Trout in the City

Elitch Gardens River Front

being transformed

with trout in mind.

DSP rainbows drive “The River Mile” project.

UPDATE!!  Rhys Duggan from Revesco and his team will be at the April 10th open Board Meeting at Diebolt Brewery with a short presentation on the RiverMile and habitat changes. See the DTU calendar below for details.

The trout in the city are making a big impact on plans for their neighborhood.

After meeting the mayor at the reopening of Shoemaker Plaza in October, the trout have become a focal point of Revesco’s RiverMile project.

Not only are they the logo of this exciting project, The River Mile Project

but they are swimming into the project narrative in a big way. This quote is from the River Mile Denver project homepage.

 

“It will be one of the city’s great places –where people will gather, take a lunch break, enjoy the view, meet friends for a drink after work, go to a concert, and experience a touch of nature. Even cast a fly in hopes of landing a wily urban trout.

Yes, trout. Reintroduced recently in this stretch of the South Platte. The Revesco team will be working closely with the Greenway Foundation and other stakeholders in support of their mission to further enhance the natural environment and water quality of the river.”

   Another trout, one of Rhys’  Rainbows (named after benefactor Rhys Duggan of Revesco), illustrates the northern boundary of the project by posing with board member Brandon Parsons on the RiverMileDenver.com website.

Check out The River Mile video on their homepage.

(Skip to 4:30 for a great quote from Rhys about seeing fly fishing on this stretch of the river.)

Rhys, Cody DeGuelle from The Fly Fisher Group, and others associated with the project will be on hand at our  April 10th Board Meeting. Check the calendar at denvertu.org.

The Denver Plan for this area was just released Feb 2018. Comments can be sent to: Senior City Planner Lilly Djaniants (Lilly.Djaniants@denvergov.org)

 

Two DSP Volunteer Driven Cleanups in April

April 7th – 10:00AM  Anglers : Colorado Trout Fisher organized.

Colorado Trout Fisher guide service will be hosting a river cleanup on Denver’s South Platte on April 7th, 2018. The Denver South Platte is quickly becoming recognized as one of the nation’s premier urban fly fishing destinations and therefore we’d like to do our own little part and help clean up the trash and debris along the banks of the river.

Our long-term goal is to help revitalize and restore the beauty of the Denver South Platte river for anglers, families, and the greater good of Denver because a healthy river benefits all of us. But we also realize that that is a goal which will take a lot of time and effort by our very own citizens. It is one step at a time and it begins with simple, hard work like this river cleanup effort.

There will be drinks, brats, and burgers provided and at the end of the cleanup you’ll get a chance to fish with some of Colorado’s best fly fishing guides!

Where: Crescent Park

If you plan on attending please reach out to Matty Valdez at: mattyv@theflyfisher.com or (970) 412-8677

 

April 21st – 8:00AM Families and Anglers: Greenway Foundation organized.

ECI SPRING RIVERSWEEP
PRESENTED BY THE NATURE CONSERVANCY & THE DAVITA VILLAGE ON COMCAST CARES DAY

We are excited to host our annual Spring RiverSweep! Volunteers of all ages will help Denver Parks and Recreation by picking up trash, removing weeds and other plant debris, repairing trails, painting park fixtures, and getting our parks ready for summer!

This event will happen rain or shine!

When: Saturday, April 21st, 2018

8:00 am: Volunteer Check-in and a light breakfast
               9:00 am: Projects start
12:00 pm: Volunteers return for lunch

Where: Fishback Park

DSP Temp sensors show trout like temps all the way to 88th Ave.

After two summers, DTU temperature sensors show trout friendly water temperatures.

Amateur analysis by John Davenport, Chair of DTU DSP Temperature Sensing.

Interesting results from this graph and fishing in the Denver South Platte this summer indicate:

  1. During runoff the temperature out of Chatfield was nice and cool. Clear Creek just upstream of 88th Ave was adding cool water to the Denver South Platte.
  2. As soon as runoff stopped, 88th Avenue and Cuernavaca both got warmer but stayed about the same.  Then in August 88th Ave got about 4 degrees warmer than Cuernavaca.
  3. Chatfield warmed up because flows were cut from the dam in mid September. At that point the temperature at Chatfield matched that at 88th Ave about 30 miles away.
  4. Diurnal swings (day-night) in temperature and available deep water could be what keeps the Denver trout happy. The trout seek out cool (below 75 degree) temperatures for only a few hours a day. With good deep habitat this is no problem for them. This probably explains why there are happy, healthy, swiftly growing trout between Chatfield and Confluence Park but few found toward 88th Ave where the South Platte flattens out and cool channels are minimal.
  5. That precipitous 20 degree drop in mid May was the storm of baseball sized hail that destroyed my roof.

These fish caught during the temperature sensor readings appear quite healthy and well fed.

 

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.

 

First Full Year DSP Temperature Analysis

First Full Year DSP Temperature Analysis of Denver Trout Unlimited’s 24×7 temperature sensors shows trout friendly water.

Overland Temperatures

Ronnie and Rhys’s trout survive and thrive the short term temperature peaks precisely because they have fish passage, deep pools, shaded structures, cool water seepage, park land irrigation runoff, and the diurnal (day/night) temperature swings. Making sure that trout will have deep pools and shaded structures below the water line is precisely why Denver Trout Unlimited has invested so much time, and effort on studies, meetings, and raising funds for enhanced flows from the Chatfield Environmental Pool.  ...read more

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