Arkansas River flows to decrease starting Sunday

River outfitters generated record-breaking economic benefits in Chaffee and Fremont counties in 2021.

Starting Sunday, the Bureau of Reclamation will begin reducing Voluntary Flow Management Program flows in the Arkansas River below Twin Lakes Reservoir.

At Thurday’s Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District board meeting, hydrologist Jord Gertson reported that water managers will begin “ramping down VFMP flows.”

The river is currently flowing at 725 cubic feet per second at Salida, but Gertson said flows are expected to be approximately 300 cfs at Salida after Tuesday.

The VFMP supplements flows between Twin Lakes and Pueblo reservoirs from July 1 to mid August every year to support recreational boating.

Board Vice Chair Greg Felt said other Colorado river flows are below the 25th percentile, illustrating the importance of the VFMP to the upper Arkansas River.

Joe Stone