Durango Telegraph - Dolores River season looking short
Dolores River season looking short

Despite hopes that an epic winter would make for an epic boating season, the outlook in Southwest Colorado is shaping up to be average, at best. And for river rats hoping for an extended season on the Dolores, the window is looking disappointingly small.

“Right now, it’s looking like a very small spill, a couple days to a week,” said Vern Harrell, Dolores River Project liaison for the Bureau of Reclamation in Dolores. “It also looks like we’re going to miss

Memorial Day rafting. The spill’s probably not going to happen until early June.”

Harrell met last week with various Dolores River Spill Committee to look at the spill forecast from the National River Forecast Center. He said although the Dolores River drainage is slightly above 100 percent for snow totals, McPhee Reservoir is unusually low thanks to a lack of precipitation last summer and fall. “We had a 30,000 acre foot drop because of the drought,” he

said.

However, Harrell noted that a lot can change – and often does – during springtime in the Rockies. “It’s still early,” he said. “As we get closer, we’ll get a better idea of how thing will shape up.”

The Spill Committee plans to meet again April 7. In the meantime, look for up-to-the-minute updates at: www.doloreswater.com

– Missy Votel

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