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) have designed and located for experimental placement, of ten 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.

Update 11/3/2017.   Ben Neilsen, project manager reports:

” The first LUNKER will be installed in the next 3-4 weeks.  I’m very excited too about these for a lot of reasons.  Particularly I see real promise for reaches that have vegetation restrictions or limitations due to urbanization and flood conveyance. We will vary LUNKER alignments and angle of windows (rotation). “

River Run Project Status by Brandon Parsons

River Run Project

By Brandon Parsons  2/8/2017

New Habitat Equals Better Fishing at River Run Park

DTU is actively working with McLaughlin Whitewater Design Group (Merrick & Company), Urban Drainage, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife to design and improve fish habitat downstream of River Run Park. McLaughlin will be redesigning current drop structures in this reach in order to better support recreation and habitat.

These drop structures will include deep pools that more than double the current depth of the river. Each pool will hold cold water throughout the year sustaining DSP Trout during the hot summer months.

The height of the drops will be dramatically reduced and the slope will be decreased improving the potential for fish passage.

DTU is also working with McLaughlin to design L.U.N.K.E.R. Boxes around each drop. Designed to mimic the overhanging banks you might find on the Dream Stream or big Montana Rivers, Lunkers provide fish with a calm place to hang out before striking at food pushed into the pool by the drop structure.

Lunker Boxes as designed for Michigan

LUNKER BOX ideas and placement suggestions for the DSP River Run Park

When fishing this area in the future keep this in mind. Throwing deep nymphs will help you cover the new depth of the pool, while Wooly Boogers or streamers thrown at the bank and ripped across the pool may entice the big boys out from the box.

For more information on L.U.N.K.E.R. Boxes please click HERE

Denver Trout Unlimited supports and sponsors Sheridan Oxford to Union Restoration

Denver Trout Unlimited continues sponsorship of  South Platte Aquatic Habitat Restoration

Next UP

City of Sheridan

River Run Park from Oxford to Union


The Denver Chapter of Trout Unlimited has made the restoration of the urban South Platte River through the Denver Metro Area the primary recipient of our chapter’s philanthropic efforts.  The goal of a fishable, swimmable, floatable and educational river is critically important to us. The City of Sheridan vision for this stretch of the urban South Platte River has energized the members of our organization. We wholeheartedly endorse the plans to provide a naturally functioning river to the residents and families of the metro region and of Colorado.


Sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts spend billions of dollars in Colorado to hunt and fish for species that depend on its waters and wetlands. Colorado streams and wetlands provide habitat and benefits to more than 75 percent of the state’s wildlife and waterfowl, including those in the Central Platte Valley.


TU knows that conservation efforts succeed when people work together at the local level to craft solutions that benefit everyone. Our Denver chapter has been steadfastly in favor of a renewed effort to clean up the urban South Platte River and restore a healthy aquatic habitat for fish and with their natural foods. We have enjoyed being part of the collaborative effort among the many partners dedicated to this restoration. We have participated as stakeholders with involvement and funds for the South Platte Park and  Overland Park Pond projects completed last year as well as the current GOCO funded project of Grant/Frontier and Overland Park South Platte aquatic habitat restoration with the City and County of Denver.


Denver Trout Unlimited will provide money, time and expertise to this project. We will bring the skills and conviction of our members to this campaign at every opportunity.


We know that GoCo River Run Park funding will ensure that the reclamation of urban South Platte River serves as a model for including natural experience as part of the urban lifestyle.  We will personally participate in crafting the policy and programming to improve the water quality of the South Platte River Watershed.  Denver Trout Unlimited will also contribute $10,000 when this project is awarded the funding.