COOPERATIVE EFFORT BRINGS IMPROVEMENTS TO THE CONEJOS RIVER
Credit: Colorado Division of Wildlife Press Release
MONTE VISTA, Colo. -- A project recently completed on the Conejos River by the Colorado Division of Wildlife and other partners will significantly improve trout habitat on the stream in south central Colorado.
"This should really improve the fishing in this area," said Josh Nehring, aquatic biologist for the DOW in the San Luis Valley. "The project brings some structure to the river and creates over-wintering habitat that fish need."
The other partners are the San Luis Valley chapter of Trout Unlimited, Conejos River Anglers, the U.S. Forest Service and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
The section of river, known as the "Hidden Mile", is open for public fishing. It's located in Conejos County in southern Colorado. The section is accessed by traveling west 22 miles on Colorado State Highway 17 from Antonito to Forest Service Road 250, and then going three miles west.
About 300 large boulders were placed in the river and some gravel behind the big rocks was scooped out. That will allow the water to scour behind the boulders and create deep pools that are ideal for fish.
"These pools will provide important winter habitat for the trout, fish will start using them this winter," Nehring said.
The Trout Unlimited Chapter has assisted with numerous fish habitat improvement projects throughout the San Luis Valley.
"We looked at three different places along the river and this is a good spot," said Kay Watkins, a member of TU in the San Luis Valley. "We've done other projects on the Conejos and we want to do more."
The project also will help stabilize the river banks in that area.
The boulders were leftover from the Wolf Creek Pass highway projects. The forest service provided the necessary permits for the river work and also transported boulders to the river. The DOW used its own heavy equipment and other rental equipment paid for by Trout Unlimited, to place the boulders and dig the pools. The NRCS helped to design the project.
The partners shared the cost of the enhancement project which cost about $25,000. The work was completed in late September.
by: Scyry on 10/7/2010 1:58:00 PM This is a beautiful river. Drove up FSR 250 yesterday, tons of deep holes and banks that look like they are under cut. Top it off the canyon is beautiful.