McPhee Reservoir

Dolores River Spill Expected To Reach 4,000 CFS

Mar 17, 2017

Boaters, water managers, and environmental monitoring groups are looking forward to the largest managed release from the McPhee Dam since 2008.

Amanda Wilson / Creative Commons

The big question on many boater's minds is if there will be a spill into the Lower Dolores River from McPhee Reservoir this spring that would allow for recreational flows. River Radio host Sam Carter talks with Vern Harrell, manager at the Bureau of Reclamation, about the prospect for a boating spill this spring, and the factors that go into deciding if a spill is appropriate given the various demands on the water in the Dolores River.


  • Warm weather is shrinking area snowpack, but plenty remains for irrigation.
  • Spring weather also means weeds, a growing and perennial problem for Montezuma County.

  • The benefits of pumped-up recreation would be many, but to truly harvest them, Montezuma County may need a sales tax.


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