Kenney Reservoir is a stunning lake just a mile east of Rangely where Taylor Draw Dam stops the White River. The lake offers flat-water recreation for visitors and locals alike, from skiing and diving, swimming and boating, to kayaking and paddle-boarding. It is also a popular fishing spot with an annual Fishing Derby kicking off the fishing season each year. Kenney Reservoir also hosts a marina, campgrounds and wild life viewing areas.
Rio Blanco Water Conservation District, a special district of the State of Colorado, is run by a District Manager and governed by a board of directors with five members. The District manages Taylor Draw Dam, the Taylor Draw Hydroelectric facility, Kenney Reservoir, and all of the inundation land (areas that are allowed to flood). Part of what the district seeks to do is to identify their lands for increased public use via getting trails cut above Taylor Draw Dam, above Deserado Mine road and more in order to enable locals and visitors the chance to walk, view wildlife and increase access to water resources in the area.
Also managed by the Water District is a significant inventory of wetlands created by the construction of Taylor Draw Damn in 1983. The wetlands are in varying stages of the life cycle, from young, developing areas to mature wetlands, creating a wide range of bio-diversity including large populations of amphibians and avian species suck as water fowl, songbirds, raptors. Upstream the flat water of Kenney Reservoir transitions like a rainbow from a mix of shallow water and cattails, perfect for wild life viewing, to further upriver where the area is 90% cattails and finally to seasonal wetlands.
For hunters looking for large game the land upstream of Kenney are fertile territory as they are managed for wildlife. Of course hunters must adhere to state regulations managing seasons and land access.
The Rio Blanco Water Conservation District is funded through a relatively small mill levy. It is a probability that additional funds will be necessary in the future as water conservation projects within the White River drainage come to fruition or are identified. Kenney Reservoir’s siltation rate has impacted it so much over time that it will only provide an effective water storage for up to 15 more years. A new reservoir at Wolf Creek, currently the location of choice, will provide additional tax revenue for state and local communities, provide drought protection and water supply for the Town of Rangely and energy industry, meet needed recreation demands in Northwestern Colorado and provide water to meet target flows on the White River for endangered fish as well as the progressive development of Rio Blanco County which includes agricultural, municipal, industrial, environmental and other natural resource development and recreation opportunities.
Activities at the Reservoir