Ute Lake Releases Water Into Canadian River for First Time in 15 Years

LOGAN, NM - For the first time in 15 years, Ute Lake is releasing water into the Canadian River.

The overflow could not only help Ute Lake but Lake Meredith, nearly 150 miles downstream.

Officials say 2002 was the last time the floodgates released water into the Canadian River, but it was a long time coming.

Kent Satterwhite, the General Manager for Canadian River Municipal Water Authority says aside from the water release, the bigger event to him is the opening of the spillway.

He says that the spill from Ute Lake will have the lake taking on a lot more water a lot more quickly.

Satterwhite went on to say the release of water downstream should last about a month.

He says this isn't just a positive for Ute Lake but also Lake Meredith, which is currently sitting at nearly 73 feet, but it will continue to rise because of this dam release.

"Well, I know the fishing is a lot better now. I'm hearing a lot of positive reports about people doing real well in their fishing. We see a lot more recreational, you know people skiing or playing on the lake more than we're used to seeing," said Satterwhite.

Satterwhite adds he did not even know Ute Lake had increased as much as it has.

He says in the past two months, Ute Lake has risen more than 10 feet.

Currently, the lake is at a depth of nearly 89 feet.

Satterwhite says he wants the lake to continue to rise, but after going through a lot of dry weather over the past few years.

He went on to say they have to be prepared for the next High Plains drought.

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