of Reclamation to find out what the hiccup was in relaying this important, pertinent information as rafting and fishing businesses gear up for the busy season.  Terry Dawson, a FryArk Project Water Resource Specialist at the Bureau explained that the person from the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA) that used to distribute the BOR updates has retired and has not yet been replaced.

Hopefully the position will be filled soon, with things getting back on track. Until then, Leadville Today has been added to the communication list and stays committed to keeping readers posted about any changes in water flows down the Lake Fork Creek from Turquoise Lake, as well as the Lake Creek from Twin Lakes, during the run-off season.

So how are the input/output flow forecasts looking for Lake County’s Turquoise and Twin Lakes early in the season?

“Right now, we are expecting the imports from the Western Slope  through the Boustead Tunnel into Turquoise Lake of about 60,000 acre feet. That’s pretty close to average for most years,” stated Dawson. Right now, the BOR is releasing the native flows as they come through Twin Lakes as fast as they come in. River watchers may have noticed that increase over last weekend between the snow melt and the continual spring storms that roll through the high country, leaving their own contributions behind. While the snow-pack on the east slope is low, especially at lower elevations, reported Dawson, the snow-pack in the very limited area that the BOR captures on the western slope is average.Fryingpan Arkansas transbasin diversion project

These imports are the flows that the BOR diverts from the western slope through the Boustead Tunnel to Turquoise Lake. Some of that water is then diverted down Lake Fork Creek to Forebay Reservoir through Twin Lakes at the Mount Elbert Powerplant, eventually reaching the Arkansas River for thousands of outdoor recreationalists to enjoy.

“Things are looking really, really good for the flows that we’re going to be releasing from Turquoise and Twin for rafting,” stated Terry Dawson in an interview with Leadville Today. The BOR usually sets aside 10,000 acre-feet of their “Voluntary Flow Management Program” water to support fishing and rafting flows on the Arkansas River. That water is generally released for rafting flows between July 1 and Aug 15.

“We expect to have that water available this year,” stated Dawson, providing a welcome sigh of relief for the many rafting and fishing companies who rely on these flows to support their water-based businesses and the hundreds of folks they employ. 

Well, that’s what’s flowing in Leadville Today. If you have additional water news, feel free to reach out at info@leadvilletoday.com.

Grace Hand og God Link

Rafting and Train Ride Special Offered

If you are looking for a great rafting adventure topped off by one of Leadville’s more low-key, scenic attractions try the raft and ride package offered by the Leadville, Colorado and Southern Railroad.

A half-day of rafting with Noah’s Ark Colorado Rafting, followed by a 2.5 hour Scenic Train Ride is what many visitors consider to the perfect Rocky Mounatin vacation. But don’t wait, as these special packages are limited and they do sell out!

  • IMPORTANT DETAILS:
    • Browns Canyon Rafting Trip – check in at 8am, 2 hours of rafting through Browns Canyon (class III and III+ whitewater)
    • Lunch will be provided at Noah’s Ark Rafting.
    • Leadville Scenic Train Ride – Check in time is 1:15 and train departs at 2 p.m. for 2.5 hour scenic train ride.
  • PRICE:
    • Adult Package: $117 (plus fees & taxes)
    • Child: $85 (plusfees & taxes)
  • Cut-off Date is August 16, 2018.

Please check out the train’s website or call for more information 1-866-386-3936.Raft Ride

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