RRFW Riverwire – This and That from the Grand Canyon Compiled September 7, 2020 June 14, 2020 Grand Canyon National Park implemented Phase 1 Covid-19 restrictions for river trips in Grand Canyon, limiting river trips to 75% of the 2006 river management plan limits. The restrictions were not placed equally on concessionaire and do-it-yourself trips. For Concessionaire trips, their total passengers launching on any day is decreased from 120 to 90 people or less. Employees of the river concessions are reporting a 60% drop in concessionaire bookings, and at least one concessionaire was offering seats on their trips at 50% discount. The DIY river trips were restricted in LAUNCHES to 75% of the 2006 river management plan limits. A 25% decrease in trip group sizes on the concessionaire side does not equal a 25% reduction in the number of trips on the DIY side. Only one noncommercial trip of 16 people launch every day, with one trip of 8 people launching every other day. That means, in reality, all concessions trip are still allowed to launch while a 50% or more reduction in noncommercial trip launches (and participants) is occurring. July 31 and August 5, 2020 Grand Canyon National Park conducted two follow-up lotteries for do-it-yourself river permits. The July 31 lottery was conducted by phone for 7 standard sized trips , all launching within 2 to 13 days of the opening. The second lottery was for 11 permits all launching within 3 to 30 days of the lottery. While no data is available for the July 31 lottery, the August 7 lottery had 263 applications for 11 launch opportunities. August 14, 2020 The United States Bureau of Reclamation announced that in September, the release volume from Glen Canyon dam will be approximately 600 thousand acre feet (kaf), with fluctuations anticipated between about 6,695 cfs in the nighttime to about 12,095 cfs in the daytime, and consistent with the Glen Canyon Dam, Record of Decision (dated December 2016). The anticipated release volume for October is 640 kaf with daily fluctuations between approximately 6,555 cfs and 12,315 cfs. The expected release for November is 640 kaf as well. September 1, 2020 Given the lack of summer rain flooding in the Paria and Little Colorado Rivers, it appears there will be no beach building high flow for the second year in a row. September 5, 2020 Glen Canyon Dam was briefly activated this evening in response to a California Independent System Operator Stage 2 Emergency. http://www.caiso.com/Documents/ISODeclaresStage2EmergencyPowerOutagesExpected.pdf Releases at the Dam were increased from 11,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 18,000 cfs for the response, which began around 6:00 pm Mountain Standard Time and lasted for just over one hour. Releases were then ramped down to the normal schedule. River runners are reminded that flows from the Dam can increase at any time based on the needs of the electrical grid. September 6, 2020 Citing undisclosed structural concerns, the National Park Service (NPS) closed the “Silver” bridge at Phantom Ranch, one of two bridges that span the Colorado River. This bridge carries a high-pressure water line. No estimated length of the closure has been identified. River runners doing exchanges at Pipe Creek at the foot of the Bright Angel Trail will not be impacted by the closure. The Kaibab Suspension Bridge, also known as the “Black Bridge” is still open.