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New Diversion Structure for Both Flood Recovery and Wildlife
Fort Collins
A special partnership has rebuilt and improved a diversion structure by including a fishway (a passage for fish). North Poudre Irrigation Company’s Fossil Creek Reservoir Inlet Ditch diversion was damaged during the September 2013 flood and needed to be completely rebuilt. This presented the opportunity to work with Colorado Water Conservation Board, City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife to design the diversion to allow trout and native fish such as dace, shiners, and stonerollers to move past.

Diversion structures on the Poudre River are encountered by fish every 1-2 miles, which fragments their habitat. Trout, highly valued by anglers and native fish populations are declining in population, in part due to this habitat loss. Fishway structures like the one at Fossil Creek Inlet Ditch allow fish to migrate upstream, expand their range and seek refuge from predators. All this while not affecting the ability to divert water makes the project a win-win for all involved.

The $860,000 diversion reconstruction and fish passage project was funded by North Poudre Irrigation Company with a loan from Colorado Water Conservation Board. Additional funding of $30,000 came from City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department, while Colorado Parks and Wildlife lent technical review and design assistance.

A “fish-eye view video is posted at .