The Rio Grande through Albuquerque has been rising for the last week or so, and is now about to make a good-sized jump in flow as water managers push some extra flows from storage behind upstream dams to encourage our beleaguered silvery minnow to spawn. From a notice sent out this afternoon by Mary Carlson at the Bureau of Reclamation:
The release from El Vado to Abiquiu is currently at 2,000 cubic feet per second. That will double by Wednesday and then will begin dropping back down to about 2,000 cubic feet per second by Friday. It will remain at that level for a couple of weeks. This flow, which is beneficial to the ecosystem of the Rio Chama, includes the bypass of the inflow to El Vado Reservoir as well as the scheduled release of water stored with approval of the Rio Grande Compact states of Colorado, New Mexico and Texas. This agreement allowed for the storage of close to 40,000 acre-feet of water in El Vado between May 2 and May 20….
The release from Abiquiu Reservoir is scheduled to rise to about 1,800 cubic feet per second by Wednesday and continue for approximately two weeks. The release from Cochiti Dam will be close to 3,300 for about two weeks. This flow will also benefit the entire ecosystem and is aimed at signaling the endangered Rio Grande silvery minnow to spawn. Minnow numbers have been low in recent years as the drought has continued. However, a better spring runoff last year helped support a slight improvement in minnow abundance. Monitoring for silvery minnow eggs will be conducted throughout this operation.
I noticed the high and fast flow this morning (Wednesday, 5/25/16) as I rode over the Alameda Bridge. The height was even more apparent when I walked to the river bank at the Campbell Road access. Now that is the mighty Rio Grande! Very cool to see.