The National Park Service will not offer Morrow Point boat tours in June this year.
Park officials said this winter’s generous snowpack in the upper Gunnison Basin means the Bureau of Reclamation will have to send a lot of water downstream this summer.
Brant Porter, a Curecanti park ranger, said the water management scenario for the Gunnison River from Blue Mesa to Black Canyon is not compatible for boat tours at the reservoir.
“Morrow Point Reservoir, which is the middle point in the set of three [reservoirs] within the [Curecanti ] Recreation Area,....level could drop as much as 30 feet during the month of June as [the Bureau of Reclamation moves] water through the system as well as [pushes] a lot of water out of the Blue Mesa Dam," Porter said. "With the water level at 30 feet below full, we can’t get out tour boat anywhere close to the boat dock.”
Porter said the park service will offer a new boat tour at another location.
“For the month of June, what we are going to be doing is offering tours on that same 40-foot, 42- passanger pontoon boat on the Blue Mesa Reservoir leaving from the Elk Creek Marina," he said.
Porter said this is the first time the National Park Service has offered tours in the Blue Mesa Reservoir.