Why did Denver Water lower the water level at Antero Reservoir?
Antero Dam, built in 1909, has seeped excessively since it was built. It has been under storage restriction by the Office of the State Engineer since the early 1900s, which significantly limits the amount of water which can be stored in the reservoir.
Denver Water’s data collected from within the dam indicated the need to conduct further studies on seepage in 2011. This entailed lowering the elevation of the reservoir by 2 feet. Further studies will help determine what additional actions, if any, need to be taken to fix the seepage problem.
How long will the water level be down?
Denver Water lowered Antero Reservoir by 2 feet beginning the first week in May 2011. Continuing engineering evaluations of the dam will determine the long-term plan for the facility. Preliminary studies were done in 2011 and secondary studies are planned in 2012.
Will Antero Reservoir remain open during the study?
Yes, the reservoir will remain open to recreation during the drawdown and studies.
Will this drawdown affect the fish in Antero Reservoir?
Denver Water and Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) are working cooperatively to lessen the potential impacts to the fishery from the drawdown. Once Denver Water completes the seepage studies, CPW will have a better understanding of future fish management at Antero.
If the dam has been seeping since the early 1900s, why is Denver Water just now addressing it?
Denver Water has addressed this issue for more than 80 years. Denver Water employs dam caretakers who live on-site and constantly monitor the dam. Dam safety is a proactive and ongoing process that continues to evolve with new technology. New data has shown that we need to look closely at Antero Dam and possibly make changes to continue to keep it safe. Recent data collected in the dam has lead to the need for further studies. During this study period, the reservoir will be operated at a height of 16 feet, which was the Office of the State Engineer’s restricted operating level from 1970 to 1985. The current allowable operating level of 18 feet was approved by the Office of the State Engineer in 1986.
Who do I contact for more information?
Questions regarding fishing at Antero can be directed to Colorado Parks and Wildlife at 303-291-7227.