Habitat Work to Improve Arkansas River Below Leadville

arkansasriverleadville.jpg

From the Summit Daily News (Janice Kurbjin):

This summer, fish habitat enhancement work is slated to begin on public parts of the upper Arkansas River below the Highway 24 bridge. Biologists and engineers with Colorado Parks and Wildlife will take a hard look at what natural resource impacts are evident due to high metal content. It should set the stage for restoration alternatives to be developed.

The project continues the federal and state work to restore the California Gulch Superfund site, an 18-square mile area where historic mining activities discharged heavy metals and acid into California Gulch at the headwaters of the Arkansas River. Heavy metals make it hard for fish to sustain healthy populations.

Currently, trout can live in the river because of earlier mine cleanup efforts.

“The planning for this project has been going on for many years and people in the area (say they are) are excited to see it moving forward,” said Greg Policky, aquatic biologist for Colorado Parks and Wildlife in the area. “By this summer we hope to be in the river and physically manipulating the habitat to restore the environment for aquatic life in that section. Over the next few years, we hope anglers will start to see the benefits.”

Improvements will be centered on an 11-mile stretch of the river from California Gulch downstream to Twobit Gulch.

More restoration/reclamation coverage here.

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