From Steamboat Today (Michael Schrantz):
The release started at about 1 p.m. Friday and should boost the Yampa River’s flows by about 50 cubic feet per second, McBride said. Low steamflows at the Craig plant triggered the release of water, which is used in the power plant’s cooling operations.
Division 6 State Water Engineer Erin Light said the Stagecoach release is the result of an agreement reached with Tri-State that stipulates a flow that must be met to satisfy senior rights holders downstream of the Craig power plant. She said her agency gathered data on what diversions are occurring and what ones are senior to Tri-State to reach a number of 50 cfs natural flow that would avoid a call on the river.
Tri-State “can pump the river dry, but that would force a call downstream,” Light said. “Rather than force a call on the river and its tributaries, we’d rather make this decision.”
More Yampa River Basin coverage here.