Blue Mesa Reservoir is the largest water body found in Colorado. It is 20 miles long and is found in the southern state portion. It is constrained by a dam that is 390 feet tall and also home to a shoreline that is 96 miles. Before the reservoir was built, there used to be a mountain town that no longer exists even on maps.
Lola was the name of the town which was stated in 1896, and it was a home for more than two hundred residents. It was known for its flying fish, and most residents were ranchers and farmers.
US Reclamation(1956 Storage Compact Act)
The US Bureau of reclamation changed this town as it was part of the Colorado River under the 1956 storage compact act. The main goal for the construction of this dam was to control the water flow. It was to be controlled from Gunnison to the Colorado River. That would have led to creating more opportunities in controlling water shortage, hydroelectricity, and flood. They also wanted to submerge the town in water.
1962 Construction and Evacuation
The construction of the Blue Mesa dam took place in 1962, and all the residents were evacuated, and many lost their homes. The recent drought has caused low waters, but usually, it reaches 330 feet when full. The town has been revealed because of the low water levels. Various things have been found in this reservoir’s shorelines, and these are farming tools, fence posts, and building remains.
Aspinall Unit Dam
There are large pipes that are used to pump water from the Blue Mesa Reservoir. They are extended through it and passing through a power plant where the turbines that are used to generate electricity turn. Aspinall Unit Dam is the first group to build one of the largest dams, including the Blue Mesa dam.
The biggest kokanee salmon fishery and trout is in the Blue Mesa reservoir. It is located thirty miles to the west of Gunnison river. It has now become a famous area for campers, fishers, and boaters. However, many people are unaware of how this amazing water spot was established. They also don’t know that there was an ultimate price paid by the town that was there before.