Clear Creek Recovery Project Helped by Fishing is Fun Grant

October 29, 2010

World Fishing Network News

A stream recovery project in downtown Idaho Springs has gotten an $80,000 boost from a Colorado Division of Wildlife Fishing is Fun grant.For decades, the health of Clear Creek in Idaho Springs was seriously impaired by mining runoff, inadequate sewage treatment and channelization from adjacent road and highway construction.

But in recent years, a broad coalition including the city, county, major businesses and environmental groups have made significant investments to help mitigate and reverse the damage. The result has been a dramatic improvement of Clear Creek. One local business, the Albert Frei and Sons Quarry, provided indispensible support for the project in the form of tons of rock that was used to create structure and stabilize the stream bank. Additional support came from the Trask Family Foundation, the Henderson Mine as well as the West Denver chapter of Trout Unlimited and the Clear Creek Watershed Foundation, which oversaw the project on behalf of the city. Frontier Environmental Services of Arvada, which performed the construction, donated its services for preliminary design and project development.

“Without the core support from Fishing is Fun, this project doesn’t come together,” said Miles Williams, a member of West Denver TU and the city’s advisor on the project. “It helped all of our partners realize that we could really make this happen.”

Get Your Tickets to West Denver TU Chapter’s “Special Events Night” November 3rd

October 28, 2010

On November 3, West Denver is holding a Special Events Night at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds which promises to be an extremely entertaining and enjoyable evening.

There will be dinner, a silent auction featuring guided trips and great equipment, wine tasting, dancing to the 50’s and 60’s, and a “casino event” where you’ll have the opportunity to try your luck at black jack, poker, craps, and roulette (play money only). Doors open at 5:00 PM,
dinner kicks off at 5:30PM, and the party continues until approximately 10PM. Tickets are $ 30 per person, $ 50 a couple, a great deal given the dinner and entertainment available. If you want tickets and/or more information, please contact Linda Miyamoto (303-423-5616), Jackie Edwards (303-278-2282), or Jon Weimer (303-830-1609). Or purchase your tickets online here:

Firming Projects to be Weighted Together

October 27, 2010

TU, CTU, and the Colorado Headwaters Chapter have been working hard to make the Windy Gap Firming Project and the Moffat Tunnel expansion mitigation a more public, transparent process that involves the stakeholders of Grand County and addresses current and potential impacts of BOTH projects on the upper Colorado River and the Fraser River. Big ups to DNR, DOW, and our Wildlife Commissioners for working together with water providers to develop a collaborative, transparent process to “create a healthy(Colorado river) downstream of Windy Gap” that involves the local stakeholders.

Check out this great article in Sky-HI News by Tonya Bina:


SLV restoration project earns BLM award

October 25, 2010

Pueblo Chieftain

VILLA GROVE —  Trout Unlimited’s Kerber Creek Restoration Project has received the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s 2010 Hardrock Mineral Environmental Award.

The BLM award is given to organizations that highlight environmental stewardship and acknowledges exceptional track records of meeting or exceeding federal, state or local reclamation requirements.

“This project would not have been possible without the dedicated efforts of our project partners at the BLM and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, as well as from local landowners who are invested in restoring the creek from the effects of mining,” said Elizabeth Russell, Trout Unlimited’s manager for the project.

Cleaning up a mine field

October 25, 2010
Pueblo Chieftain
Cleaning up old mining districts in Leadville has been a contentious issue in the community.An Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site was set up in California Gulch more than 20 years ago following releases of toxic metals that killed fish in an 18-mile reach of the Arkansas River.

Issues with blockage in the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s Leadville Tunnel erupted two years ago, leading to a major drilling project to relieve pressure from water backed up in drain tunnels.

The goal of the Lake Fork group is to avoid the same sort of controversy over cleanup efforts by bringing agencies, landowners and environmental groups together, said Melissa Wolfe, another faculty member who works with the team.

“The outreach has been a challenge, but we’ve had good participation from the agencies that are involved,” Wolfe said.

 A core of landowners who helped form the working group are still active but do not attend meetings as often as in the past, said Cathy Patti, CMC contract administrator.

Federal agencies include the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Geological Survey, EPA, Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service.

State agencies include the Department of Public Health and Environment, Division of Wildlife and the Division of Reclamation and Mining Safety.

 Local government, landowners and Trout Unlimited are also connected to the process.

Lightner Creek runoff fouling Animas River

October 25, 2010

Durango Herald

Lightner Creek is at it again. It would be hard to be a resident of the area, or even a visitor, and not notice the “stain” of gray-brown water that Lightner Creek is introducing into the Animas. While it is normal to see Lightner run turbid, or “off-color,” during the spring runoff season, this level of turbidity and general nastiness at this time of year is not normal and is a cause of concern.

Why is this sort of turbidity – what I choose to call the Lightner Creek problem – happening at this time of year? One possible cause of the current problem is a substantial rain event back on Sept. 13 that dumped upwards of an inch of water on Durango and the Perin’s Peak area.

Opinion piece from Buck Skillen, past president and current board member of Five Rivers Trout Unlimited and a local volunteer with River Watch.

Division of Wildlife considers impacts of Windy Gap project

October 21, 2010
By Laura Snider
Camera Staff Writer

According to Colorado Trout Unlimited, if both the Windy Gap Firming Project and a proposed expansion of the Gross Reservoir — which feeds Denver residents with water from the Colorado watershed — are approved, as much as 70 percent of the upper Colorado River’s native water flow will be removed on average.

“It’s not happening in isolation,” said Erica Stock, outreach director for Colorado Trout Unlimited.

In particular, Stock said her organization wants to make sure that Northern Water uses an accurate historical baseline of the Colorado River’s flow to determine impacts and that it uses an “adaptive management” strategy, which would allow the mitigation measures to be changed if ecological effects are worse than anticipated.