The Pine River Irrigation District (PRID), the operator of Vallecito Reservoir, is again planning to do a “Spring Flush” of the Pine River. This is planned for the week of April 3rd, with a target peak flow of 1800 cubic feet per second. The purpose of this flush is to help move debris off of ditch head gates in preparation for irrigation season. Normally, they begin the flush on Monday, gradually ramping up dam releases until they hit the target flow on Wednesday. They will hold that rate for about a day, then start reducing flows back down over Thursday and Friday. Since these are planned, coordinated events, the past Spring Flush operations have not caused any significant concerns and the plan does provides enough notice to allow for monitoring of potential problem areas.
With the large amount of snowpack in the mountains and the unseasonably warm weather this spring, there may be a need to keep flows in the Pine River higher than normal – either before or after the Spring Flush.
Southern Ute Water Resources Division staff will be in regular communication with PRID and the Pine River Commissioner and we will forward any updated river information along to the rest of the Tribal organization. Kathi Gurule, the Tribe’s Emergency & Risk Manager will be the emergency point of contact for any flooding concerns. She can be reached at 970-563-0100 ext. 2449 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .