Navajo 2017 Spring Releases on the San Juan River
The 2017 Spring release schedule is out for the San Juan River below Navajo dam. With these higher flows on the Juan, fishing will get pretty awesome. Check our the official statement, then a few of our notes below…
BUREAU OF RECLAMATION NAVAJO RESERVOIR
2017 SPRING PEAK RELEASE FINAL SCHEDULE
April 21, 2017
“The Bureau of Reclamation has scheduled this year’s spring peak release from Navajo Reservoir. Reclamation will begin to increase the release on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017 at 7:00 AM. The ramp-up to 5,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) may take up to 16 days, as increases will be made based on river conditions and coordination with local agencies. A notice will be sent out prior to each release increase on the way to 5,000 cfs. The release is scheduled to remain at 5,000 cfs for up to 35 days, or until the spring runoff on the Animas River is complete. If the ramp-up duration takes 16 days and all 35 days at peak are utilized, the release will begin decreasing on Friday, June 23rd at approximately 7:00 AM, reaching 500 cfs on Thursday, July 6th, where it will remain until further notice.
The shape and timing of the hydrograph have been coordinated with the San Juan River Basin Recovery Implementation Program to balance Recovery Program benefits with flood control and operational safety. During spring operations, releases from the Navajo Unit will be made in an attempt to remain at or below the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers safe channel capacity of 5,000 cfs between Navajo Reservoir and the confluence with the Animas River in Farmington, and 12,000 cfs downstream of Farmington. The release may be changed or reduced if the precipitation forecast shows a risk of exceeding safe channel capacity in the San Juan River.
Areas in the immediate vicinity of the river channel may be unstable and dangerous. Please use extra caution near the river channel and protect or remove any valuable property in these areas.”
So what does this all mean?
The ramp would most likely occur in stages. We they will likely get to 3000 cfs quickly, where it will hold it a few days. Then 3500 for a few days, 4000 for several days, 4500, for a few days, etc. The higher flow it reaches, the longer they will probably hold the flow to let it work. You can expect the flows to be held consistent over weekends. With the ramp up starting May 3rd and looking like this for the first 3 days:
May 3: 1500
May 4: 2200
May 5: 3200
Then holding over the weekend. Further changes will be coordinated with local agencies but you can expect increases of about 400 CFS every other day.