South Fork Arkansas River/Fooses Creek restoration update

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From The Mountain Mail (Audrey Gilpin):

Habitat restoration was completed in August at Fooses Creek and the South Fork of the Arkansas River, which feed two antique hydroelectric plants operated by Xcel Energy. During a tour of the restored sites last week, U.S. Forest Service fisheries biologist Phillip Gaines said the project began after studies found the sites east of Garfield and below Maysville had insufficient fishery habitat. Constructed in 1906, the plants are capable of producing 1.4 megawatts of electricity, which flows to the service grid. Gaines said, “Historically, Xcel de-watered this area.”[…]

Collegiate Peaks Anglers and Cheyenne Mountain chapters of Trout Unlimited donated $5,000, Xcel Energy contributed $50,000 and the Colorado Division of Wildlife made in-kind donations to the project.

With the Trout Unlimited donation, the forest service hired Peter Gallager with Fin-Up Habitat Consultants of Manitou Springs. In nine days, 116 sites along a mile and a quarter of river were restored, Gaines said. “Within an hour of creating pools about three feet deep and dipping out sections of river, we saw fish. In three to four years, we hope to see more and bigger fish.” Gaines and other forest service personnel, Gallager and employees of Hartland Construction of Colorado Springs rearranged and added rocks to the river, moved aspen to attract beaver, created ponds and defined camp sites with rock.

More restoration coverage here.

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