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Old 09-14-2013, 09:52 AM
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Very Important Lees Ferry Update

This past week the entire Lake Powell region was inundated with torrential rains and flash flooding and all of this runoff ended up in Lake Powell. On Wednesday, 9/11 the water that flows from Glen Canyon Dam, into the Colorado River became off-color, about the color of pea soup. I estimated the visibility to be about a foot and a half whereas normally it can be more than 10-ft. Conditions worsened on Thursday and Friday with the water clarity becoming even more opaque. People are still fishing but we're not catching the number of fish that we were prior to the onset of the murky water and this is of course due to the fact that trout are sight feeders.

Lake Powell appears normal on the surface, however, there must be a layer of silt-laden water at the same depth as the withdrawal penstocks at the dam. There is no precedent for this and in my 31 years here on the river I have never seen anything like it. There are currently scientists looking into the situation and hopefully we will soon have an idea on how long this event might last. Until further notice we are alerting all our fishing customers of the situation and giving them the choice on whether they wish to come fish or reschedule/cancel their trip. Hopefully this will be a short term event and our water will clear soon.

I'll be keeping everyone informed with regular updates.

Terry Gunn

This photo of the river was taken by Mick Lovett from the top of the rim, near Glen Canyon Dam
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Old 09-14-2013, 10:03 AM
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yuck!!!
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Old 09-14-2013, 10:48 AM
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Bad short-term, but perhaps this is a good thing long term? I'm just wondering if all this rain will help raise Lake Powell's levels a bit, and bring in even more of those nutrients you commented about after the recent flash floods.
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Old 09-14-2013, 12:52 PM
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I am headed up to the ferry in October and I was wondering if this will affect the fishing.
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Old 09-14-2013, 02:18 PM
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Well he stated that with the water conditions the way they currently are the fishing has been negatively affected. He also mentioned that they don't know how long this will last. So if these conditions are present in October then my guess would be yes it will affect the fishing...
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Old 09-14-2013, 02:27 PM
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Will this result in fish mortality?
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Old 09-14-2013, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theapachetrout View Post
Will this result in fish mortality?
I'm no expert and I'll let Terry have the final word, but I don't see how this sediment would result in fish mortality. It's not like its ash that reduces the O2 content of the water dangerously, it's just sediment that messes up the clarity of the river. The fish should be fine.
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Old 09-14-2013, 04:13 PM
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Dam. Was heading to the Ferry in the am. Now I will have to all the projects around the house. Hope it clears soon.
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Old 09-14-2013, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newby View Post
I'm no expert and I'll let Terry have the final word, but I don't see how this sediment would result in fish mortality. It's not like its ash that reduces the O2 content of the water dangerously, it's just sediment that messes up the clarity of the river. The fish should be fine.
I agree with that. Trout do fine in much worse conditions than this. The area of Colorado River below the Paria comes to mind. There are periods where this section of river has zero visibility for moths at a time.

My guides just returned in for the day. The fishing was OK, not great, but everyone caught fish. I've had near "skunks" in bluebird conditions. So the fish are eating.
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Old 09-14-2013, 09:10 PM
Htrain Htrain is offline
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I was on the river today. Crazy. I bumped my prop coasting into a bar, I couldn't see the bottom. Less than 1' visibility. With that said, fishing hard did get some results. Probably 20 hookups today, but a lot if effort to get them.
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