Grand County: Need for sponsors for stream temperature monitoring equipment

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Here’s a release from Colorado River Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited and the East Grand Water Quality Board asking for financial sponsorships for stream temperature monitoring gear to gather data about the effects of transmountain diversions, via the Sky-Hi Daily News:

Shallower streams heat up to higher temperatures. Grand County streams are all cold water fisheries that can easily be damaged by higher stream temperatures. Three years ago, Grand County Water Information Network (GCWIN), the Colorado River Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited and the East Grand Water Quality Board received a grant to monitor the stream temperatures. We found that trout, which thrive at 55 degree, were experiencing temperatures warmer than 70 degrees. Temperatures this high are lethal to a cold water fishery.

This year we will continue to monitor Grand County’s stream temperatures but we need help to keep this important program alive. The equipment purchased from our original grant needs replacing. Since this is a local issue, we are hoping to get help from local residents to keep this program alive.

The equipment that we need to replace are the continuous temperature sensors placed in 28 locations from Berthoud Pass to the Gore Canyon. These sensors are called TidbiTs. We are asking people to sponsor their own TidbiT in a stream section that has significance to them.

The cost of sponsoring a TidbiT is $120. We encourage individuals, businesses, organizations or groups of friends to pool their resources and sponsor a TidbiT. To date, the information from this stream temperature monitoring program has played a significant role in helping to establish new Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment stream temperature standards. Additionally, this information was used extensively in developing the Grand County Stream Flow Management Plan.

Our stream temperature data is also being used in the mitigation planning for the Windy Gap and Moffat Tunnel diversions. Knowledge is power, and monitoring our stream temperatures is giving us the knowledge that gives us the direction to help our rivers. Please help us help the rivers.

For more information on the Sponsor a TidbiT program, please contact Jane Tollett of GCWIN at (970) 627-8162 or jtollett_gcwin@qwestoffice.net.

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