Since May, the Rio Grande flowed faster than it was last year. The river even hit a peak of more than six and a half feet deep. Due to those high water levels, there were many water rescues this summer. The last time the river was almost 5-feet, was in early August.
On Sunday, it was just over a foot according to water data. Companies who offer guided kayak tours through the river mentioned the levels are hitting their business hard this Labor Day weekend. “With the current state of the river, it’s hard to be optimistic about what we’re able to offer at such a booming season that we’re coming into,” said Owner of MST Adventures, Corey Spoores.
According to Spoores, Labor Day weekend is normally just as busy as the 4th of July. He mentioned this weekend is a different story. He said kayak rentals and tours are lower than usual along the Rio Grande because of the lower water levels.
In August, water managers at the middle Rio Grande Conservancy District predicted the possibility of the Rio Grande going dry near Albuquerque.
“We need to be praying for rain late in the season because we are truly a run of the river system right now we have very little supplemental water. We only have what the system gives us. We don’t have dams full of water to help out the situation,” said Chief Engineer and CEO for the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, Jason Casuga.
Those in the area are seeing the changes. “We want to do activities, recreational stuff and we’re so limited of things we can do in Albuquerque. This kind of puts a stick in the spoke,” said a Rio Grande visitor on Sunday, Adrian Gonzales.
In August, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said they are organizing efforts to rescue endangered silvery minnows as the river begins to dry.