Monday May 2, 2022

The Colorado Sun

A plan to release an additional 500,000 acre-feet of water from Flaming Gorge reservoir is welcome news to biologists conducting research to recover four species of endangered fish in the Colorado River Basin. 

“We’re pretty excited about how this turned out,” Julie Stahli, director of the Upper Colorado Endangered Fish Recovery Program, said. “There are a million ways they can release this water, so the fact that they’re doing such good things for these fish for that process is heartwarming.”

The extra water set to come out of Flaming Gorge reservoir in Wyoming during the next 12 months is part of a 2022 Drought Response Operations Plan agreed on last week by the Upper Basin states — Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico. The water is intended to help prop up low levels at Lake Powell. 

The drought response plan is currently under review by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and will likely be finalized this week. The timing of any releases has also yet to be finalized, but Stahli said the extra water should allow the Fish Recovery Program to conduct two additional experiments that would not have otherwise been possible.

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