Trout Unlimited River Conservation Award

The 62nd Colorado Science and Engineering Fair was held April 6 – 8, 2017 in the Lory Student Center at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.  This year, Colorado Trout Unlimited and the Boulder Flycasters sponsored a Special Award for river conservation emphasizing the conservation, protection and restoration of North America’s coldwater fisheries, ecosystems and watersheds.

This year’s winners of the Trout Unlimited River Conservation Award were:

First place award of $200 was Scott Prieve, 8th grade, North Middle School, Colorado Springs.  The title of his project was To Rip or To Rap: How Does the Design of Erosion Control on a Creek Bend Affect Bank Deterioration?  This project determined how the design of erosion control methods affected bank deterioration on a creek bend.

Second place award of $125 was Manuel Lucero, 6th grade, from Centauri Middle School, La Jara, Colorado.   The title of his project was Those “Banking” Beavers: A Trickle-Down Approach to Conservation. The purpose of this project was to determine the effect beaver dams have on water’s flow rate and the amount of water in the adjacent banks.

Third place award of $75 was Paul Knight, 8th grade, from Miller Middle School, Durango, Colorado.  The title of his project was Tidy Up Those Tailings. The purpose of this experiment was to discover if the process of mycoremediation is an effective technique to sequester or degrade heavy metals commonly found in mining tailings.

EPA ignores science, paves the way for Pebble mine

The Trump Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency reversed course on the agency’s long standing efforts to protect Alaska’s Bristol Bay and America’s most valuable wild salmon fishery.

In announcing a deal with Canadian-based Northern Dynasty to settle the company’s legal fight, the EPA has agreed to drop its 2014 proposed determination to protect the salmon fishery from the Pebble copper-gold-molybdenum open-pit mine proposal.

Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed is so important because it supplies roughly 50% of the world’s commercial supply of wild sockeye salmon, and has sustained Alaska Natives’ subsistence-based way of life for thousands of years.

Let’s be clear. There was a highly transparent, locally driven, lengthy, scientific, public process that led to the EPA’s determination to place restrictions on mine waste disposal in Bristol Bay’s waters.

Under the terms of today’s settlement, the EPA will start a process to withdraw the proposed protections, and allow Northern Dynasty to apply for a federal permit within 30 months.

See more at:



Christo pulls plug on controversial “Over The River” on the Arkansas River

Famed Bulgarian-born artist Christo has dropped his plan to drape nearly 6 miles of the Arkansas River with shimmering cloth, stirring mixed reactions among environmental and governmental groups.

“After pursuing Over The River, Project for the Arkansas River, State of Colorado, for 20 years and going through five years of legal arguments, I no longer wish to wait on the outcome,” Christo, 81, announced in a statement online.

The controversial project that was first conceived in 1992 by Christo and his late wife, Jeanne-Claude, has been mired in legal battles as opponents feared the environmental impacts of the 14-day installation above the river between Salida and Cañon City that would take 2½ years to build.

Christo told The New York Times that he decided to stop the project, which is on federal land, because he did not want it to benefit its new “landlord,” President Donald Trump. Instead, the artist announced that he wants to focus on his only permanent large-scale installation, “The Mastaba,” in Abu Dhabi, the capital of United Arab Emirates.

From Denver Post:

BFC Meeting with guest speaker Duane Redford at Mudrocks Tap & Tavern in Louisville

Wednesday, November 2, 2016, 6:30 PM

Mudrocks Tap & Tavern

585 E South Boulder Rd, Louisville, CO

Duane Redford: Hidden in Plain View, Recognizing the Obvious, Exploiting the Obscure, delves into what the top 10% of anglers are seeing differently from the masses. It includes something for every level of angler from reading the obvious runs of the river to its subtle nuances; bug selection made simple, how to attain a lively drift, and tactics to get better now. Duane will have his latest book, The Fly Fisher’s Playbook 2nd Edition with him at the presentation.


US Third at the World Fly Fishing Championship

img_1282US Flyfishing team receiving the Bronze Medal and 3rd place trophy

EAGLE COUNTY — Spain defended its fly-fishing crown at the 36th annual FIPS-Mouche World Fly Fishing Championship on Saturday, with France taking second and the U.S. finishing third.

In the individual standings, Americans Lance Egan and Pat Weiss took third and fourth, respectively, with Julien Daguillanes, of France, winning and Jordi Cortina, of Spain, taking second. The Americans had four finishers in the top 15, an unprecedented achievement for the team that finished last at the World Fly Fishing Championship in 1997 and has been steadily improving since then.

Egan said he was able to finish well by fishing making the most of the bad beats he was dealt. The athletes randomly draw what beat — or section of the river — they will receive in competition.

“I drew a beat that produced the least amount of fish and managed to catch more fish than all other competitors combined,” Egan said.”I drew two good beats and two dreadful beats.” Egan also won the Slyvan Lake portion of the competition at the State Park in Eagle.


Other venues included the Eagle and Colorado rivers in Eagle County and the Blue River in Summit County.

Egan caught 60 fish over the course of the three-day competition; Cortina caught 70 and Daguillanes caught 86 trout. Those fish were then measured for length and each competitor received a point total based on number of fish caught and the length of those fish. Daguillanes biggest fish was a whopping 32-inch trout caught in water surrounded by privately owned banks on the Eagle River.

img_1288aWining teams at the 36th annual FIPS-Mouche World Fly Fishing Championship.  L-R France (Silver medal), Spain (Gold Medal), USA (Bronze medal).

From John LaConte at the the Vail Daily. More information can be found here.


Parasitic Disease Causes Yellowstone River Closure

SBB_0831-558x372In response to a parasitic disease that caused an unprecedented fish kill, on August 19, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) closed 183 miles of the Yellowstone River and all its tributaries.

The closure stretches from Yellowstone National Park’s North Boundary to Laurel, Montana. “This action is necessary to protect the fishery and the economy it sustain,” said Montana FWP in a press release. “The closure will also help limit the spread of the parasite to adjacent rivers through boats, tubes, waders and other human contact and minimize further mortality in all fish species.

“In the past week, FWP has documented over 2,000 dead Mountain Whitefish on some affected stretches of the Yellowstone. With that, FWP estimates the total impact to Mountain Whitefish in the Yellowstone to be in the tens of thousands. FWP has also recently received reports of the kill beginning to affect some Rainbow and Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout.”

Efforts to Restore Yellowstone Lake Cutthroat Proving Successful

Yellowstone CutEfforts in Yellowstone Lake to reduce the number of non-native lake trout and subsequently bolster cutthroat trout populations are succeeding. According to the Cody Enterprise, the ratio between the trout species is nearing 50–50, an improvement from what was previously a 90–10 domination by the predatory lake trout. Dave Sweet, a Trout Unlimited member and Yellowstone Lake special project manager, has spent the past eight and a half years working to improve cutthroat populations. He said the new findings are encouraging but also noted that there is still much to be done in reviving the native cutthroats.

Lake trout are a unique threat to Yellowstone cutthroat, which are a key food source for roughly 20 area wildlife species, including bears and ospreys, and they support sport fishing, which brings in $36 million annually, to boot. Because of the fish’s widespread effect on the ecosystem, Sweet said restoring the cutthroat is vitally important. “It’s called a keystone species in Yellowstone,” Sweet told the Cody Enterprise. “It really ripples through the ecosystem.”

According to the National Park Service, cutthroat trout represent about 80 percent of a lake trout’s diet; biologists estimate that mature lake trout eat about 41 cutthroats a year. Since the first Yellowstone lake trout was discovered in 1994, 1.7 million have been removed via gillnetting. Anglers remove another 20,000 each year. One goal of Yellowstone’s Native Fish Conservation Plan, instituted in 2011, is to eliminate 25 percent of the lake trout population a year until their numbers become insignificant.

From Field and Stream

Boulder Creek Community Dinner

May 20 @ 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Boulder Creek Restoration – Flatirons Park Project

We need your help to raise the $85,000 needed for The Flatirons Park project. This 2016/2017 project will improve habitat and stream flow in Boulder Creek from Foothills Parkway downstream for about 3/4 mile.

Bldr Creek project 2016

This project will:

  • Establish a stream channel shape in balance with the current flow
  • Construct natural instream features that provide for the habitat needs of native and sport fish:
    • Timber and cobble habitat
    • Excavating small pools
    • Creating an over-winter low flow channel
    • Protect existing vegetation from further erosion
  • Plant native riparian vegetation to stabilize banks and provide shade and overhead cover
Boulder Flycasters has:

  • A proven record of success on stream restoration projects including Rogers Park on Boulder creek and several stretchs on South Boulder creek
  • Experience working collaboratively with various agencies, government entities and other non-profits
  • Success organizing large groups of volunteers for ‘in-kind’ work
  • Long-term dedication to local community

Support the fundraising effort by attending the
Boulder Creek Restoration Community Dinner!

Friday May 20th – Doors open at 6 PM
Odd Fellows Lodge – 1543 Pearl St. Boulder CO 80302

$55 per person / $100 per couple
Enjoy drinks and dinner with fellow conservationists
Dinner and Drinks
Silent and Live auctions

Consider becoming a sponsor

Honorable $10,000
includes table for 8 and raffles
Gold $5,000
includes table for 8
Silver $2,500
includes entry for 4
Bronze $1,000
includes entry for 4

Boulder Flycasters Chapter meeting – Fly Fishing the Gunnison Gorge

Wednesday, April 6, 2016, 6:30 PM

Upslope Brewery, 1898 S. Flatiron Court Boulder, CO 80301, Boulder, CO

The Gunnison River in the Black Canyon and Gunnison Gorge is a Gold Medal wild trout fishery that stretches over 40 miles from Crystal Reservoir to the town of Austin and provides many diverse wading and float fishing opportunities.

The Gunnison is renowned for its large Rainbow Trout and a healthy population of Brown Trout.  A float through the steep walled Gunnison Gorge, a National Conservation Area, is one of the top fly fishing trips in the lower 48. Just downstream of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, the Gunnison Gorge features unrivaled scenery and geology. Seeing big horn sheep, mule deer, river otters and eagles will only heighten your appreciation.

Learn about the fishing opportunities from Derek R. Kehmeier with the Black Canyon UntitledAnglers.  Derek is a Colorado Native, and is now an assistant manager and guide with BCA.

Blue River stretch loses Gold Medal status

BlueRiver - Courtesy of PlatteCanyonWaterandSanitationDistrict

The 19 mile Blue River stretch between Silverthorne to Green Mountain Reservoir has been degraded of it’s Gold Medal status by Colorado Parks and Wildlife. The river still has 15 miles of it’s Gold status from the Dillon Dam to Hamilton Creek Road bridge crossing and also from Green Mountain Dam to the waterway’s confluence with the Colorado River.Upper Colorado River

The decision comes after CPW has been monitoring unnatural stream flows, sparse aquatic habitat, and low nutrient content all contributed to the decline of the water. CPW said that stretch of the river hasn’t met the Gold Medal standard for about 15 years.

“The overall goal is to maintain the integrity of the Gold Medal designation,” Jon Ewert, a CPW aquatic biologist, said in a statement. “As necessary, we will make recommendations to delist or upgrade waters, keeping in mind the intent of the designation — identifying waters where anglers can catch large, trophy-quality trout.”