Expect lower river flows in July

With the Governor’s executive order shutting down rentals at Salt River Tubing and Recreation, I’ve learned that Salt River Project will be taking the opportunity to reduce releases from Stewart Mountain Dam, aiming for a range of 350-500 cfs and a target of about 425 cfs. By doing so, they will be able to increase the water released down the Verde River in an effort to drain Horseshoe Reservoir down to its base flow from the Verde River. You can check the lake levels here.

Draining Horseshoe Reservoir down to its lakebed for at least three days helps support conservation efforts by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to kill off non-native fish in the lake that are muscling out endangered native species. So while this means that paddling will be a bit rockier this month, at least it’s for a good cause.

That said, it’s also obvious that the timing of this decision was made without regard to the kayakers and paddle boarders who use the Lower Salt River. Paddling season is already short enough, right?

This is another example of why we need an Alliance of Salt River Paddlers to help ensure that the interests of paddlers are heard by decision makers. Please add your own voice to the Alliance; together, we can have an impact.

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