A nationally known whitewater safety expert compiles a $2,500.00 safety report at the request of whitewater enthusiasts. They say it points out why the bureau of reclamation should build its fish ladder with a whitewater park instead of a rock ramp.
There will eventually be a fish ladder built at the Price–Stubbs Diversion Dam in Palisade. But the question is- will it accompany a rock ramp or a whitewater park? Recently the Water Club and the Colorado Riverfront Foundation commissioned Charles Walbridge, the author of a white water rescue manual, to put together a safety report surrounding the rock ramp plan. In it Walbridge suggested three modifications to make the plan as safe as the whitewater park option. First he suggests eliminating the two foot drop on the dam which could he says create a hydraulic system. But Sue Moyer with the Bureau of Reclamation says the ramp is designed so there won't be a hydraulic system. Another suggestion is to grout the entire surface of the ramp that would solve the foot entrapment problem. Moyer says in this case they plan to fill the holes with gravel and cobble to eliminate the problem hopefully all together. Finally the reports last concern centers around a drop which could form a reversal that could trap rafters. But again Moyer says the problem will not exist with the design in place.
Right now contractors are looking over both plans for the Price-Stubbs Diversion Dam. Those who want to bid will have to do so by the end of the month. Moyer says she hopes in the end they can build the fish ladder with the whitewater park like they intended to do in their environmental assessment. Members of the water club have already raised more than $4,000.00 for their part of the project.