Massive Snake River snowmaking diversions means tough times for trout after drought summer
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — The most recent snowstorm helped boost the overall Colorado snowpack just a bit, bringing it on par with last year’s level at this time, which is still well below average for mid-November. Statewide, the snowpack was at 57 percent of average, as of Nov. 15, with most West Slope basins between 50 and 60 percent of average. Even the North Platte drainage, which has seen some significant snows in the Never Summer Range, is only at 64 percent of average.
In Summit and Eagle counties, many streams are flowing at or below historic low levels, creating challenges for some ski areas that rely on direct stream diversions for snowmaking. Keystone, for example, has had to dial back its snow guns several times in the past week as the Snake River dropped to a flow of just six cubic feet per second, the minimum required under state regulations. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Drought, Environment, Keystone, Ski Resorts, Snow and weather, Summit County snow and weather, US Forest Service, wildlife | Tagged: Colorado, CWCB instream flows, Denver Water, Roberts Tunnel, Snake River, snowmaking, Trout, water | 1 Comment »