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Clear Creek Reservoir will be drained for repairs

Brief by Central Staff

Water – May 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine

Colorado’s best-known Clear Creek rises in the mountains due west of Denver and flows through Golden. Our Clear Creek starts in the Sawatch Range northwest of Granite, and flows through Winfield and Vicksburg before joining the Arkansas River just south of the Lake-Chaffee county line.

It does not flow freely, however; near its mouth is a dam that creates Clear Creek Reservoir, which is owned and operated by the City of Pueblo.

Pueblo has started draining the 11,500-acre-foot reservoir, and plans to have it nearly dry by mid-August so that the city’s water department can perform repairs and maintenance on the reservoir’s outlet.

After the snowmelt peaks this spring, releases will be timed to help maintain flows on the Arkansas for recreation through Aug. 15. Then the repair crew goes to work. Refilling is scheduled to start in November, and the reservoir should be filled to capacity again by the end of the summer of 2008.

Stocking of fish in Clear Creek Reservoir will decrease as it continues to drain, but it will be possible to fish at Clear Creek this summer. As Greg Policky of the Division of Wildlife observed, however, when the reservoir is being drawn down, “The fish become easier to catch, but the shorelines are muddy,” and “Access deteriorates and fishermen can’t get in.”