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South Basins

Rio Grande

The Rio Grande watershed in southern Colorado flows from headwaters in the Weminuche Wilderness through Gold Medal trout waters and the San Luis Valley and ultimately to the New Mexico border. From trophy fisheries to native Rio Grande cutthroat trout, Colorado TU is working to conserve, protect, and restore the region’s watersheds.

Threats, Programs & Projects

Kerber Creek restoration project. Colorado TU and its Collegiate Peaks Anglers chapter have been a lead partner in a large-scale collaborative project to restore the once-fishless waters of Kerber Creek from the effects of historic hardrock mining impacts in the Bonanza District. The collaborative effort has completed over $1.3 million in restoration work – treating 40 acres of mine tailings, stabilizing over 3,000 linear feet of stream bank, and installing numerous fish habitat structures. The project has received multiple awards including the Bureau of Land Management’s prestigious Hardrock Mineral Environmental Award.

Responsible energy development. In the wrong places or without the right protections, energy development can create major problems for rivers and fish. With other sportsmen, Colorado TU advocates for responsible energy development that allows for extraction of key resources like natural gas while ensuring protection of key fish and wildlife habitats. In the San Luis Valley, Colorado TU has successfully protested and stopped proposed lease sales that jeopardized native trout and Gold Medal fisheries by failing to include the protective standards that were needed.

Conejos River restoration. The San Luis Valley Chapter of Colorado TU has partnered with the Conejos River Anglers and others to complete on-the-ground restoration projects to create healthier river habitat along the Conejos River.