The releases come at the same time as the spring run-offs, and the eastern Utah officials say the result is flooded farmland. The flows are being increased to a maximum 130m3/sec out of the dam, resulting in flows at Jensen as high as 551.9m3/sec. A USBR spokesperson said the high flows are within the historic range of wetter years in the Uinta Basin. In 1997, 1999 and 2003, Green River flows reached 704.7, 583 and 537.7m3/sec, respectively.
USBR is required to carry out the experiment under a 1992 opinion by the US Fish and Wildlife Service that calls for the monitoring and restoration of the razorback sucker, the humpback chub and the Colorado pike-minnow. The high flows are intended to scour sediment below the dam and flood some areas, creating backwater spots where the endangered fish can live.
The releases intentionally were made to coincide with the peak run-off from the Yampa river, which merges with the Green in Dinosaur National Monument. Yampa flows were expected to decrease after few days.
Fish and Wildlife officials and researchers are using the high water to analyse the rates at which razorback sucker larvae and buoyant beads used to simulate larvae move downstream and settle into the backwater habitats.