Lake Granby fill sets record |

Lake Granby fill sets record

Lance Maggart |
A large rooster tail of water flys above the Granby Dam spillway in this file photo. Granby is expected to fill and spill this year though officials from Northern Water said they do not anticipate the large rooster tails that have been seen in years past.
Rob McClure / Special to the Sky-Hi News |

It’s high water season in Grand County and officials from Northern Water say they expect Lake Granby to fill and spill sometime over the next two weeks.

Brian Werner, Northern Water’s public spokesman, said Thursday that officials from Northern Water began preemptive releases this week.

“The inflows have dropped down a bit because we have been getting some colder weather up high,” Werner indicated. “When it warms back up the flows will pick back up.”

Releases were bumped from 75 cubic feet per second up to 300 cubic feet per second coming out of the reservoir. And it’s still about three feet from full, according to Werner.

Northern Water, however, is confident Lake Granby will fill this year, making 2017 the fourth consecutive year Granby has filled, he explained.

“That is a record,” Werner said. “We have never done that four years in a row. As we say, we like to get Granby full every year.”

Werner noted the four years of consecutive filling are out of the ordinary for Lake Granby, historically speaking.

“When I started with Northern Water we would spill about once every 12 years,” he said.

While Lake Granby is expected to fill this year officials from Northern do not anticipate flows as high as the past three years, partially attributable to the preemptive releases.

“We will run inflows through the reservoir and out without getting into some of the high numbers that we have seen the last couple of years,” Werner noted. “We are looking to the second or third week of June to be our peak for flows. We may have hit the peak already.”

According to Werner the typical high flow season on the upper Colorado River is anywhere from around June 10 to June 25.

Apart from Lake Granby the other reservoirs in Grand County tell a similar story.

As of Thursday morning Williams Fork was sitting just five feet below full and Willow Creek was two feet below full.

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