Chatfield Reservoir Environmental Impact Study released expansion of surface water proposal
Post By: Browns Hunter Posted: 6/14/2012 10:25:36 AM Points: 3070
Everyone: I've just received the press release from the Army Corps of Engineers. Its announcing the release of the draft Environmental Impact Study for Chatfield. [log in for link]
Of interest to FishExplorer members is that the Army Corps is planning to adjust their water storage approach by reallocating 20,600 acre-feet of storage from the exclusive flood control pool to the conservation pool. What that will do is increase the recreational size of Chatfield, at the expense of the South Platte River inlet. From what I was told, its about a mile of river will be flooded. Recreational fishing will change from river to lake fishing I don't know if that's a wash. There are several public hearings on this topic planned. If you're concerned, then please participate and let your voice be heard!
Reply by: masteroftheloch Posted: 6/14/2012 11:00:15 AM Points: 409
Wow, this is actually exciting news to hear. However, I am curious to know when they plan to start the project and how this project will affect the recreational useage of the reservoir and the area surrounding it. Also does anyone know the expected time frame to fill the reservoir to the desired capacity? I for one am excited for the increased fish structure the new water levels will provide.
I am surprised they didn't do this back in the 80's. But, just think, we might have a new under water bridge and road to fish. Better start planning your new spots now, while we can still walk on the new fish habitat..
Reply by: Tiny Stevens Posted: 6/18/2012 12:41:44 AM Points: 4599
Dudes, odds are that if the Corps of Engineers does it, they will probably level things out with their dozers. The trees will surely be cut down, and much of the current shoreline will be dozed to allow for more water. It might be wise to mark some features for GPS points, but I seriously doubt that much of what we see today will stay that way under the water.
Reply by: Jimi Posted: 6/18/2012 7:20:46 AM Points: 217
Gonna suck "BIG" time if they close it down for a few seasons..... kinda like in the 70's when they built it. Used to be fun fishing all the old gravel pits until the fences went up and the Guys in fatigues with M-14's started patrolling those fences.
Reply by: Walleye Wackin Posted: 6/18/2012 7:21:08 AM Points: 255
My guess is this will happen. They won't have to modify the dam. Most of the cost is from park service relocation and tree removal. Chatfield will become a much better fishery. However, the lake level will fluctuate much more than is does now, making fishing more challenging one trip out to the next.
Reply by: Browns Hunter Posted: 6/18/2012 8:00:37 AM Points: 3070
Remember, there's a tradeoff. Yes, they're increasing the size of the reservoir water without increasing the size of the dam. But, they're also taking away some of those ponds and the river fishing for a mile or so above the lake. Give some, take some. Yes, Tiny is probably right about the Corps using bulldozers or burning to get rid of the vegetation in the inlet area. Wish they wouldn't, though.
Question to ask at the open meetings is, are they planning to do anything to improve the river fishing above the new lake size? Some kind of mitigation effort to help out the river fishermen would be better than nothing. Might even improve it enough to make it really worthwhile. Don't know how many fishermen fish the river right there now, but they're losing their water.
Reply by: Fishinbud Posted: 6/18/2012 9:01:25 AM Points: 0
They've been babbling about doing this for years. For crying out loud, pick a direction if necessary, and go for it. If they do markedly increase the size of the lake, do something productive, and add wipers to the mix. I can understand why some are upset over the areas that'll be lost, relative to how they fish now, however, as other have said, in the west, water storage is a serious issue/concern. I'd prefer that they build additional reservoirs elsewhere like what is being done in Parker, (measure twice and cut once, when planning reservoirs, rather than retrofitting an existing one). Again, some decent, close to home areas to fish will be lost, but they won't be as detrimental as say, the proposed Two Forks project that thankfully, did not get approved on the South Platte, in years past. Hopefully, if Chatfied is expanded, it'll be worth the effort, water and fishing wise, we'll see...
more of chatty to fish? awesome. Nothing great about that river up above IMHO. Why would the bull doze/burn the trees. Buring horrible for air quality dozing.... what a waste of time/money/resources. I've fished several army corps lakes and none were leveled flat???? Curious why you guys think they would remove that good structure?
Will gas motor boats be allowed back onto the lake when the project is done?.Adding more water if DONE RIGHT is ok with me.Just more water for gas and oil to mix with doesn't sound like a bright plan to me.
Why wouldn't they be allowed like they are NOW??? Chatty is a HUGE Metro area recreation site. Removing the ability to use boats there would cause an uproar! Not only that, but I don't think the state parks division would be too happy about the loss of their recreation fee income from there if boats weren't allowed any longer.
Besides, Chatty is not what is called a "primary" reservoir for drinking water (like Marston is). Any water would be sent on to another lake/holding area prior to use.
ETA: I'm not sure how I feel about this right now. There would be a loss of most of the recreation areas on the South side of the lake, which I utilize quite frequently (as I drive by there every day), which would be a huge negative. On the positive side, Chatty could (keyword is could) become a mecca Walleye fishery due to increasing the size/depth of the lake, a big plus. I'll need to read the whole EIS before forming my final opinion.
This will be better for boating with the increase in surface acres. It will increase the pond some. I work for an engineering firm that designs dams and I totally agree with water storage in Colorado. Wish Two-Forks would have passed but the environmentalists had a fit. Look, we live in high desert and we need water. I thought that pipeline proposal from Flaming Gorge Reservoir to Northern Denver was a good one, but nope! With all the Californians and Texans moving here, water needs to come from somewhere. Chatty was built for water storage, not birds. That’s my .02 n e way…