Monday, April 03, 2006

Lake Levels and updates

Monday, April 3, 2006

Elephant Butte Lake,
4335.50', 447,807 acre feet (down about three and a half feet from spring peak), 1450 c.f.s. release offset slightly by incoming flow. Spring irrigation is expected to continue until April 16, when the amount of outflow is expected to be cut back to 725 c.f.s., then increased again on May 7 to 1450 c.f.s. Aproximate exected conditions for later this spring are 4332.21' elev. and 408,645 acre feet on April 22 and 4327.55' elev. and 356,630 acre feet on May 20.

Sailing conditions were very good for this past weekend (April 1 - 2) with a wide variety of calm to breezy (it very briefly blew like hell Sat. p.m. near Rattlesnake Island) conditions, a mix of cloudy and sunny skies, and no precipitation. Weather conditions for the April 8-9 Spring Series 3 races are expected to be sunny with winds medium to breezy. Dinner for the spring series 3 regatta will be Saturday night (April 8) at the Damsite restaurant.

Crew members are still critically needed for the Adams Cup. The RGSC's ability to host a quality regatta depends upon enough women showing up to compete. Contact Pat or Carol Anne Byrnes or Rich or Sue Strasia for information or to crew or volunteer or otherwise support the Adams Cup and women's sailing programs in New Mexico.


Heron Lake,
7131.11' elevation, 152,603 acre feet, decreasing about 2 inches and 425 a.f. per day. Almost all the water has been taken out by the water contractors. Most of the marina is in five to six feet of water with some portions grounded in shallow areas. A small amount of spring runoff has begun to flow out of the Azotea Tunnel (17 to 40 c.f.s.) via Willow Creek (7 to 45 c.f.s.) in recent days. This flow should increase by mid-April enough to start refloating the grounded portions of the marina.

Possible (these are just guesses!) Heron Lake elevations and marina depths
7131' (5.5 to 6 feet depth in marina cove) April 1 to 8, 2006
7130' (4.5 to 5 feet) April 9 to 14 (depth of mud below boat ramp area: 3 feet)
7131' (5.5 to 6 feet) April 15-19
7132' (6.5 to 7 feet) April 20-24
7133' (7.5 to 8 feet) April 25-29
(First work party probably April 22 or April 29, possibly as early as April 15 is runoff comes in unusually fast)

7135' (9.5 to 10 feet) May 8 (depth of mud below boat ramp area: 8 feet. All boats can launch.)

7136' (10.5 to 11 feet) May 19 Opening day festivities.

7139' (13.5 to 14 feet) May 29

Guess-timated runoff
12,000 a.f. April
26,000 a.f. May
10,000 a.f. June
1,000 a.f. July
49,000 acre feet total

197,000 acre feet peak storage, June - July.
160,000 acre feet, October - November 2006 - point at which marina would again ground
101,000 acre feet end-of-season storage, April 2007

Current Snowpack Figures show some improvement over last month's:
Upper Chama Watershed, 63% of average snow water equivalent
San Juan headwaters, 65%
Upper Rio Grande in Colorado, 69%
Southwestern Colorado rivers, 74%


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