Dillon Dam Maintenance Update, Blue River – Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Yesterday morning we had the chance to speak with Denver Water for a status update with regards to the schedule for completion of the ongoing maintenance project on Dillon Dam. The information was promising, albeit a little uncertain for a specific date.
It looks as if the actual maintenance and repair work may finish late this week. From there it gets a little hard to forecast the actual date of full “tailwater” release. Once the work is done they will have to do some “dry” testing, before they back fill the system with water, which could take a couple of days. Then, they will fill the outflow works with water via a pump. Originally it sounded like that may only take 2-4 days. Now, it looks as if that could actually be 7 days. After it is filled, then there will still need to be a couple of days for wet testing. Once the system is deemed operational, it will finally be converted over to a total bottom release and the flow adjusted to a level, which is still not certain.
If we had to guess, we would say sometime around the 27th of January is a good bet for things to be moving forward with the planned release of water from Lake Dillon via the outflow works of the dam. As we mentioned in last week’s update, Denver Water then needs to drain about 6,000 acre feet of water out of the lake. Because of that, it will mean an increase in stream flows. Unfortunately, that level cannot be determined until the water is released into the river and they see what level is safe for the amount of ice in the river channel. Therefore, it may take a few days of fine-tuning before the river settles in to a consistent flow and the fish identify their holding lies.
We know it seems like the proverbial carrot-in-front-of-the-horse trick. You can see the prize; you just never quite get to it. Rest assured, we will get to bite into that Mysis Shrimp laden reward.