Guide to Release Levels

Any body of water can be unsafe at any level. Use caution and judgment at all times.  THESE ARE RECOMMENDED LEVELS ONLY.

  • Up to 500 cfs — Recreational
  • 500 – 750 cfs — Challenging
  • 750 – 1200 cfs — Strenuous
  • 1200 – 3000 cfs — Extreme caution; tubing not recommended
  • 3000+ cfs — Dangerous; guided rafts suggested

For more information on water recreation and location of businesses in the WORD district, click HERE.

Guide to Release Levels

What Determines the Minimum Flow on the Guadalupe?

Canyon Reservoir below 909 msl

A drought is considered the day after any period of forty five (45) consecutive days during which the inflow to Canyon Reservoir averages less than 90 (cfs), and shall continue until the reservoir level returns to 909 feet above mean sea level.

During this time GBRA releases flows according to senior downstream water rights holder only.

Canyon Reservoir exceeding 909 msl

The lake is a flood control reservoir with a holding capacity designed to catch flood waters before they do damages downstream. This means that the lake level will fluctuate year round as water flows in and out of the reservoir.

During this time the US Army Corps of Engineers controls the outflow of Canyon Lake. Changes to the releases depend in response to rainfall or other factors.

Canyon Reservoir at 909.0 msl

During this time GBRA typically matches the inflow to Canyon Lake.

The following factors are considered:

The GRTU-GBRA Contractual Trout Protective Flow

For the revised contract between GRTU and GBRA click the link below:
http://www.grtu.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Flow-Agreement-thru-12.31.-2026.pdf

The FERC Minimum Flow Requirement

Beyond the Contract, the first regulatory requirement for minimum flows came from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Requirement. This requirement is the result of the GBRA operated hydro-electric plant at the base of Canyon Dam. Article 405 states: The licensee shall discharge from the Canyon Dam Project a continuous minimum flow of 90 cubic feet per second, as measured immediately downstream from the project powerhouse to protect and to enhance fish and wildlife resources In the Guadalupe River.

The flow may also be reduced to not less than the Inflow to the reservoir during periods of drought. Additionally, at times other than during periods of drought when the inflow to the reservoir is greater than 90 (cfs), the licensee shall, at a minimum, discharge from the project whichever is least (a) the inflow to the reservoir or (b) a continuous minimum flow in accordance with their schedule

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Requirement

The TCEQ mandated minimum flows are contingent on the “Base Storage Level” of Canyon Reservoir being above 909.0 msl on any day on, or after, January 1 of the calendar year. It ends when the “Base Storage Level” is below 909.0 and inflows to Canyon Reservoir average less than 90 cfs during any period of 45 consecutive days. The Base Storage Level is a ‘virtual’ measurement and cannot be determined by physical gage, but by GBRA’s spreadsheet. The TCEQ minimum flow from Canyon Dam is a “pass-thru” requirement.

In addition to the “Pass Through” requirement, there is a “Diversion” requirement that could also impact the release from Canyon Dam. “Water may be diverted from the Guadalupe River at any point downstream of it confluence with the Comal River and upstream of the U.S.G.S. Gauging Station at Gonzales, Texas to the extent such diversions do not reduce the measured stream flow at Gonzales below the specified amounts. If the diversions reduce the flow at the Gonzalez Gage below the above rates, then an additional flow (see the monthly flow values from the Pass Through table) must be allowed to remain in the river to the “salt water barrier”.

GBRA-Comal County Contract For Recreational Flow

Comal County arrived at a contract with GBRA in which GBRA agreed to request a deviation in the Corps of Engineers flood control release procedures from Canyon Lake. The lake is in flood whenever the elevation exceeds 909.0 msl. On a year by year basis, the request must be made to the Corps. The deviation allows the lake between 909 and 910 to have a “recreational pool” where the floodwaters are released at a minimum of 250 cfs, or higher, depending on the inflow to Canyon Lake. The deviation is generally in effect from April through August. The two wettest months are May and June, so this provides additional protection to the trout fishery.

Texas Water Law Requirements

Water rights must be passed through Canyon Lake for more senior water permit holders. In Texas, first, in time is first in right. So if a water right exceeds the 1956 or 1999 permit dates to Canyon Lake, any water flowing into Canyon Reservoir must be “passed through” the reservoir and to the more senior permit. These flow amounts are generally insignificant.

For more information visit:
http://www.grtu.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/grtuminimumflow.pdf

Current Lake &
River Conditions

  • Guadalupe River @ Spring Branch (Upper): 118 cfs
  • Guadalupe River @ Sattler (Lower): 92.8 cfs
  • Guadalupe River @ New Braunfels: 117 cfs
  • Canyon Lake Reservoir: 906.04 ft

For more flow rates, visit the USGS website.

WORD CC Facebook Feed

Today, Thursday, Feb. 13: WORD Contractors will be conducting a roadside cleanup on FM 2673 from the WORD Office to FM 3159. Please be cautious and drive slowly as you go through this area. ... See MoreSee Less

Today, Thursday, Feb. 13: WORD Contractors will be conducting a roadside cleanup on FM 2673 from the WORD Office to FM 3159. Please be cautious and drive slowly as you go through this area.

Education Station Bingo is back for another year at the 24th Annual Fun Fish! Children who visit all our fun education stations will have the opportunity to win family passes to local attractions such as Alamo Drafthouse New Braunfels, Animal World & Snake Farm Zoo, Stars & Stripes Drive-In Theatre New Braunfels, Natural Bridge Caverns and more! We hope to see you there! For more information visit wordcc.com/24th-annual-fun-fish/ ... See MoreSee Less

Education Station Bingo is back for another year at the 24th Annual Fun Fish! Children who visit all our fun education stations will have the opportunity to win family passes to local attractions such as Alamo Drafthouse New Braunfels, Animal World & Snake Farm Zoo, Stars & Stripes Drive-In Theatre New Braunfels, Natural Bridge Caverns and more! We hope to see you there! For more information visit https://wordcc.com/24th-annual-fun-fish/

1 week ago

WORD of Comal County

We had a great time announcing our Fun Fish T-shirt design winner this morning at CISD Clear Spring Elementary! Congratulations to Gabby! Join us for the 24th Annual Fun Fish on Sunday, February 23! For more information visit wordcc.com/24th-annual-fun-fish/Way to go, Gabby! She won the design competition for the T-shirts that will be given out at the Fun Fish event on February 23rd! For more info go to WORD of Comal County. ... See MoreSee Less

We had a great time announcing our Fun Fish T-shirt design winner this morning at CISD Clear Spring Elementary! Congratulations to Gabby! Join us for the 24th Annual Fun Fish on Sunday, February 23! For more information visit https://wordcc.com/24th-annual-fun-fish/
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