Rio Grande level higher than normal into early June
The Luis Leon reservoir on the Rio Conchos in Mexico will be releasing water over the next few weeks. Visitors may notice that the river is higher than usual. Flow rates may increase from 50 cubic meters per second to 100 cubic meters per second. The reservoir needed to release water due to their reservoir exceeding the full pool level from recent rains.
In areas where the river spreads out over a flood plain, the rise will probably not be noticeable since so much water soaks out into the deep sand. In the canyons the river may be noticeably higher as the river flows mostly over bedrock.
Possible impacts include the hot springs at Rio Grande village being inundated, deeper water along the length of the river which will improve conditions for rafting, and possibly larger rapids in some canyon river sections.
The rise will likely be at most a few feet of depth. This is a small flow rate increase and no structures are threatened. By mid to late June the river level will subside.
Did You Know?
Apollo 17 astronauts Gene Cernan and Harrison Schmidt visited Big Bend in 1971 to study the regions geology in preparation for their mission to the moon. This was one of four field trips to Big Bend that Apollo astronauts participated in between 1964 and 1971.