Reclamation bureau to discuss Ruedi plan | AspenTimes.com

Reclamation bureau to discuss Ruedi plan

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado

BASALT ” Public interest is expected to be higher than usual for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s annual meeting next week to discuss spring water releases and other operations at Ruedi Reservoir.

The meeting will be Monday, May 12, at 7 p.m. in Basalt Town Hall.

Officials from the reclamation bureau will discuss water releases from Ruedi dam this spring and the implications for boating on the reservoir and fishing on the Fryingpan River. The snowpack in the upper Fryingpan Valley is significantly higher than average this year, so the reclamation bureau has been emptying the reservoir to clear room for runoff.

Observers noted that the water level is below the U.S. Forest Service boat ramp just above the dam, which means the water level in the reservoir is below 56,000 acre feet. It holds more than 102,000 acre feet.

“We’ve been moving water out of the reservoir to make room for what we anticipate will be a large run-off,” reclamation bureau spokeswoman Kara Lamb wrote in an e-mail to people interested in Ruedi Reservoir operations.

“The snowpack up the Fryingpan basin is impressive. (Tuesday), though, we’re starting to see some changes,” Lamb wrote. “It looks like that upper elevation snow is starting to melt. The flow into Ruedi has started to come up a bit and the reservoir has essentially stopped dropping, even though we haven’t changed our release. That means, if this trend continues, we’ll be decreasing our releases pretty soon and start filling the reservoir again.”

Spring runoff into the reservoir tends to peak in late May or early June, so the hope is the boat ramp will be back in water and usable again for Memorial Day weekend, Lamb said.

Monday’s meeting also will be a chance to review 2007 operations and potential water projects associated with the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project, which Ruedi Reservoir is part of. As always, the meeting will include a question-and-answer session.


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