The Yamcolo Reservoir was conceived by ranchers of the Upper Yampa River Basin and the Toponas Basin in the early 1960’s to alleviate frequent shortages of crucial irrigation water.
In 1977 the Upper Yampa Water Conservancy District , organized by its first president Loy Ardrey, obtained a commitment from the Colorado Ute Electric Company for the annual purchase of water. This was the key to initiating the project.
Western Engineers of Grand Junction were selected to design the structure and in 1978 Jasper Construction Company of Minneapolis was awarded the contract, completing the dam in the fall of 1980. The Reservoir was dedicated on July 11, 1981.
The project, located on Routt National Forest twelve miles southwest of Yampa, provides water for irrigation, power generation and domestic use for the growing Yampa River Basin communities. Increased flows in the Yampa from later summer reservoir releases, enhance the fishing and beauty of the river.
Colorado Water Conservation Fund, Farmers Home Administration and Boettcher & Co., through a public bond issue provided the financing. Water rights were made available through the Colorado River Water Conservation District.
Recreation at Yamcolo Reservoir is managed by the United States Forest Service
- BOAT REGULATIONS: Electric trolling motors and internal combustion engines are allowed. (This is the only reservoir where combustion engines are allowed).
- Interpretive site, boat ramp, tent camping, camping trailer, fee charged for some activities, picnic tables, toilets, drinking water, parking.
Capacity: 9621 acres feet
Active Storage: 8535 acre feet
Dam Length: 1920 feet
Dam Height: 109 feet
Spillway Capacity: 5200 cfs
Maximum Surface: 175 acres
Outlet Capacity: 410 cfs
Total Cost in 1975: $3,156,000