Q3 / 2018:Conservation Partner Project

COLORADO TROUT UNLIMITED: RESTORING COLORADO'S RAREST NATIVE FISH

Colorado Trout Unlimited Native Trout Restoration Projects
Photo: Colorado Trout Unlimited

- Time left to make a purchase to benefit this project -

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

With basin + bend, contributing to conservation is easy! That's because we leverage commerce for conservation. By simply purchasing your favorite hunting and fishing gear from basin + bend (at the same price you would at any other retailer) you'll be supporting this partner and provide much needed funds to the project. Instead of donating an unknown "portion of the profits" to a conservation effort, we show you exactly how much is going to be donated to this specific project.

ABOUT THE CONSERVATION PARTNER:

FOUNDED IN 1969, COLORADO TU IS THE STATE’S LEADING NON-PROFIT, NON-PARTISAN ORGANIZATION PROVIDING A VOICE FOR COLORADO’S RIVERS

As Colorado's financially self-sustaining, grassroots arm of the national organization Trout Unlimited, Colorado TU is independently governed by a 44-member volunteer board including the presidents of our 24 local chapters across Colorado.

Colorado TU leverages the power of its 11,000 members who contribute approximately 44,000 volunteer hours annually to restoration, education and other local conservation projects, equivalent to the power of 22 full-time employees.

Their vision is simple – by the next generation, Colorado TU will ensure that robust populations of native and wild coldwater fish once again thrive within their original Colorado range so that our children can enjoy healthy fisheries in their home waters.

THEIR MISSION
Colorado Trout Unlimited works to protect, conserve and restore Colorado’s coldwater fisheries and their watersheds. As the grassroots arm of their parent organization, Trout Unlimited, they use cooperation, collaboration, advocacy and education to promote conservation.

QUICK PROJECT FACTS:

  • 8 miles of connected quality habitat is being prepared for the re-introduction of Greenback Cutthroat Trout in the Tarryall headwaters.
  • The permanent fish barrier will have associated construction costs of ~$200K.
  • Donations from basin + bend will help unlock large sums of grant money.
Colorado TU Rock Creek Restoration Area
Colorado Trout Unlimited Rock Creek Greenback Cutthroat Trout Restoration Area Map

Overview of the issue

From a single small stream (Bear Creek near Colorado Springs) where remnant greenback cutthroat trout were rediscovered, Colorado’s state fish is now being restored to various lakes and streams across its historic range in the South Platte. Colorado Parks and Wildlife has projects slated for locations from the Square Top Lakes near Guanella Pass, to George Creek in the Poudre basin, to Herman and Dry Gulches in the Clear Creek drainage. CPW has leaned on Colorado TU and its chapters to both provide matching funds for projects and to provide volunteer manpower to help with projects – from backpacking fish into restoration sites to helping spawn brood fish at Zimmerman Lake.

Creating a metapopulation IN SOUTH PARK

In the Tarryall headwaters, Colorado TU is partnering with the US Forest Service, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and a local ranch owner on a program to restore greenback cutthroat trout in a connected “metapopulation” spanning Rock Creek and its tributary Black Canyon.

The innovative project includes both eradication of whirling disease from the lower watershed and restoration of native trout throughout the reach. It includes installation of two removable barriers that can isolate and protect habitat while non-native fish and whirling disease are removed, and then reconnect the stream thereafter. A permanent barrier will be placed at the bottom of the project reach, near the Lost Park Road. The end result will be more than 8 miles of connected quality habitat for Colorado’s rarest trout.

The first removable barrier has been installed on Rock Creek (in 2017); in 2018, we will be installing the second barrier (on Black Canyon) and completing design for the final, permanent barrier at the downstream end of the project reach.  In 2019, funding allowing, we will complete construction of that bottom-most barrier.  Fish will be restocked into the stream once barriers are in place and whirling disease has been successfully eliminated (the WD parasite will die out over an estimated 3 years or so if it has no trout available as hosts – a process that has already begun for portions of Rock Creek). TU and its partners are securing multiple grants for this project, but some private match is needed to access those grant funds. The largest funding need will be for the final design and construction of the permanent barrier – we anticipate costs for that work to run approximately $200,000. Support from basin + bend will thus help the project not only directly, but by helping us leverage those large pots of grant funding as well.

READY TO PUT CONSERVATION FIRST?

Many of your favorite fishing, hunting and outdoor brands have already joined our Conservation First™ program. Take a look at our online store and we are sure you'll find something that you've already been eyeing!