Mayor, meet a DSP rainbow.

Mayor, meet one of your Denver South Platte rainbows.

Colorado Troutbums help Mayor Hancock open Shoemaker Plaza at Confluence Park by catching and releasing rainbow trout.

It’s not easy to catch trout “on demand,” but a half dozen fly anglers from the Colorado Troutbums facebook group were recruited by Ronnie Crawford to do just that and THEY DID.

As Mayor Hancock gave his opening remarks with fly fishing going on in the background, the message was clear. The Denver South Platte is a great river for both kayaks and trout. To the amazement of the mayor and all those assembled, the fly fishers were catching healthy trout right in the center of the city. As the mayor spoke, the troutbums would hookup, play, and land 14 to 20 inch rainbows and the crowd would cheer. Fly fishers casting in the river at Confluence Park sends a message to both visitors and citizens: Wow! Denver has a very healthy river.

These rainbows were part of an approved secret experiment, benevolently funded by local anglers and friends of the river, Rhys Duggan of Revesco Properties and Matthew Burkett of the Flyfisher Group. The purpose of the experimental stocking was to determine if trout could survive the water temperatures and habitat of the Denver South Platte. The answer is obvious! Their health and stamina indicate that they have been eating well and have been migrating up and down our home river for seven months.  Thanks to troutbums: Dominque Moreno, Bart Snead, Joseph Garcia, Todd Dowling, Mike DelliVeneri, and others. Your fly fishing demonstration has done an amazing thing to boost the understanding and restoration of the Denver South Platte.

 

Silted Sensor Study validates DSP/DTU Temp Data.

What’s it feel like under 4 inches of Denver South Platte mud and silt?  Ben Cole, Ben Johnston, and Christen Luskey find out. Denver Trout Unlimited temperature sensors are often buried in silt after 6 months chained to the bottom of the DSP. Does this invalidate their temperature readings? Are the temperature reading close to those from the scientifically accurate USGS sensor on the DSP at Englewood? These intrepid high school seniors risk all to find out.

See their graph: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1LQMO8mmEWdSlkwN25CYzhyRXM

See their report: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1LQMO8mmEWdMkYtZHVYTURoNVU

See their data: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ErSvcZP7PDSLMSr2L9Jj6_YAbNG77cYgLqx-yz_TQ2E

 

LUNKER pipes are coming.

Little Underwater Neighborhood Keepers Encompassing Rheotatic Salmonids (LUNKER) Pipes.

To solve the problem of lack of habitat shelter from undercut banks, sweeper logs, or big boulders in the Denver South Platte, the DTU River Run Habitat Committee, Ben Neilsen (RiverRun Phase II designer), and Paul Winkle (CPW DSP Aquatic Biologist) are designing experimental placement of fifteen 18-36 inch diameter 8 foot sections of concrete pipe with rectangular windows below the water line to simulate the kind of shelter we hope the fish of the DSP will love.

Keep current with our progress here.

 

DSP Temperature Monitoring Results are in!

Preliminary temperature monitoring results are in.

Full Year Temperature Monitoring chair declares ,”Ha, we do have a trout fishery.”

Whether his pronouncement is shared by others only time will tell, but check out the comparison to the world class trout fishery flowing through Pueblo on an hour by hour basis this August.

DSP vs Pueblo results

Todd Fehr Award

Colorado Trout Unlimited awards “Outstanding Volunteer Award 2016” to Todd Fehr, Former DTU President and current Treasurer.

For his outstanding and indefatigable work on the restoration of the Denver South Platte River aquatic habitat. Marshaling the focus of his organization as well as that of municipalities and stakeholders along the Denver South Platte, he has  initiated a movement that is turning the river back into a cherished natural asset. 

Todd Fehr – right At the completion of the Carson Nature Center – Phase 1

Carson Phase 2 has feeding trout.

One of many noses picking off a nice healthy hatch of bwos.

Phase 2 from Carson Nature Center downstream toward Reynolds Landing Park

What was a barren construction zone in January 2015 is evolving into a very nice urban fishery in November 2015. The high flows near 3,000 CFS in June-July took some of the topsoil out of areas slated for riparian replanting but all the structure seemed intact and the improved narrowed channels seem to have been retained. Willows planted along the banks in areas have new leaves.

The nicest surprise was the trout feeding along some stretches. More water would definitely help this fishery but the low flow design has obviously worked. Chatfield is putting less than 1 cfs into the Denver South Platte at the moment (11/7/2015.)

Save The Shoemaker Plaza Carp

Denver Trout Unlimited helped save Carp trapped by construction and falling waters.

DTU Carp Spotting Committee – 15th St bridge over the Denver South Platte -8/3/2015

An estimated 30 Carp and a large turtle were trapped behind the damaged sheet pilings at the Shoemaker Plaza reconstruction site. Efforts convinced authorities that these carp should be saved. Last summer DTU member Trevor Tanner rescued a similar pod of 130 carp trapped by the lowering of Chatfield Reservoir for construction work.

A video of the committee’s visit is on youtube here. ..video

Photos taken at the site: ..photos

Why DTU believes these Carp should be saved:

The common carp has traditionally been thought of as a “trash” fish in the United States. It turns out most of what is believed about Carp is incorrect and can be traced back to a failed attempt to establish fisheries in the polluted waters of the US in the 1890’s.

Thanks in part to the Carp Slam, fly anglers in Colorado and around the world now see fly fishing for carp in the Denver South Platte as a challenging and exciting opportunity.  We’re working as hard as anyone to bring habitat and flows to the Denver South Platte that will easily sustain populations of fish like brown trout and rainbows.

At the same time Denver Trout Unlimited realizes that it will be a long time effort and that a natural healthy river will also sustain Cyprinus carpio from the family Cyprinidae (family Cyprinidae). The Pikeminnow, indigenous to North America, is a member of the same cyprinid family and did coexist with the cutthroats in the Denver South Platte.

10 Things you Did Not Know about the Colorado Dorado  from the Metro Denver edition of The Angler Magazine.