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Impacts of Low-Flow Rates on Recreational Rafting Traffic on the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park. Catherine A. Roberts Joanna A. Bieri. Basic Information. Bureau of Reclamation, Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center (IA # 00-AA-40-4330)

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Impacts of Low-Flow Rates on Recreational Rafting Traffic on the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park

Catherine A. Roberts

Joanna A. Bieri

basic information
Basic Information
  • Bureau of Reclamation, Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center(IA # 00-AA-40-4330)
  • Cooperative agreement between Grand Canyon National Park & Northern Arizona University (CA#8210-99-002)
contact information
Contact Information
  • Catherine A. RobertsDept. Mathematics & Computer ScienceHoly Cross CollegeWorcester, MA 01610croberts@mathcs.holycross.edu
  • Joanna A. BieriDept. Mathematics & StatisticsNorthern Arizona UniversityFlagstaff, AZ 86011-5717jab34@dana.ucc.nau.edu
low summer steady flow lssf
Low Summer Steady Flow (LSSF)
  • 17,000 - 19,000 cfs in April and May
  • Four days of 31,000 cfs in early May
  • Steady 8,000 cfs June - September
  • Four days of 31,000 cfs in early September

Glen Canyon dam releases during summer 2000

objective of study
Objective of Study

To examine the impact of LSSF on recreational rafting traffic on the Colorado River within the Grand Canyon National Park.

outline of the study
Outline of the Study
  • Collect Trip Reports during LSSF.
  • Place information into database.
  • Compare “low flow” data to “typical flow” data collected during 1998/1999.
trip flow classifications
Trip & Flow Classifications
  • Commercial = C
  • Private = P
  • Trip Length = days between Lees Ferry (river mile 0) and Diamond Creek (river mile 225.7).
  • Low Flow = LSSF (8,000 cfs)
  • Typical Flow = 1998/1999 (19,000 cfs)
four trip types
Four Trip Types
  • Motor
    • Short 8 or fewer days
    • Long 9 or more days
  • Oar
    • Short 14 or fewer days
    • Long 15 or more days
low flow trip reports
Low Flow Trip Reports
  • Short Motor 61 C, 0 P
  • Long Motor 3 C, 3 P
  • Short Oar 23 C, 2 P
  • Long Oar 10 C, 18 PTOTAL = 120 Trip Reports599 launches 20% return rate
typical flow trip reports
Typical Flow Trip Reports
  • Short Motor 222 C, 7 P
  • Long Motor 18 C, 9 P
  • Short Oar 64 C, 24 P
  • Long Oar 18 C, 125 PTOTAL = 487 Trip Reports1,689 launches 29% return rate
conclusions
Conclusions
  • No change in number of activities/day
  • No change in number of miles/day
  • Boats spent more time on water
  • Boat speeds slower
  • 50% reduction in time spent on activities
what s next
What’s Next?
  • Analysis of campsite and activity visitation frequencies for “low” and “typical” flows.
  • Final report to GCMRC
  • Several graphs posted on our website:http://odin.math.nau.edu/~msl