Santa Rosa, NM – Santa Rosa Lake State Park has temporarily closed access to its boat ramp effective today, June 22 due to a significant water release by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). The release will drop the lake’s level by approximately 27 feet.
The USACE Albuquerque District announced Tuesday that it would conduct a block release of water from Santa Rosa Lake that began this morning at 8:00 a.m. The Bureau of Reclamation, acting on the behalf of Carlsbad Irrigation District, requested the 14,500 acre-feet release. Carlsbad Irrigation District owns the irrigation water that makes up all of the water stored in Santa Rosa Lake. The block release is scheduled to last until June 29. The boat ramp will remain closed until the lake returns to a safe level from monsoon rain and runoff. Campers with reservations for Santa Rosa Lake State Park will be notified of the temporary boat ramp closure.
Based on current conditions, the lake’s elevation at the beginning of the release is estimated to be at 4713.9 feet, or approximately 16,470 acre-feet of storage.
At the end of the release, the lake’s elevation is estimated to be at 4686.7 feet, or approximately 1,700 acre-feet of storage. This equates to about a 27-feet drop in lake elevation during the block release. The final drop in elevation depends on the actual inflows into the lake and the final release volume. At the end of the release, it is expected that there could be as little as 229 surface acres of lake available for fishing and recreation.
Santa Rosa Dam is the first major dam along the Pecos River, and its reservoir has a 2,434 square mile contributing drainage area. The other two dams, Sumner Lake and Dam, and Brantley Dam, are owned by the Bureau of Reclamation. The Santa Rosa Reservoir is a main component in the Pecos River Basin comprehensive plan, providing irrigation storage, flood control, and sediment retention.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages the reservoir, the campgrounds and most recreation areas are managed by the State Parks Division. For more information call Santa Rosa Lake State Park at (575) 472-3110, or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, (505) 342-3171.