Voluntary Flow Program In Full Swing on the Arkansas River

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Local paddlers, visiting rafters, and fishermen can rest assured they will have water in the scenic Upper Arkansas River drainage for the remainder of the summer, despite lower reservoir levels.

The Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA) will have more than 10,000 acre-feet of water available as part of the Voluntary Flow Management Program (VFMP) this summer, as a result of a joint effort between the Bureau of Reclamation, the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District and the Pueblo Board of Water Works, according to Rob White, AHRA park manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

“This helps ensure the Upper Arkansas River will have great flows for rafting and kayaking at least through mid-August, and the fishing should continue to be stellar well into the fall,” White said.

The VFMP is a cooperative program crafted in the 1990’s with help from Trout Unlimited and the Arkansas Rivers Outfitters Association. Administered by the Bureau of Reclamation, in cooperation with the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District, the VFMP provides water management guidelines that provide for whitewater flows in the Arkansas River for recreation users in the summer months, while also protecting and enhancing the fishery by establishing minimum flow guidelines throughout the rest of the year.

To take advantage of boating, fishing and other recreational experiences along the headwaters recreation area, visit the Arkansas River Outfitter Association homepage.

The Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area is managed through a cooperative effort between the Bureau of Land Management and Colorado Parks and Wildlife. 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.

Additional information on the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area is available at www.parks.state.co.us/Parks/ArkansasHeadwaters.

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