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Sunday, May 15th, 2005

Time Event
8:04a
River pics
I thought I would share a few pics from my river flight last Thursday. If you live in the East or Midwest, the river probably doesn't look all that impressive. To us in the desert, it's a flood!

Isleta Diversion Dam just south of ABQ
This is one of the major diversion dams on the system. Water is taken out of the river on both sides and sent down canals. In dry years in Summer, the river is nearly dry below the dam.

Where the Rio Salado enters the Rio Grande
This is one of the major washes that comes out of the surrounding mountains. During Summer thunderstorms it could be bank to bank.

San Acacia Diversion Dam
This is another major diversion dam near Socorro. There is no real need for it, but there it is. It has been cited as one of the major causes for the demise of the silvery minnow. Once fish get below the dam, there's no way back up. And below the dam the river frequently runs dry.

San Marcial railroad bridge
This is a bottleneck in the system. Water is hitting the bottom of the bridge now. When the river is dry, there is only a couple of feet of clearance anyway. As the river starts to rise, it scours out the bed allowing for the flows to pass. Don't worry about the bridge being washed out. In old pictures the bridge was 20' above the water. That's how much sediment has been dumped over the years.

It looks like I'll get yet another flight tomorrow. I just upped our reservoir release to the most it's been in over a decade. We need to see if we're causing any flooding. Things will get very interesting by the end of the week. We will hopefully be able to store that water that we're now letting pass by. There will have to be some fancy hydrology work needed to pull it off smoothly. It won't be me, however. I'll be at Califur!

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