STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Flows in the Yampa River have seen a boost after officials began releasing reservoir water to increase the amount of water flowing in the upper Yampa.
The Colorado Water Trust will release a total of 600 acre-feet of water from Stagecoach Reservoir, initially at a rate of 15 cubic feet per second. The releases began on Saturday, said Zach Smith, an attorney for the organization.
“We’ve worked with them to deliver water to and through Steamboat Springs to improve both the fishery and the recreational opportunities that folks there have,” Smith said…
…The Water Trust purchased the water using funding from the Nature Conservancy, Tri-State Generation and Oskar Blues Brewery’s CAN’d Aid Foundation.
Should flows in the river remain low once the Colorado Water Trust’s initial 600 acre-feet of water is sent downstream, the trust could use other funding sources to purchase more water, Smith said. In the past, the city has cooperated to release city-owned water from the reservoir after the Colorado Water Trust has released its allocation of water, he added.
“We know that the community up there loves this river, and they love it enough to know when to get out of it when it’s stressed,” Smith said. “If we can improve it with additional flow for the community up there, that’s what the Water Trust is around for.”
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Eleanor C. Hasenbeck