EQIP Sign Up Announcement: Colorado River Headwaters Project RCPP

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced the signup period for financial assistance for in-stream and in-farm practices within the Colorado River Headwaters project area, which spans along the Colorado River from the KB Ditch to Gore Canyon and along the Blue River from below the Loback Ditch to the confluence of the Colorado River.  Only projects within this geographic area eligible for funding and will be selected in accordance with ranking criteria established by the NRCS for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

The sign-up period begins on September 19, 2018 and ends on October 19, 2018. 

Information about the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) project and this announcement, including ranking criteria, can be found at https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/co/programs/farmbill/rcpp/?cid=nrcseprd1326277.

For more information, please contact:

 Derrick Wyle

Soil Conservationist

NRCS

derrick.wyle@co.usda.gov

(970) 404-3441

Clean up on aisle...river!

This September, volunteers around Colorado are getting outside and making a difference for their local waters! Thank you to everyone who has participated in a local river cleanup - your work is important and is not only making our rivers more beautiful, but healthier as well! Check out the great work that has been done and be sure to sign up for our next one on October 6th on the South Platte in celebration of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

EAGLE VALLEY TROUT UNLIMITED VOLUNTEERS HAUL TRASH OUT OF THE EAGLE RIVER

September 8, 2018 - Press Release

Contact: Nick Noesen, President of EVTU

Eagle Valley Trout Unlimited had an amazing day participating in the annual Eagle River Clean-up on September 8th. We were a strong group of 19 volunteers young and old. 35 trash bags full of river trash were hauled up to the road to be taken to the landfill. Several Tires and large items as well were removed from the river corridor. For the past 9 years Eagle Valley trout Unlimited has cleaned the same 2 miles of the Eagle River in the town of Eagle. This was a particularly good year for a clean up due to the low water flows. This project along with the Highway Cleanup in the spring makes a monumental impact on keeping our rivers clean and beautiful.

CHAPTER TRIFECTA HELPS CLEAN UP CLEAR CREEK

September 15, 2018

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Trout Unlimited chapters along with volunteers across Colorado teamed up to cleanup Clear Creek near the Idaho Springs area - a popular location for anglers and recreationalists. West Denver Trout Unlimited, Cutthroat Trout Unlimited, and Cherry Creek Trout Unlimited came together with around 55 volunteers, (a record turnout!), to hike along Clear Creek and collect trash. Nestle brought in about 20 volunteers as well, donated water for everyone, and contributed to the raffle that was held later on. Overall, the event was a great success!


Are you feeling inspired to volunteer?

Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act by giving back to a river!

The Pike National Forest Service, Colorado Trout Unlimited, Coalition for the Upper South Platte, and the Denver Water Board are coming together on a group effort to help clean up the South Platte River in the Deckers area. While the South Platte is not officially designated as a Wild and Scenic River, it was deemed "eligible" under the Act and has been protected by the local South Platte Protection Plan for more than 15 years.  The purpose of the South Platte Protection Plan is to protect the river's outstandingly remarkable values - fishery, cultural, geologic, recreation, scenic and wildlife resources.

The river clean-up event will take place October 6, 2018, from 9am to 3pm, with volunteers meeting at the Deckers Store. Bring your friends and family along and enjoy a great day on one of Colorado’s outstanding rivers – and perhaps bring along your fishing equipment to wet a line once the work is done! Click below to learn more and/or to sign up!


September Currents Newsletter

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Did you check your email? We sent out our most recent monthly newsletter, Currents, earlier this week. If you did miss it, we always post our most recent and past newsletters on our website. You can see them here.

This month’s Currents featured a story on the once-extinct San Juan lineage of Cutthroat trout in Colorado, upcoming events such as the Upper C Fall Classic Tournament, River Clean-ups, Raffles, Exclusive CTU Youth Film, and much more!

Not subscribed to our e-newsletter? You can sign-up here and be opted in to receive our monthly updates. The newsletter includes the latest news, events, happenings, and stories about fly fishing, native trout, and river conservation.

Meet our new CTU Youth Outreach VISTA staff

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Bianca McGrath-Martinez has joined the Colorado Trout Unlimited team as the new Youth Outreach VISTA staffer to grow our capacity for implementing youth programming across the state.

Bianca graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore county in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies, focusing on environment, development and health. She also received a minor in Geography. Prior to joining CTU as their AmeriCorps VISTA, Bianca served with AmeriCorps at an education nonprofit in Compton, California. Bianca’s hobbies include hiking, reading, listening to music, and traveling.

The Wild & Scenic Rivers Act Turns 50!

Pictured: Eleven Mile Canyon

Pictured: Eleven Mile Canyon

Celebrate with a South Platte River Cleanup

Courtesy of the National Parks System, nps.org

Courtesy of the National Parks System, nps.org

In October 1968, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act was established when Congress determined that “the established national policy of dams and other construction at appropriate sections of the rivers of the United States needs to be complemented by a policy that would preserve other selected rivers.” Wild and Scenic designation protects free-flowing rivers with outstanding natural, cultural and recreational values. The designation prohibits harmful development, preserves historic uses, and safeguards designated rivers for future generations. Of the roughly three million miles of rivers in the country, only a little over 12,000 are protected as Wild and Scenic. In Colorado, Congress granted Wild and Scenic protection to the Cache la Poudre in 1986 - currently our state’s only designated river (though discussions are underway about designating Deep Creek).

Pictured: Cache La Poudre River.

Pictured: Cache La Poudre River.

While Colorado has only one formally designated Wild and Scenic river, the Act has helped spur other protections for rivers using state and local tools. One such example emerged in the aftermath of the Two Forks battle, as the review of the South Platte for possible designation prompted development of the South Platte Protection Plan. The Plan includes measures to provide recreational access to Denver Water properties, to manage reservoir releases for flow and temperature goals below Eleven Mile and Cheesman Dams, and to fund ongoing investments in the river corridor’s values through a $1 million endowment managed by the South Platte Enhancement Board.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of this landmark legislation, Colorado TU is joining with the Coalition for the Upper South Platte and the US Forest Service to host a day of service on the South Platte River near Deckers, with volunteers helping to pick up trash along the river corridor. The river clean-up event will take place October 6, 2018, from 9am to 3pm, with volunteers meeting at the Deckers Store. Bring your friends and family along and enjoy a great day on one of Colorado’s outstanding rivers – and perhaps bring along your fishing equipment to wet a line once the work is done! Click below to learn more and/or to sign up!


Behind the Fin with Mike McGinnis

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Join us Behind the Fin with Mike McGinnis, president of the Evergreen Chapter of Trout Unlimited, located in the Colorado foothills west of Denver.

How long have you been a TU member?

I celebrated my 40th year in TU last year having joined originally in 1977. 41 years now.

Why did you become a member and what chapter are you involved with?

In the beginning, I was very interested in the establishment and revitalization of trout in streams where I grew up in Tennessee.  Preservation of habitat became the focus shortly thereafter.  I have been President of Evergreen Trout Unlimited for approximately 10 years.

What made you want to be involved with TU?

 Establishment of trout water and preservation of habitat.

What is your favorite activity or project you have done with TU?

The Kids Fishing Clinics provide great joy to me.  To see the kids get so excited to catch fish always gives me a thrill.  I think we are establishing great conservation stewards for the future.

I know you won’t tell me your favorite spot, but what is your second favorite place to fish or favorite fishing story?

Actually, my favorite river of all time is the Little Red River in North Central Arkansas.  I grew up on that water and it will always be my favorite.

What does being a part of TU mean to you?

Being a part of TU means a lot to me.  In some small way, I think we are having an impact and I would like to think we're gonna leave the streams cleaner, the fish healthier and the love for the sport consistent.

What else do you do in your spare time or work?

I fish, golf, camp, ski, hike, hunt and do most outdoor activities.  Always have.

LEARN MORE

Check out the Evergreen Trout Unlimited Chapter

See upcoming events with the chapter here.

Like them on Facebook.

Extinct no more! CPW discovers remnant San Juan trout

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has found cutthroat trout that are unique to the San Juan River Basin in southwest Colorado. Photo courtesy of  Colorado Parks and Wildlife . 

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has found cutthroat trout that are unique to the San Juan River Basin in southwest Colorado. Photo courtesy of Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) biologists recently discovered a unique genetic lineage of the Colorado River cutthroat trout in southwest Colorado that was previously thought to be extinct. The discovery was officially recognized earlier this year thanks to advanced DNA testing techniques. Eight small populations of these trout have been found in isolated habitats on streams of the San Juan River Basin within the San Juan National Forest and on private property.
 
Based on two samples from 1874 and housed in the Smithsonian, researchers from the University of Colorado previously identified a Colorado River cutthroat trout lineage with genetic markers unique to the San Juan basin. Unfortunately, no modern populations of the lineage were known to remain at that time.  CPW researchers and biologists, however, set out to test all the southwest Colorado cutthroat trout populations they could find to see if any carried the unique San Juan genetic fingerprint.  Their efforts bore fruit with this year’s discovery of eight such small populations.

“We always ask ourselves, ‘What if we could go back to the days before pioneer settlement and wide-spread non-native fish stocking to see what we had here?’”
— Jim White, CPW Biologist

 “Careful work over the years by biologists, finding those old specimens in the museum and the genetic testing gave us the chance, essentially, to go back in time. Now we have the opportunity to conserve this native trout in southwest Colorado.” said CPW biologist, Jim White.

Colorado TU and the Five Rivers Chapter stand to play a key role in the story of these fish going forward.  “This is far and away the most exciting thing to happen to southwest native trout in my lifetime,” said TU representative Garrett Hanks of Durango. “I am excited to participate in the future of the San Juan cutthroat trout – from headwaters to the high desert.”

TU has a track record of partnership in successful native fish restoration projects in the region, working closely with CPW and the San Juan National Forest.  Among other projects, the partners have collaborated to restore Colorado River cutthroat trout into the headwaters of the Hermosa Creek watershed – building barriers to secure fish from downstream invasion by non-natives, improving stream and riparian habitat, and helping with reintroduction efforts.  The discovery of remnant San Juan lineage fish opens the door for new restoration efforts into additional, suitable habitats.

“We’ve appreciated the chance to work with such great partners to conserve native trout in southwest Colorado,” said CTU Executive Director David Nickum.  “It is nothing less than remarkable to now have the chance to join them in restoring a fish we thought had been lost to extinction.”

Biologists have already had to sweep into action to protect the rare, newly-found cutthroats.  Two populations were in areas impacted by the 416 fire this summer, and fish were salvaged from those habitats to preserve their unique genetic stocks before they could be lost to post-fire ash flows.

A fish barrier installed to protect Hermosa Creek native trout, through a partnership including the San Juan National Forest, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and Trout Unlimited.  More such projects will be needed to secure homes for the newly-rediscovered San Juan lineage cutthroat.

A fish barrier installed to protect Hermosa Creek native trout, through a partnership including the San Juan National Forest, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and Trout Unlimited.  More such projects will be needed to secure homes for the newly-rediscovered San Juan lineage cutthroat.

Event Roundup - September

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The month of September is filled with plenty of ways to get outside and have fun! From fishing tournaments, parties, and volunteer opportunities - you, your friends, and family can find something fun to do this month! 

FISHING TOURNAMENTS

FUNDRAISERS

VOLUNTEER

SOCIAL & COMMUNITY EVENTS

You can always find out what's going on in your community by following your local chapter, CTU's web calender, or CTU's Facebook event listings.

Did we miss something? Let us know.

TU Weighs in on San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act

Lizard Head Wilderness.  Photo Credit: San Juan Citizen's Alliance

Lizard Head Wilderness.  Photo Credit: San Juan Citizen's Alliance

The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources recently discussed the San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act (S.2721).  The proposed legislation, a result of over 15 years of local community collaboration, includes important protections for the headwaters of the San Miguel, the Uncompahgre and the Animas watersheds. It also includes protections for some of the state’s most iconic peaks including Mount Sneffels and Wilson Peak. 

Working to protect the headwaters of the San Miguel, Uncompahgre, and Animas watersheds, the Act will directly protect 2.5 miles of Colorado River cutthroat trout habitat, and 17 total river miles. Fish and wildlife in the area would benefit from the proposed designation, and migration corridors for elk, deer, and rocky mountain bighorn sheep would be prioritized and protected. Some of the best hunting and fishing in the state would be conserved for future generations because of this bill.

You can read the full letter submitted to the Senate ENS Committee on behalf of the TU Sportsman's Conservation Project here.

 

Learn more about the proposed wilderness here.