Yamcolo Reservoir


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 United States Forest Service

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.

Here are a few facts:

Capacity 9000 acre feet 11,100,000 cubic meters
Active Storage 8000 acre feet 9,000,000 cubic meters
Dam Length 1920 feet 585 meters
Dam Height 109 feet 33 meters
Spillway Capacity 5200 cfs
Maximum Surface 175 acres 71 hectares
Elevation 9591 feet 2,923 meters
Outlet Capacity 410 cfs
Total Cost in 1975 $3,156,000

Photos of the Yamcolo Reservoir Project

Yamcolo Res
Yamcolo outlet