Conditions Report - Statewide
Drought conditions continued to improve across a large part of Baca County, and portions of Prowers, eastern Las Animas and the southeast corner of Bent County.
It was a different story for western Montrose and most of Ouray counties, where conditions continued to deteriorate. In both cases, exceptional drought - the worst category - overtook extreme conditions that had been in place for months.
The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission will discuss allowing leashed dogs on select trails at Cheyenne Mountain State Park, prohibiting fishing at the ponds within the dog off-leash area at Chatfield State Park, restricting watercraft to vessels propelled by hand on the Chatfield State Park ponds (excluding the main reservoir), removing the boating seasonal closure at Jackson Lake State Park, and defining and allowing incidental commercial use at state parks without a cooperative or special use agreement.
Rivers and Creeks
Due to extremely low flows in the Arkansas River and rising temperatures stressing fish, Colorado Parks and Wildlife today announced a voluntary fishing closure below the dam and extending east to Interstate 25.
The closure takes effect immediately and will last until Tuesday at midnight when more water is scheduled to be released. The closure is being implemented in two sections.
Periodic storms across southeast Colorado have contributed to further improvements in drought conditions while the western half of the state continues to see the worst of this year's impacts.
As much as two inches of rain fell in parts of Las Animas, Baca and Prowers counties, contributing to the improvement for the far southeast.
Most of Crowley County, along with lesser portions of Otero, Bent and Kiowa counties, shifted from extreme to severe drought.
Rivers and Creeks
Rio Blanco County experienced its third earthquake in a day Saturday as a magnitude 3.4 quake shook an area approximately 50 miles north of Grand Junction.
The quake occurred at 4:42 a.m. and was about one mile beneath the surface. It was located about four miles southwest of a 4.3 earthquake that occurred Friday morning. That quake was the strongest of the year in Colorado so far. A magnitude 2.9 quake was also recorded in the area Friday by the United State Geological Survey.
An earthquake measuring 4.3 on the Richter Scale was recorded in western Colorado overnight. The quake was centered in Rio Blanco County just a few miles from the location of an underground nuclear test site in the 1970s, and was one of four to occur in or near Colorado over the past 24 hours.
The United States Geological Survey reports that the earthquake occurred shortly after 4:00 a.m. in a sparsely populated area about 50 miles north of Grand Junction at a depth of more than three miles.
Extreme and exceptional drought - the two worst categories - continue to impact nearly half of Colorado.
Some improvement was observed in central Colorado as moderate drought turned to just abnormally dry conditions for southern Douglas and northwest El Paso counties during the past week. Similar improvements were also seen in smaller portions of southwest Elbert, northeast Teller and the southern tip of Jefferson counties.
In south central Baca County, severe drought dropped to moderate conditions.