Draining Lake Isabele

Information on peaks other than the CO 14ers and 13ers.
plunderdog
Posts: 8
Joined: 4/18/2010
14er Checklist (15)

Draining Lake Isabele

Postby plunderdog » Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:03 am

Can anyone tell me when and why they do this? Do they do this every year? Was up there yesterday and it it looks like they had had all but drained it dry within the week. I was a little bummed out but it did remind of low tide when I lived in Maine!
User avatar
coloradokevin
Posts: 1554
Joined: 6/13/2007
14er Checklist (15)

Re: Draining Lake Isabele

Postby coloradokevin » Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:55 am

Well, this was news to me, but apparently that lake is drained every year. I guess I've just never hiked up there during the season when it was waterless. This did come as a bit of a surprise to me, since Lake Isabelle is located within the Indian Peaks Widlerness (I didn't realize they could legally drain a wilderness lake for irrigation purposes, but I'm far from being a water rights expert).


http://www.gorp.com/parks-guide/travel-ta-hiking-boulder-colorado-sidwcmdev_056577.html


"Isabelle is an irrigation lake and is usually drained in late August. If the lake itself is your goal, check with the Forest Service to determine whether it still holds water."
User avatar
traderaaron
Posts: 702
Joined: 4/23/2008
14er Checklist (16)
13er Checklist (17)
Contact:

Re: Draining Lake Isabele

Postby traderaaron » Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:11 am

The Left Hand Ditch Company (built a tunnel out of Lake Isabelle) provides water to the Left Hand Water District, providers to primarily residential water users in Boulder County.
JE242
Posts: 178
Joined: 5/1/2010
14er Checklist Not Entered

Re: Draining Lake Isabele

Postby JE242 » Mon Aug 30, 2010 1:02 pm

Wow. That's weak. Why even bother with Wilderness Regulations? I hope someones lawn is nice and green.
kaiman
Posts: 1108
Joined: 5/3/2006
14er Checklist Not Entered

Re: Draining Lake Isabele

Postby kaiman » Mon Aug 30, 2010 1:26 pm

coloradokevin wrote:Well, this was news to me, but apparently that lake is drained every year. I guess I've just never hiked up there during the season when it was waterless. This did come as a bit of a surprise to me, since Lake Isabelle is located within the Indian Peaks Widlerness (I didn't realize they could legally drain a wilderness lake for irrigation purposes, but I'm far from being a water rights expert).


http://www.gorp.com/parks-guide/travel-ta-hiking-boulder-colorado-sidwcmdev_056577.html


"Isabelle is an irrigation lake and is usually drained in late August. If the lake itself is your goal, check with the Forest Service to determine whether it still holds water."


I am no water expert either, but know for a fact that there are many water rights in Colorado such as the "1840 Compact" that predate Wilderness Designation by 50-100 years (depending on when the areas were put into wilderness). In other cases there are water diversions from streams and lakes all over Colorado that are in wilderness areas such as the Hunter-Fryingpan and Collegiate Peaks Wilderness areas near where I live. Many of these were "grand-fathered" into the regulations and most of the water is used for residential use on the Front Range or sent south to Arizona and Southern California.
"I want to keep the mountains clean of racism, religion and politics. In the mountains this should play no role."

- Joe Stettner

"I haven't climbed Everest, skied to the poles, or sailed single-handed around the world. The goals I set out to accomplish aren't easily measured or quantified by world records or "firsts." The reasons I climb, and the climbs I do, are about more than distance or altitude, they are about breaking barriers within myself."

- Andy Kirkpatrick
User avatar
traderaaron
Posts: 702
Joined: 4/23/2008
14er Checklist (16)
13er Checklist (17)
Contact:

Re: Draining Lake Isabele

Postby traderaaron » Mon Aug 30, 2010 1:36 pm

Water rights in the Boulder area are some of the oldest in the state and the west and actually predate Colorado as a state in some cases.
User avatar
Vincopotamus
Posts: 231
Joined: 12/4/2008
14er Checklist (32)
14ers Skied (1)
14ers in Winter (3)
13er Checklist (2)

Re: Draining Lake Isabele

Postby Vincopotamus » Mon Aug 30, 2010 4:00 pm

Wilderness designations are usually pretty solid in how they limit land uses, but water rights trump most anything.

In the Weminuche Wilderness, the Forest Service has contracted an outfit to clear trees and brush from an irrigation ditch that runs into the San Luis Valley. The outfit is required to use crosscut saws instead of chainsaws and dredge the ditches with horses instead of motorized equipment, per the wilderness act, but the rights for the water in that ditch are pretty bulletproof.

In a class on Watershed Management, my professor informed me that of all the water rights lawyers in the US, half of them live in Colorado :shock:
The only time I lower the bar is après
plunderdog
Posts: 8
Joined: 4/18/2010
14er Checklist (15)

Re: Draining Lake Isabele

Postby plunderdog » Tue Aug 31, 2010 6:35 am

Image

Image

Here are a couple of shots I took of the current state of affairs.
User avatar
screefieldstevie
Posts: 175
Joined: 6/29/2010
14er Checklist (19)
13er Checklist (11)

Re: Draining Lake Isabele

Postby screefieldstevie » Tue Aug 31, 2010 6:38 am

Nothing here surprises me about water rights.......hell, this is the only place I know of where it's illegal to have "rain catchers" :roll:
"Cause the Rocky Mountain Way Is better than the way we had" - Joe Walsh
hatidua
Posts: 332
Joined: 5/12/2010
14er Checklist (18)
13er Checklist (2)

Re: Draining Lake Isabele

Postby hatidua » Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:45 am

JE242 wrote:Wow. That's weak. Why even bother with Wilderness Regulations?


"Wilderness Regulations" are new thing.
Water Rights have been around a while.
User avatar
CO Native
Moderator
Posts: 5048
Joined: 7/26/2004
14er Checklist (58)
14ers Skied (2)
14ers in Winter (15)
13er Checklist (28)
Contact:

Re: Draining Lake Isabele

Postby CO Native » Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:17 am

screefieldstevie wrote:Nothing here surprises me about water rights.......hell, this is the only place I know of where it's illegal to have "rain catchers" :roll:

It's not illegal any more.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=104643521
Remember what your knees are for.
http://www.hikingintherockies.com
User avatar
screefieldstevie
Posts: 175
Joined: 6/29/2010
14er Checklist (19)
13er Checklist (11)

Re: Draining Lake Isabele

Postby screefieldstevie » Tue Aug 31, 2010 4:33 pm

CO Native wrote:
screefieldstevie wrote:Nothing here surprises me about water rights.......hell, this is the only place I know of where it's illegal to have "rain catchers" :roll:

It's not illegal any more.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=104643521


Yea, I thought that it had been overturned.......when I moved here in Feb '08 is was still illegal........and coming from the southeast I thought it was really weird............Thanks for the link
"Cause the Rocky Mountain Way Is better than the way we had" - Joe Walsh

Return to “Other Colorado Peaks”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests