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Changes to the South Platte - Denver

Post By: Milehighfishing      Posted: 9/18/2019 8:05:02 AM     Points: 121    
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"For a while now, Denver humans have sought to undo the harm they did to the South Platte River. The latest attempt to repair the damage from industrial pollution, development and flood control projects includes a $12.4 million investment."

"A swimmable and fishable river, which the Hancock administration has made a primary goal for the Platte"
 Reply by: Wacokid57      Posted: 9/18/2019 9:49:04 AM     Points: 11    
One of the biggest obstacles to making the SP a viable fishery has been low winter flows out of Chatfield. Habitat improvements are all well and good, but if they can send more water downstream in the winter we could have a darn good fishery. This should be an interesting project to watch.
 Reply by: 3wayfisha      Posted: 9/18/2019 10:20:33 AM     Points: 197    
Im kind of confused..the DSP is already a decent fishery. Ive caught multiple 20 inch bows out of it and have seen pics of 26 inch bows, browns, eyes n obviously carp.

Now as waco mentioned...if we could keep flows out of chatty all winter long the DSP would likely turn into a phenomenal fishery! It is sad they completely shut the outflow off some winters....
 Reply by: Hawaiian Punch      Posted: 9/18/2019 10:27:36 AM     Points: 6381    
Having been here all my life(62yrs) I've seen the SP go from an OK river that we fished and duck hunted(ducks and geese below Chatty) to a eco mess to a homeless crash pad and back to???The plan sounds great,but as Wacokid says . . .ya got to have water!
The real problem is when the water gets let out of Chatty.The folks that own the water stored at Chatty most likely don't want or need the water at the time of year the fish are going to need the water. IE: low flow from Chatty in the middle of the winter . . .sure the Army core can let out water from Chatty,but that's not going to sit well with the folks that own that water.
 Reply by: Wacokid57      Posted: 9/18/2019 3:02:03 PM     Points: 11    
i seem to recall a report that TU and the CPW was negotiating with the Corps and the water owners for a guaranteed winter flow as part of the mitigation for the raised water level. Ring a bell with any of you?
 Reply by: idlerick      Posted: 9/19/2019 10:05:10 AM     Points: 4    
Littleton (Cutthroat) and Denver TU chapters made some major river improvements a few years back in the stretch from C470 to Bowles Ave. Minimum flows were a prerequisite to doing anything there, obviously, because all the habitat enhancements in the world wouldn't do any good without no water flowing. Their efforts have turned the river into a decent trout stream.
I'm remembering they already had water rights (Littleton and South Suburban?), but it was a matter of enforcement and agreement with the Corps and other users. I think they finally agreed on a guaranteed 100 cfs all summer and something like 25 in the winter. Benefitees were nature lovers, hikers, & boaters, as well as anglers.
Don't know if those flow agreements extend down through Denver.
Jibber on here is a CCTU guy who may remember more than I do.
If you want to help, joining TU is something all of us can do.
 Reply by: Freestone303      Posted: 9/19/2019 1:21:12 PM     Points: 442    
It surprises me that the push has been to create a coldwater/trout fishery in the DSP as opposed to managing and creating habitat that is conducive to say smallmouth and walleye that can hold a trout population. I actually liked the river below Chatfield a bit more prior to the TU driven improvements. It feels a bit too channelized now, but I trust the habitat engineering firm knows more about creating quality fish habitat than I do.

Combining low flows, inflow from Marcy Gulch and all the 470 construction, it seems that segment of the river is having a lot of siltation problems, that will need to be mitigated to create quality year round habitat for trout.