The Yamcolo Reservoir was conceived by ranchers of the Upper Yampa Valley and the Toponas Basin in the early 1960’s to alleviate frequent shortages of crucial irrigation water.
In 1977 the Upper Yampa Water Conservancy District , organized by its first president Loy Ardrey, obtained a commitment from the Colorado Ute Electric Company for the annual purchase of water. This was the key to initiating the project.
Western Engineers of Grand Junction were selected to design the structure and in 1978 Jasper Construction Company of Minneapolis was awarded the contract, completing the dam in the fall of 1980. The Reservoir was dedicated on July 11, 1981.
The project, located on Routt National Forest twelve miles southwest of Yampa, provides water for irrigation, power generation and domestic use for the growing Yampa Valley communities. Increased flows in the Yampa from later summer reservoir releases, enhance the fishing and beauty of the river.
Recreation at Yamcolo Reservoir is managed by the
Colorado Water Conservation Fund, Farmers Home Administration and Boettcher & Co., through a public bond issue provided the financing. Water rights were made available through the Colorado River Water Conservation District.
|Capacity||9621 acre feet|
|Active Storage||8535 acre feet|
|Dam Length||1920 feet|
|Dam Height||109 feet|
|Spillway Capacity||5200 cfs|
|Maximum Surface||175 acres|
|Outlet Capacity||410 cfs|
|Total Cost in 1975||$3,156,000|