Colorado Water
Dazed and confused coverage of water issues in Colorado

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Monday, July 2, 2007

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Category: Colorado Water

7:08:58 AM    

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Colorado has met with some success in fighting whirling disease. Here's a short article about efforts along the Poudre River from The Rocky Mountain News. They write:

Whirling disease attacks young fish when their skeletons are still cartilage. While the fish don't always die, the parasitic disease often deforms fish and can cause them to display the tail-chasing behavior that gives the disease its name. There are signs that the Poudre - and the battle against the disease - is changing. [Kehmeier, the Colorado Division of Wildlife's fishery biologist for the Poudre] said Poudre rainbows are reproducing naturally for the first time in years, and the young trout seem to have a built-in resistance. "There were years when I didn't catch a single rainbow at a particular testing area," he said. One by one, the state's great fisheries fell victim. In 1993, nearly all of the young rainbows in the Colorado River as it flows through Middle Park had been wiped out. On the Poudre, the disease still is very much alive, but new strategies have helped the Poudre maintain its status as a destination fishery. One of the key moves was to make brown trout, naturally resistant to whirling disease, the Poudre's primary resident. Prior to the disease's discovery, rainbows made up 60 percent and browns 40 percent of the Poudre's population. Currently, 95 percent of the Poudre's trout are browns.

Category: Colorado Water

6:49:51 AM    

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The environmental impact statement for the proposed Glade Reservoir has been delayed, according to The North Forty News. From the article:

People who have been anxiously awaiting news about the proposed Glade Reservoir north of LaPorte will have to wait until fall for any new information. The environmental impact statement for the project has been delayed so the Army Corps of Engineers can further study the project's impact on the Cache la Poudre River. The Army Corps is the permitting agency for the Northern Integrated Supply Project, which also proposes a smaller reservoir north of Greeley...

According to Nicole Seltzer of the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District, the Army Corps has hired a consultant to analyze possible changes in stream morphology along the Cache la Poudre. The study will look at changes that could occur in the shape of the streambed and the riparian corridor if NISP is built, since the project would result in lower stream flows downstream from the mouth of the Poudre Canyon. Stream morphology has already been looked at, Seltzer said, but the Army Corps decided to do a more in-depth study of the issue.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Category: Colorado Water

6:36:58 AM    

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Here's an article from The Aspen Daily News (free registration required) speculating about the effects on Colorado River water rights with the recent shutdown of the Shoshone Power Plant in Glenwood Canyon. From the article:

The Shoshone power plant's shutdown may have a ripple effect that moves upstream into the Roaring Fork Valley if water rights calls play out the way officials are predicting. The hydroelectric plant, owned by Xcel Energy, has [some of] the most senior water rights on the Colorado River. When water rights go unused, as in the case at Shoshone, which flows 1,400 cubic feet per second through its plant to produce energy, then other senior rights holders can make a call for that water...

With a dry summer and Colorado's already tight water situation, officials say it's likely the Cameo community in Grand Valley -- a large group of agricultural interests irrigating some 30,000 acres -- will ask for Shoshone's rights...

A call from Cameo means about 2,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) must run through the gauge in De Beque Canyon. But with Shoshone temporarily relinquishing its rights, that means more junior rights holders on the Front Range and upper Colorado calls can also ask for the water that should have been saved for Shoshone; to make up for that, flows from Ruedi Reservoir above Basalt may increase and more water could be diverted from places like Plateau Creek and the Roaring Fork, said Treese...

Calls don't take place until August, when rivers and streams start to run low. Because that's the tail end of rafting season, Fuller said whitewater enthusiasts wouldn't be greatly affected along the Colorado River above Glenwood Springs, where water levels could be even lower without the Shoshone call. He did say anglers and outfitters would be more upset because river levels on the Fryingpan and Roaring Fork would go up, adversely affecting the fishing.

Category: Colorado Water

6:26:54 AM    

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