Fryingpan River proposal would increase winter flows, help trout populations
Credit: Heather Sackett, Post Independent
A proposal to increase winter flows on the lower Fryingpan River could have big benefits for downstream trout populations.
The Colorado River District is proposing to the Colorado Water Conservation Board a one-year, renewable lease of some of the water it owns in Ruedi Reservoir to boost winter flows in the Fryingpan. CWCB staff presented the proposal to the board at its May meeting in Salida.
Currently, the decreed instream flow rate between Nov. 1 and April 30 in the Fryingpan below Ruedi is a minimum of 39 cubic feet per second. Often, winter flows are higher than this, but in dry years they can hover around the minimum amount. But 39 cfs is not enough to maintain a healthy food source for the Gold Medal fishery's population of trout. The proposal seeks to boost the minimum flow to 70 cfs.
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