Adequate stewardship of geothermal resources requires accurate forecasting of long-term thermal performance. In enhanced geothermal systems and other fracture-dominated reservoirs, predictive models commonly assume constant-aperture fractures, although spatial variations in aperture can greatly affect reservoir permeability, fluid flow distribution, and heat transport. Whereas previous authors have investigated the effects of theoretical random aperture distributions on thermal performance, here we further explore the influence of permeability heterogeneity considering field-constrained aperture distributions from a meso-scale field site in northern New York, USA. Using numerical models of coupled fluid flow and heat transport, we conduct thermal-hydraulic simulations for a hypothetical reservoir consisting of a relatively impervious porous matrix and a single, horizontal fracture. Our results indicate that in highly channelized fields, most well design configurations and operating conditions result in extreme rates of thermal drawdown (e.g., 50% drop in production well temperatures in under two years). However, some other scenarios that account for the risks of short-circuiting can potentially enhance heat extraction when mass flow rate is not excessively high, and the direction of geothermal extraction is not aligned with the most permeable features in the reservoir. Through a parametric approach, we illustrate that well separation distance and relative positioning play a major role in the long-term performance of highly channelized fields, and both can be used to help mitigate premature thermal breakthrough.