The river flows east through Moraine Park to the town of Estes Park. It receives the Little Thompson River approximately four mi (6 km) upstream from its mouth. As the site of catastrophic floods in both 1976 and 2013, the Big Thompson Canyon stands as an important landmark in Colorado's history. U.S. Highway 34 winds its way through the canyon, connecting Loveland and other northern Denver … I planned another trip to Eleven Mile Canyon on Friday, so I sought a nearby destination for my fishing venture on Thursday, October 3, 2019. Historical flows on the Big T for this time of year average around 21 – 22 cfs. The headwaters of the Big Thompson River begin in Forest Canyon within Rocky Mountain National Park in Larimer County, Colorado. Find our. Ideally, I like to see flows that have been relatively steady for a while and flows that are hovering around the historical average. It flows eastward, south of Loveland across the plains into Weld County and joins the South Platte approximately 5 mi (8 km) south of Greeley. Daryle Johnson and his family had rented a cabin east of Estes Park, but left without telling anyone on the morning of July 31. The Big Thompson flood of 1976 was the deadliest flash flood in Colorado’s recorded history. There it is held in Lake Estes by Olympus Dam before being released into the Big Thompson Canyon. The Big Thompson River has its start in the high mountains of Rocky Mountain National Park in Forrest Canyon, flows down through the town of Estes Park where it makes a brief stop at Lake Estes, before continuing its journey though the canyon along Highway 34 to Loveland. Arkansas River • Big Thompson River ... Planning a successful fishing trip also requires knowledge of stream flows at various river points and an accurate weather forecast for a given destination. The flow coming into the lake is 9 currently and 32 out of Lake Estes. Little rain fell over the lower section of the canyon, where many of the victims were. Big Thompson River 10/03/2019 Photo Album. The city also rebuilt its municipal electric distribution line into the canyon to replace the original 1925 transmission line and remove obsolete distribution equipment. The "T" is considered a hybrid freestone/tailwater river that can be fished year round. This tributary flows east, through the town of Glen Haven, where it merges with the Bi… The North Fork Big Thompson River also begins in Rocky Mountain National Park from where it flows along highway 43 east, through the town of Glen Haven and merges with the Big Thompson River in the town of Drake, in the Big Thompson Canyon. The half mile section below the dam is strictly tailwater with midges and beatis the predominant hatch. Find high-quality stock photos that you won't find anywhere else. The river is located east of Estes Park and it feeds the South Platte River. Access for the Big Thompson River near Estes Park is widely available for all variety of anglers. FOIA Big Thompson flows below Lake Estes are currently sitting in the mid 600 cfs range. Save Comp. Title: USGS Current Conditions for Colorado The flows on the Big Thompson below Lake Estes are at winter flows of 25 CFS, work on the Cottonwood Siphon has finished. PROVISIONAL DATA SUBJECT TO REVISION. Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District, U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Big Thompson River, Water Resources Data Colorado Water Year 2003, Flood 'Victim' Found Alive 32 Years Later, I Dream of Genealogy Memorial for Big Thompson Canyon Flood Victims of 1976, NOAA Site on the Big Thompson Canyon Floods, Colorado State University: Big Thompson Watershed, Larimer County website: History of the flood, Cache La Poudre River Corridor National Heritage Area, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Big_Thompson_River&oldid=993924005, 1976 natural disasters in the United States, Wikipedia introduction cleanup from September 2013, Articles covered by WikiProject Wikify from September 2013, All articles covered by WikiProject Wikify, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 13 December 2020, at 05:34. As part of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project, Grand Lake forms a continuous body of water with the man-made reservoir Shadow Mountain Lake, which under natural conditions then flows into another man-made reservoir, Lake Granby. The Big Thompson begins up in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) and flows down through Estes Park, through Loveland and then eventually connects with the South Platte River out east. Once it leaves the timber companies property, the Thompson River enters public land, in which it remains until near the rivers end. Policies and Notices, U.S. Department of the Interior | Big Thompson Description. The flows on the Big Thompson River below Lake Estes were in the 45 – 50 CFS range, and I knew from past experience, that this level was nearly ideal. The Big Thompson River Flows Through Rocky Mountain National Park. In its upper stretches, it flows through private property which is owned by timber companies. What The flow rates for this river had been hovering right around this mark until the 5 th when they dropped approximately 32% to 15 cfs. Available data for this site Click to hide station-specific text The Water Temperature at this site is operated seasonally, March through November only. Mission: To regulate power generation at the Estes Power Plant and move Colorado-Big Thompson Project water from the power plant on down through the remainder of the C-BT Project. The Big Thompson River is a tributary of the South Platte River, approximately 78 miles (123 km) long, in the U.S. state of Colorado. U.S. Geological Survey The Big Thompson River flows out of the Rocky Mountain National Park and empties into Lake Estes. Summary of all available data for this site, Instantaneous-data availability statement. The North Fork Big Thompson River also begins in Rocky Mountain National Park, on the northern slopes of the Mummy Range. The headwaters of the Big Thompson River are in Rocky Mountain National Park. Then it flows eastward across the plains into Weld County and joins the … is a shift adjusted stage-discharge rating table? Add up to 2 more sites and replot for "Discharge, cubic feet per second", Add up to 2 more sites and replot for "Gage height, feet", Accessibility Pretty much every section of river is productive. The dam was in the process of being relicensed with the FERC, but it was instead demolished, the dam material and contents of the reservoir being used as fill for highway repairs. Big Thompson River Below Lake Estes: The Big T is still fishing good right now in the upper canyon. Starting as a mere trickle on the east side of the Continental Divide, inside Rocky Mountain National Park, the Big Thompson flows from Forest Canyon Pass near the top of Trail Ridge Road through Forest Canyon. Big T water continuously passes through Olympus Dam on down through the Big Thompson Canyon. There is more ice forming in the shady areas but there is quite a bit of open water from the warm weather this week. Water resources in the Big Thompson River are managed by the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District as part of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project. The rest of the Big Thompson River canyon is open fishing and continues to provide highly accessible water to Idylwilde Dam. The headwaters of the Big Thompson River begin in Forest Canyon within Rocky Mountain National Park in Larimer County, Colorado. This flood was triggered by a nearly stationary thunderstorm near the upper section of the canyon that dumped 300 millimeters (12 inches) of rain in less than 4 hours (more than 3/4 of the average annual rainfall for the area). PROVISIONAL DATA SUBJECT TO REVISION. Search from Big Thompson River stock photos, pictures and royalty-free images from iStock. Current Conditions at Big Thompson: The Big T is seeing lots of pressure right now. Its short season is usually a May through June affair, as with several other Colorado streams. Estes Park always gets hit with lots of summer traffic. Similar Photos See All. This small-medium sized river flows through Rocky Mountain National Park and the town of Estes Park before feeding into Lake Estes. It originates in Forest Canyon into Lake Estes, in Estes Park, CO. With its headwaters in Rocky Mountain National Park, the Big Thompson River flows 78 miles through Estes Park, down the scenic Big Thompson Canyon and onto the plains where it joins the South Platte River near Greeley. The Big Thompson, commonly referred to as the Big T, is a beautiful river that originates high in Rocky Mountain National Park. Flows are still up around 300cfs which is fantastic for this time of year. The Big T (as it is commonly called) is a 40 minute drive north of Boulder. The biggest infrastructure casualty, however, was the City of Loveland's hydroelectric plant (rebuilt after the 1976 flood); the Idylwilde Reservoir was completely filled with silt and rocks, the Idylwilde Dam broke free of the bedrock, and the hydroelectric plant in the Viestenz-Smith Mountain Park was filled with water and silt. Thompson River Trail-Big Falls Spur Junction - 2.360' The trail road we'd been following would be easy to continue on if you not keeping an eye out for the spur to Big Falls. The Big Thompson River is one of the more popular small rivers on the northern Colorado Front Range...and it is a very healthy fishery thanks to the catch and release regulations and decent flows for the last half decade! On July 31, 1976, during the celebration of Colorado's centennial, the Big Thompson Canyon was the site of a devastating flash flood that swept down the steep and narrow canyon, claiming the lives of 143 people, 5 of whom were never found. Water flow more than doubled into the Big Thompson after water was released from the dam. Page Contact Information: Colorado Water Data Support Team PROVISIONAL DATA SUBJECT TO REVISION. Streamers can be very effective in the canyon during the summer months. From Lake Estes, the River descends one-half mile in elevation through the mountains in the spectacular 25 mile white water ride. The Big Thompson River flows for just under 80 miles. River Information. Northern Colorado’s Big Thompson River flows from the Rocky Mountains (west) to the Great Plains (east) through a steep-walled, boulder-strewn canyon. About Big Thompson River Fly Fishing. USGS 06741510 BIG THOMPSON RIVER AT LOVELAND, CO. is a shift adjusted stage-discharge rating table? The elevation of Grand Lake is maintained between 8,367 feet (2,550 meters) and 8,366 feet (2,549.8 meters). City of Loveland. The Big Thompson River flows through Lake Estes as if the small reservoir were a canal. table. There it is held in Lake Estes by Olympus Dam before being released into the Big Thompson Canyon. While not as intense as the 1976 flood, the storms that caused the flooding in 2013 still sent enough water down the canyon to wash out the highway in many places. This short impoundment gives the Thompson a hybrid freestone/tailwater feel. [6] This flood was more than 4 times as strong as any in the 112-year record available in 1976, with a discharge of 1,000 cubic meters per second (35,000 ft³/s). A variety of species call this historic river home- rainbows, browns, cutthroat, and brookies are all common sights here. Station operated by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with For best results fish early and late in the day. A tributary of the South Platte river, the Big Thompson begins its journey in the high elevations of RMNP. The canyon was just one of the many areas along the Front Range that were devastated in the September 2013 flood. Privacy What The Big Thompson River, or Big Tommy, is an interesting Class IV to IV+ whitewater run that is wholly dependent upon water being released from Idyllwilde Lake just below Drake for navigable flows. Fishing remains very good with size 14 Tarnished Tungsten MicroMayfly, Radiation Baetis (size 16), blue Poison Tung (size 16) and RS2 emergers in grey (size 20). Current shift adjusted rating The flood also damaged the US Bureau of Reclamation's Dille Diversion Dam. It emerges from the foothills on Highway 34 west of Loveland. USGS 402114105350101 BIG THOMPSON BL MORAINE PARK NR ESTES PARK, CO. From Lake Estes, the river descends 1/2 mile (800 m) in elevation through the mountains in the spectacular 25 mi (40 km) Big Thompson Canyon, emerging from the foothills west of Loveland. Page Last Modified: 2020-12-24 17:07:48 EST USGS 06741510 BIG THOMPSON RIVER AT LOVELAND, CO. Is 9 currently and 32 out of Lake Estes are at winter flows of 25 cfs, work on banks. 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