We have a winner!

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WINNER of the Boulder Boat Works drift boat IS: #0457 Joseph Kneib of Colorado Springs

Thank you to Boulder Boat Works as they have offered anyone who did not win, a discount of the value of your ticket(s) to be used towards a purchase with them.

If you did not win this boat, the San Luis Valley Trout Unlimited raft raffle is still going on till September 21: https://coloradotu.org/slvturaffle

The secret's out - we are making a movie

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To commemorate our 50th anniversary this year, CTU has been working on a short film to help tell the stories of our past through the eyes of the future generation. Our stars, George Bryant and Emma Brown are both members of the Greenbacks and have been traveling to some pretty amazing places across Colorado this summer for this film.

Recently, the project took them to Fraser, CO to learn all about the work that CTU and the local chapter has done for the headwaters of the Colorado River. Kirk Klancke, president of the Colorado Headwaters TU chapter, was their guide and shared stories of the “boots on the ground” efforts they have done for the Fraser River through willow plantings, channel deepening, and voluntary no fishing days.

One of the most impactful efforts on the Upper Colorado is how the “Learning by Doing” partnership came to be after plenty of calls, campaigns, letters, and outspoken members of the community urged Denver Water to save the Fraser River. After a negotiation with the help of National TU, the Learning by Doing collaborative agreement put river conservation on table with other water stakeholders.

The film will be premiering at the CTU 50th Anniversary Celebration in downtown Denver at Avanti Food & Beverage | A Collective Eatery in October!

All are welcome and ticket details will be coming soon! —>

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2019 Summer Youth Camp Video features youth learning about rivers and fly fishing

Greenback and CTU volunteer, Emma Brown, put together a great feature about the 2019 CTU River Conservation and Fly Fishing Youth Camp in Almont, CO. Check out the great video she filmed above!

The River Conservation and Fly Fishing Camp is a week long camp designed to educate 14 to 18 year old students on the importance of cold water conservation and provide hands-on fly fishing instruction. Approximately 20 students are selected each year based on their qualifications and a written essay on why they would like to attend the camp.

Camp classes include: Principles of Ecology, Hydrogeology, Aquatic Vertebrate and Invertebrate Sampling, Hydrology, Trout Behavior, Trout Stream Entomology, The Biology of Pollution, Acid Deposition, and Politics of Conservation and Human Effects on the Rocky Mountain.

In addition, the camp will include hands-on instruction on Fly Tying, Fly Casting, Stream-side Ethics, Angling Literature, Stream-side Botany, Wader Safety and Survival, and The Evolution of an
Angler. The campers will also participate in a watershed project to repair habitat in a nearby stream.

The drift boat raffle sold out - but you can still enter to win another boat!

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The Colorado Trout Unlimited 50th Anniversary Drift Boat by Boulder Boat Works raffle sold out today! Thank you to everyone who participated, making this the largest and most successful fundraiser of all time! Proceeds from the raffle go right back into the organization and support our mission work to conserve, protect, and restore coldwater fisheries and their watersheds. If you entered the raffle, you can watch us draw the winner LIVE on our Facebook Page. Make sure you’re following us to be notified when we go live on August 19, 2019 12:00pm for the official raffle drawing.

But I missed out - how can I enter to win another boat?

If you want to try to win another boat, the San Luis Valley Chapter of TU is also raffling off a boat with only 350 entries. This 13 foot Rocky Mountain Raft with Down River Equipment San Juan XD AS Fishing Frame is valued at $6500 plus $2655 cash to cover tax withholding making the total package value $9,155. Proceeds from the raffle help the San Luis Valley Chapter of TU to protect, conserve and restore coldwater fisheries and watersheds in the Upper Rio Grande Basin through this CTU raffle!

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Entries to the San Luis Valley 13 Ft Rocky Mountain Raft with Fishing Frame are:

$40 per ticket

or

3 tickets for $100 (best deal!)

Online Ticket Sales end Thursday September 19, 2019 at 12:00pm.

Drawing will be held Saturday September 21, 2019 at 2:00pm at the Rio Grande Club & Resort in South Fork, CO. Raffle Participants NEED NOT to be present to win. ONLY 350 tickets will be sold!

Raffle Details:

TROUT UNLIMITED NEW TROUT adj 2-color A

Winner will be contacted via phone and then email if needed after the drawing. Winner must provide proof of identity (i.e. State Drivers License – along with W9 for tax purposes) to verify winner and link it with same ticket purchase/stub record in our database. 

Tickets purchased online are processed and transferred onto physical tickets that are added to all the others. Purchasing your tickets online or in person do not increase your chances in any way. You will receive an email receipt detailing your raffle ticket purchase.

This raffle is conducted under Colorado Raffle License No. 2019-14255 , and is open to Colorado residents ONLY.

See our Raffle License here.

Rare cutthroat trout in Abrams Creek will see improved stream habitat

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Trout Unlimited, Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Buckhorn Valley Metropolitan District No. 1 (District) completed their ambitious restoration project on Abrams Creek to preserve a rare population of cutthroat trout threatened in part by reduced flows during irrigation season.

Among other benefits, increased flows are expected to:

  • Increase physical/wetted habitat and riparian cover along approximately 3.5 miles of stream.

  • Improve in-stream habitat connectivity and quality, allowing trout to more easily move to the best habitat and holding areas.

  • Enhance sediment transport, which helps keep river cobble and spawning habitat clean and healthy.

  • Increase aquatic insect productivity, improving cutthroat food resources.

  • Create deeper pools for trout refuge.

  • Maintain cooler water temperatures in lower Abrams.

Moreover, a permanent fish screen will be installed at the point of diversion on Abrams Creek that will help protect the trout population by reducing losses due to entrainment in the ditch.

For more than a century, however, Abrams Creek has been dewatered by irrigation diversions that drastically reduce its flows in late summer and fall. The trout have been hanging on, but they’re seriously pressured. Colorado Parks and Wildlife has called this population the “highest priority” for cutthroat conservation efforts in Western Colorado. In 2016, Trout Unlimited’s Mely Whiting helped negotiate a deal with the local irrigation company, Buckhorn Valley Metro District, which agreed to pipe their irrigation ditch and thereby reduce leakage by 40 percent, with the water savings going back into the creek to keep the fish healthy.



TU supports the Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act

by Kate Miller
July 18, 2019
Original Blog post here.

Bill would help to advance renewable energy projects on public lands in a manner that protects fish and wildlife habitat, and strengthens local economies and communities

Upcoming

TU CEO Chris Wood to testify in support of PLREDA before a House Committee on July 25th at 10 am eastern. Read Chris’ written statement or visit the hearing page to find witness testimony and to watch the hearing live or on replay.

What is PLREDA?

On July 17, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and Rep. Mike Levin (D-CA) introduced the bipartisan Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act (PLREDA). 

  • Congressman Gosar’s press release on the bill is available, here.

  • Congressman Levin’s press release is here.

The Public Land Renewable Energy Act would create a new system for efficient, responsible renewable energy development on public lands. By identifying priority areas for wind, solar and geothermal development, PLREDA encourages smart siting and efficient permitting of projects in places with high potential for energy and low impact on wildlife and habitat. 

Critically, the act would also strategically direct the royalty revenue from development to invest in local communities, fish and wildlife resources and more efficient permitting for renewable energy projects. 

Why PLREDA?

The nation’s public lands system provides Americans with the some of the world’s richest opportunities for outdoor recreation. In some cases, federal holdings also represent a reasonable setting for well-planned and properly mitigated renewable energy development projects. These energy projects could stimulate job growth, reduce carbon pollution, and contribute to the protection and restoration of fish and wildlife habitat on public lands.

Utility-scale wind and solar projects are a growing presence on our public lands. These projects will help us move toward a clean energy future, but can take up large chunks of land for long periods of time, and may cause some unavoidable impacts on fish, wildlife and water resources and recreational access. The Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act provides the conservation counterbalance to unavoidable impacts on our public lands.

PLREDA offers a way to offset issues created by development on public lands by designating a conservation fund derived from royalties and other revenues generated by wind and solar energy projects operating on federal land. The bill also directs a portion of the royalty and lease revenues from public land wind and solar projects to compensate for states and counties impacted by development. Read more about the bill details in our factsheet.

Why this Matters for Trout Unlimited

Public lands contain some of the most valuable trout and salmon habitat in the nation. In most western states, public lands comprise more than 70 percent of the available habitat for native trout, representing the vast majority of remaining strongholds for coldwater species. PLREDA offers a way to advance development of renewable energy on public lands in a responsible and innovative fashion, while also ensuring funds flow back into Trout Unlimited’s critical on-the-ground conservation work that benefits anglers and downstream communities.

How you can help

We need your help to build even more support for PLREDA. Urge your member of Congress to sign on as co-sponsor of the Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act. 

TU letters / statements:

Upcoming: Chris Wood to testify in support of PLREDA before a House Committee on July 25th at 10am eastern. Read Chris’ written statement or visit the hearing page to find witness testimony and to watch the hearing live or on replay.

That’s all for this one! Please contact Kate MillerRob Catalanotto or Steve Moyer with any questions.

Volunteers hike native trout up to their new homes this summer

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by Dan Omasta, Grassroots Coordinator

Just last week, over 110 volunteers and 50 agency staff contributed to the recovery of the threatened Greenback Cutthroat Trout. The excitement was thick on the morning of July 16, as a line of cars entered the Dry Gulch Trail head and officially kicked off the three-day recovery mission. Many participants were volunteering for the first time - a few were veterans from previous stocking years. Everyone who volunteers for one of these projects joins a very special family - a group of people that have carried a threatened species on their backs and prevented its extinction.

The goal of the two stocking projects in Dry Gulch (July 16) and Herman Gulch (July 17) was to release over 1,500 Greenback fingerlings into the high alpine creeks and to ensure that they were spread out in the habitat as much as possible. According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologists, spreading the fish out over the different stream reaches will reduce competition and ensure the highest possible chance of survival. Over the past few years of stocking, CPW has found an average of 40% survival - which is a good rate for fish in the wild. The long term goal is for these fish to reproduce naturally and not have to be stocked again.

My daughter and I enjoyed the event: lots of positive energy, happy agency reps and volunteers, a beautiful setting and an opportunity to get our hands wet in planting the fingerlings
— Eric Weissenberger, a volunteer at the Herman Gulch stocking event

“The opening remarks by the reps of the participating organizations … illustrated the complexity and cooperative nature of the effort. I was glad that my daughter was exposed to that information, as 13-year-olds need all the context they can get regarding the private and public working world and the wide variety of ways in which one can contribute and make a living,” Eric explained.

In 2018, volunteers for these same stocking locations won a Volunteer Service Award from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. These are big projects that demand boots on the ground. We could not do this without the hundreds of volunteers and supporters, and we know that our agency partners are very grateful as well.

Plenty of agencies, non-profits and businesses also helped make it happen, and all deserve recognition, including Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Colorado Trout Unlimited, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, various TU chapters, Rep Your Water, Upslope Brewing, Basin + Bend, and Western Native Trout Initiative.

Bianca, CTU VISTA Youth Coordinator, participated in the Herman Gulch stocking and snapped some great pictures! She also took the great shots of the beaver dam removal project below.


ROCK CREEK BEAVER DAM REMOVAL

On July 18, several volunteers worked alongside CPW and USFS staff to temporarily remove beaver dams along Black Canyon Creek. This effort is part of the larger Rock Creek Greenback Reclamation project which aims to provide another 9 miles of interconnected habitat once completed (likely in 2023). By notching the dams, CPW will be able to more effectively remove non-native brook trout from the area - which will also help treat the system for whirling disease.

Thank you to the volunteers, organizations, agencies, donors, and businesses that support the restoration of native trout populations and habitat across Colorado.




Restoring Rivers with Can'd Aid

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This summer, Colorado Trout Unlimited teamed up with Can’d Aid to help restore rivers in Colorado. Can’d Aid is a nonprofit organization that was founded as an immediate response to the massive flooding that devastated the towns of Lyons & Longmont, CO, in September 2013. Since then, the organization has been helping spread people powered do-goodery when and where it is needed most.

On July 13, volunteers generously came out to help restore a section of the Gore Creek in Vail, CO. This river has seen some hard times and have been labeled unhealthy since 2004. To help this river on it’s path to recovery, volunteers planted willows and lodgepole pines to anchor the heavily eroded riverbeds. This effort will protect the river from further erosion while also improving the habitat for fish and other wildlife. Colorado Trout Unlimited is proud to have partnered up with Can’d Aid, River Restoration Adventures for Tomorrow, Eagle Valley TU, and the City of Vail to make this a successful day!

Can’d Aid projects like this are supported through  Wild Basin Boozy Sparkling Water, which donates $1/case sold.

Did you know that you can replant a willow tree simply by cutting a branch and sticking it in the ground? They’re hearty plants that provide protection for riverbank erosion while also lending much-needed shade to fish and wildlife.
— Can'd Aid

On July 20, 2019, volunteers gathered at the Gunnison River to monitor last year’s progress and continue their work to help restore habitat in the Basin. Volunteers floated to the 2018 work site and found many of the willows that were planted the previous year growing strong - despite the severe drought in 2018 and high Spring flows in 2019. This was a promising sight to see the volunteer work was taking root!

Small but mighty: A patriotic super volunteer!

Small but mighty: A patriotic super volunteer!

Restoration work in 2019 took place beyond the banks of the Gunnison River. 25 volunteers spent the day building "one rock damns" in Dutch Gulch. These mulch damns slow the flow of water, prevent erosion and reconnect gullies to flood plains.

Ultimately, they trap sediment and extend flows in low water years - promoting long-term river health and grazing for deer, elk and the threatened Gunnison Sage Grouse! 

After a morning of intensive rock work, the group got on the river once again to celebrate a job well done.

Check out more pictures on the Can’d Aid facebook post here. Also, CBS 4 News shared a video of the day, see below!

The group from Can'd Aid Foundation worked to prevent erosion.

Thank you to all the people and organizations that volunteer their time to protect rivers in Colorado. Your efforts are crucial to the places we love to play, float, hike and fish!

Please follow and support our collaborative partners below!

A collar that gives back

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Colorado Trout Unlimited has partnered with Dublin Dog to create a limited-edition cutthroat trout dog collar that raises awareness and funds for native trout recovery in Colorado. This one-of-a kind collar is only being sold by CTU and is available by select chapters and business partners across the state.

The design is waterproof & odor proof and features a non-metal clasp for easy release and to keep your furry friend from uncomfortable rubbing.  The collar is only available in XL size (18-24”) and is easily adjustable.

Why Dog Collars?

For many, our dogs accompany us everywhere we go, including out on the water! We figured that with all of the great gear we bring on the river for ourselves, it was about time we offered an opportunity for our best fishing buddies to join in on the fun. Now your dog can be right beside you supporting river conservation and native trout.

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Collar Specs:

  • Waterproof

  • Odor-proof

  • Quick Release clip closure

  • UV inhibitors help prevent yellowing and fading

  • Makes great gifts & stocking stuffers

  • Made exclusively with Dublin Dog, and Outward Hound brand

  • All collars come in Large/X-Large (18-26’’) and are easily adjustable within that range

If you would like to support native trout projects across Colorado while also providing your best fishing buddy a stylish look - follow the button below to get your very own. These make great gifts!

Learn more about what the collar proceeds support here.

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The native trout thank you!

Pictured: Native Greenback Cutthroat trout being prepped for a release at Herman Gulch, 2018 by Neal Bullock.

Pictured: Native Greenback Cutthroat trout being prepped for a release at Herman Gulch, 2018 by Neal Bullock.