Sheriff lifts river closure order
Gunnison County Sheriff Rick Besecker has lifted a closure on a section of the Gunnison River, effective 2 p.m. Monday, June 26.
The section of the river affected by the most recent closure was between Almont and County Road 10. Besecker previously closed the river from Almont to North Bridge, just north of Gunnison city limits, on June 7.
“The bridges of concern are now passable,” Besecker explained. “The water has diminished a great deal in the last 24 hours.”
As of 2 p.m. Monday, flows along the Gunnison River at Gunnison measured 2,920 cubic feet per second (cfs). By way of comparison, flows on that section of the river peaked around 4,700 cfs on June 9. Subsequently, those flows subsided until early last week when run-off along the river at Gunnison spiked to nearly 4,500 cfs.
An abundance of snow in the high country this year produced high — but not historic — run-off in local waterways. The sheriff’s closure was due to low clearance under a private bridge.
Local outfitters continued to offer daily rafting and fishing trips on other nearby sections river during the closure period. While releases from Taylor Park Reservoir were increased significantly in recent weeks to avoid “spilling” of the reservoir — including at a rate of more than 1,200 cfs last week — as of early Monday releases from the dam had dropped to 980 cfs.
“We have historically run commercial trips on the Taylor River with releases up to 1,900 cfs,” noted Three Rivers Outfitting owner Mark Schumacher.