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Volunteer and Make a Difference

by: David Coulson 10/4/2013

So often I hear anglers complain.  Complaints run the gamut from too many people, too much trash, not enough fish, overfished, trash, ethics . . .  the list is near endless. 

So often it seems we are ready to voice our concerns, but fail to take concrete actions.   Iím not going to claim we can cure all the woes voiced. However, I do suggest that by being involved we can have a positive impact.  Maybe if we all do a little less complaining and a bit more doing our fisheries (and experiences) will be better for our efforts.

Opportunities to volunteer abound. Check the newspaper, visit  the managing agency(personally or their website), or read most any fishing clubs newsletter and you will find information on a myriad of opportunities to help improve our fisheries and the properties surrounding them. 

For example, the Centennial Bass Club is scheduled to pick up trash at Horsetooth Reservoir tomorrow morning, October fifth.  This is an annual fall event, timed when the waters are down. The objective is to remove trash irresponsible boaters toss overboard.  Unfortunately, Iím tying flies at Elkhorn Rod and Reel at that time, or Iíd be helping as I have in years past.  Pick most any stream or lake and Iím sure youíll find some group picks up trash at some point during the year.

Many of the parks, including Colorado Parks and Wildlife, are continually looking for volunteers.  CPW has a webpage dedicated specifically for volunteers.  If you care about the parks, why not step up to the plate and lend a helping hand.

If youíre interested in stream improvement give it some thought to the following project that I got notice of via email. The email is reproduced in its entirety.  The point is simply, rather that complain about things, spend some time changing them, Volunteering is one way to make things better for all.

Dear Members and Friends of the Rocky Mountain Flycasters,

Volunteers are needed for the New Elkhorn Creek Stream Improvement Project.
 A stream improvement project that has been awaiting low water, among other favorable conditions, is now ready for action on Saturday, October 12. Wait a minute, low water? Yes. While you are waiting for the major Front Range rivers to again become fishable, and the roads to them to be repaired, why not join us at this project?

The project is on Elkhorn Creek, a Cache la Poudre tributary that begins near Red Feather Lakes. It's in the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest, but not in the Forest area closed for flood damage assessment and restoration. And the roads to get there are open. It's a variation of the proverbial "rock rolling" method of trout habitat improvement.

This project's method is to place paving bricks in the stream-bed where an unpaved Forest Service road fords Elkhorn Creek. The objective is to eliminate stream-bed disturbance by vehicles, now the source of silt that smothers downstream fish spawning beds and aquatic insect habitat.

Another condition for success of the project is to have a large enough volunteer crew, composed mostly of Rocky Mountain Flycasters volunteers, to complete the project in one day. We are off to a good start, but need another 8 or more RMF volunteers. No experience in similar work is needed. RMF volunteers will be guided by Forest Service personnel and Poudre Wilderness Volunteers who did a similar project last year.
To fill the gap in crew size, contact Dave Piske, Conservation Coordinator and say you want to join the Elkhorn Creek Project. You will then receive more details on the project.

And, many thanks in advance for helping to implement this project.


Dave Piske,

Rocky Mountain Flycasters Conservation Coordinator


This was just post on the forum, Boulder Reservoir needs folks to help clean up after the recent flooding.

Blog content © David Coulson
Member comments
OldMikkDale, CO   10/4/2013 6:02:12 PM
I did a lot of volunteering at Barr Lake. You are given a pass that lets you in free and after so many hours we were given a park pass for all parks. The only year round full time employees were the ranger and her assistant ranger and one person who ran the education center. A couple of years they did away with her job except for the summer months. A few summer employees and the rest are all volunteers. As half of the lake is a bird sanctuary and they have so many educational programs, a wide variety of help is needed. They keep about 50 volunteers on their list. Also I did some volunteering for DOW years ago. Now I volunteer in schools. Don't have time? When I was a Jaycee, there was a saying. If you want something done, give it to a busy person. My wife is 81 years old and works at her job over 40 hours a week and puts in about 20 hours volunteering. She was at a health fair at 6:30 AM and after work, she went on an other volunteering event and won't get home until about 8 PM.
David Coulson (Flyrodn), CO   10/4/2013 9:03:15 PM
Thank you and your wife for all your efforts.
Coyute, CO   10/5/2013 6:43:34 PM
Commendable OldMikkDale. Good blog Dave. While I didn't find anything as exciting as a bikini top, I did find some items best not listed here. :)
David Coulson (Flyrodn), CO   10/6/2013 8:59:45 AM
Yep, picking up trash often yields some interesting "treasures." Thanks for doing that along with many others from Centennial Bass. I know many won't appreciate the effort. But I do. Thanks to all who care and take time to do something about it.
skiman, CO   10/9/2013 5:33:05 AM
Dave, I agree with volunteering. I also think it's up to each one of us to do our part by simply carrying out a bag or two of trash every time we visit our favorite lake or stream. I realize it's not a recognized or commended effort, but I do think it can make a huge difference. Good Fishing! Ski
David Coulson (Flyrodn), CO   10/9/2013 8:26:58 AM
I wholeheartedly agree on picking up after others. As distasteful as it is, I think we all need to make an effort to leave a place better than we found it when possible. Thanks for doing that.
David Coulson
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