Water managers are working together now to find available flows for the Arkansas River for the coming whitewater season.
“Water groups are coming together to make this season work,” said Rob White, Park Manager at the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area.
The cooperative effort is occurring through the Voluntary Flow Management Program for the Arkansas River. The collaborative Flow Program was crafted in the 1990’s by what is now Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Colorado Trout Unlimited, the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District, the Colorado Department of Natural Resources and the Arkansas River Outfitters Association.
Administered by the Bureau of Reclamation, the Flow Program provides water management guidelines that benefit the fishery and provide for whitewater flows in the Arkansas River for recreation users, including commercial outfitters and private boaters, in the spring and summer months.
“Even in years like this when snowpack is low, the Flow Program helps supplement flows for exciting whitewater experiences on the Arkansas,” said White. Meetings throughout the month of May will help determine how much water municipalities and other water managers will be able to contribute to this year’s program.
“We have fun, whitewater recreational opportunities available the entire season this year for families and everyone who loves river adventures,” said Bob Hamel of Arkansas River Tours, an outfitting company.
If you are planning to take a whitewater trip down the Arkansas River, pick a trained and licensed guide. The Arkansas River Outfitters Association, http://www.aroa.org/ has a list of expert outfitters and guides and great tips for enjoying whitewater experiences.
Additional information on the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area is available at: www.parks.state.co.us/Parks/ArkansasHeadwaters.
The AHRA is managed through a cooperative effort between the Bureau of Land Management and Colorado State Parks. Formed in 1989, this partnership allows agencies to provide visitors with recreation opportunities and care for significant natural resources of the upper Arkansas River valley.