Blue Mesa Reservoir might shrink to level not seen since 1987

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GUNNISON, Colo. — Colorado’s largest body of water is on track to approach historic lows this fall, prompting early closures of some of the area’s recreation opportunities.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation says Blue Mesa Reservoir, which is between Gunnison and Montrose and feeds into the Colorado River, is at 39 percent capacity.

Sandra Snell-Dobert, a spokeswoman for Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Curecanti National Recreation Area, said the last time water levels at the reservoir west of Gunnison were this low was in 1987.

She said that soon, water levels might be too low to launch and operate boats at most ramps.

The Elk Creek ramp will remain open so boaters can continue to access the reservoir.

Other Colorado River reservoirs such as Lake Powell are facing similar shortages.

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