They’ve opened up the nozzle at Glen Canyon … for three days the dam will spew 300,000 gallons per second down the Colorado River, past Lees Ferry and into the Grand Canyon. The scientists say the goal is to create beaches and restore habitat for native fish like the humpback chub. Apparently, since the massive Glen Canyon Dam was created in the mid-1960s it’s altered the flow and characteristics of the river system and canyons downstream.
Well … duh. Saying the river/canyon isn’t quite the same after building the dam, is basically like clear-cutting a forest, and wondering why there isn’t any shade. The only thing that’s dumber than the assessment is this farcical “false flood” fix. The ecosystem was changed when the dam was built. What now is, is. And what that includes in Lees Ferry is one of the best tailwater trout fisheries in the world. However, those guides, and outfitters and businesses didn’t have their voices heard before the Secretary of the Interior opened the valves, basically flushing away a key part of their prime season, and perhaps goofing up the fishery that is.
Whether or not you think the flood is anything more than a publicity stunt, or a means to have researchers fund themselves, or a way make beaches just in time for the rafting season … whether you think the science is really there to suggest a benefit to endangered native fish species, know that the timing of this flood could have been different. This was and is the worst case scenario for anglers. And scant few people had the guts to speak up before the Lees Ferry fishing folks were hung out to dry.
If you want the canyon to be what it was before 1963, remove the dam. If you want the dam’s power, and the flood control, and the water storage (and recreation) in Lake Powell, and the Lees Ferry fishery … accept the fact that what is, is, quit playing God, and quit monkeying around with silly flood experiments that have produced nothing but temporary fixes for the past 12 years. My two cents.