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The Cut.


I had to post the question on the recent AR thread.......if you had to guess.......will the Cut be open by Memorial Day?

I have been watching the water level graph for too long over the years........an obsession I am sure you are all to familiar with.

Farmers Almanac? Snowpack forecasts? Lucky rabbits foot??


wayne gustaveson

Staff member
We finally got the first snow storm (only a skiff) of the season last night in Page AZ. If we keep getting rain/snow in Colorado and surrounding states from now until May there is a good chance the lake will come up and open the Cut. If it stays dry and only a small bit of moisture falls in the drainage then there is no chance of the Cut opening in 2021.

So keep watching the weather in Colorado and that will give you an idea of what to expect. Unfortunately, right now the answer will likely be NO!


Well-Known Member
I'm sure JFR has provided us the data on miraculous springs that would flood the cut. The only specific such spring I remember was the huge and unwanted storms in April and May 1983 that raised the lake "over the top." So I am always hopeful well into late winter and early spring. But we have to plan for the jaw jarring cruise through the extended Maytag Straits starting at the dam.


Well-Known Member
I would say the chances of the Cut being open anytime this year are slim to (almost) none. The USBR's forecast (as of about a week ago) is not optimistic. Their most probable scenario has the lake dropping to about 3565 in early spring, with a rebound to about 3575 in late June. You need at least 3583 to make it through the Cut. Under their most optimistic scenario (which was greatly downgraded in January from December), the lake would top out at 3590 in late June, and slowly drop from there. In any case, the chance of hitting 3583 by Memorial Day exceeds the capabilities of imagination given that forecast.

Here's a couple links that will help. First, the January elevation forecast map from USBR:

And here's their whole report:

As for plans to deepen the Cut, none contemplated this year, and it wouldn't be possible anyway until completing an update of past environmental studies that looked at this issue, which would take 3 months minimum just to get through that. Maybe next year?
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Active Member
It’s not only the existing cut. Warm creek is shallow out past existing cut entrance. It would have to be extended a ways for a good channel