Please join us in welcoming our 24th Chapter, the Dolores River Anglers (DRA). Serving the counties of Dolores and Montezuma as well as the community of Egnar, DRA began out of a group of dedicated Five Rivers Chapter members who in October of 2009 met to see if enough interest existed to support a TU chapter “on this side of the mountain.” While they only became an official chapter in February 2013, DRA has already built an impressive record of conserving trout and educating kids over the past three years. In 2010, the DRA had three members become certified to teach the National Fly Fishing in Schools Program curriculum and the group's name officially became the Dolores River Anglers. The group partnered with Cortez Parks and Recreation and the Cortez Rotary Club to conduct a Kids Fly Fishing Clinic and Community Fishing Derby at Parque de Vida in Cortez. Later that summer, DRA conducted an Upper Dolores River Road Trip to show members where to go to fish on the Upper Dolores River, assisted the then CDOW with fish counts on the Dolores River both above and below McPhee Reservoir, and conducted a Dolores River Cleanup.
By 2011, DRA was holding evening fly tying classes at the Cortez Cultural Center. The summer brought the Kid’s Fly Fishing Clinic and Community Fishing Derby again at Parque de Vida, a second Dolores River cleanup in June, and the second annual Upper Dolores River Road Trip to find new places to fish. In August of 2011, DRA members joined Five Rivers Chapter members in assisting as mentors for injured soldiers involved in a visit by Project Healing Waters participants from Ft. Huachuca, Arizona and Ft. Carson, Colorado.
In 2012, DRA conducted their Third Annual Kids Fly Fishing Clinic, First Annual Adult Fly Fishing Clinic and Third Annual Community Fishing Derby. The DRA partnered with the Dolores River Whitewater Advocates in their annual Dolores River Cleanup. In July and August, DRA, in partnership with CPW, collected DNA samples from over 40 suspected individual native cutthroat trout on Stoner Creek and Taylor Creek. In September 2012, the DRA worked to designate three tributaries to the Dolores river as Outstanding Waters - Little Taylor Creek, Spring Creek, and the Rio Lado.
Dolores River Anglers are currently working with the Dolores District of the San Juan National Forest to repair damage to the banks of Taylor Creek adjacent to the Little Taylor Creek Trailhead, and they continue to expand their youth education programs through fly fishing clinics and by helping local libraries in their summer reading programs with aquatic entomology.
Congratulations to the Dolores River Anglers! Keep up the great work!