There is still time to boat the Dolores River below McPhee Dam.
A whitewater release might continue into early July while the last of the remaining snowpack comes off the high peaks.
Managers are topping off McPhee Reservoir this week. Inflows are sufficient to continue releases below the dam for recreation.
Releases are expected to fluctuate between 800 cubic feet per second and 1,400 cubic feet per second into early July.
The gradual rampdown from 800 cfs to basic fishery flows of about 150 cfs should last about a week before the spill ends.
The forecast is subject to change day to day. Inflow variations caused by diurnal shifts, weather patterns and irrigation demand, will fluctuate flows during the next seven to 10 days. The reservoir will fill this weekend, then dam releases are calculated by inflows into the reservoir, minus irrigation diversions.
Above-average snowfall and cool weather have allowed mountain snowpack to hold into summer. It made the runoff forecast difficult and delayed a full reservoir until June.
Initial predictions were for a one- to two-week whitewater release below the dam. Friday, the boating release hit five weeks, and will likely continue into July.
To guarantee the reservoir will fill completely, if there is an indication in coming days that the snow has run out, managers may be forced to start the spill rampdown earlier. Managers have a primary goal of keeping the reservoir full while ramping down flows below the dam. Final flows below the dam may “hover” between 200 cfs and 799 cfs before dropping to base flows. To avoid being stranded on the river, boaters should check flow conditions before their trip and refer to website updates.