Water Experts Hope For Cool, Wet Autumn

Basalt—As we head into September, the searing heat of summer will soon give way to the cooler temperatures and colors of fall.  However, the horrific drought that has plagued Colorado this year will linger for some time.  According to the latest river report from the Roaring Fork Conservancy, rivers and streams throughout the watershed are still flowing way below average.  It can be blamed on a disappointing winter, very little summer rain and unrelenting heat that saw the mercury reach triple-digits more than once.  Cooler temperatures are good for local aquatic life, however, the Crystal River is still lower and warmer than normal for this time of year. At the hatchery, the Crystal is down to a trickle at just 17 cubic feet per second. As a result, anglers hoping to get in some late summer/early fall fishing up valley will be disappointed.  Colorado Parks and Wildlife has now implemented a full-day, voluntary closure on the Crystal River from Avalanche Creek to the Roaring Fork River.  As for flows elsewhere in the watershed, the Roaring Fork was measured at 290 cfs, about 100 below the mean while the Colorado River at Glenwood Springs is close to the mean at 2,290 cfs.  Due to summer releases, Reudi Reservoir is now 79 percent full.