From the Fort Collins Coloradoan (Kevin Duggan):
A decades-old water diversion that stretches across the river about a quarter mile west of Shields Street is scheduled to be removed in November. The Josh Ames diversion, which backs up the river about 100 yards, formerly fed an irrigation ditch that was abandoned in 1985.
Once the 8-foot-tall concrete wall and stout headgate that make up the diversion are removed, the river will flow freely with fish-friendly pools and riffles. “It will look like a natural river that doesn’t have a barrier across it,” said Tara Schutter, an engineer working with the Colorado Water Trust. “It will look nice.”[…]
Removing the diversion is connected to a series of projects the city of Fort Collins has going aimed at restoring the river and improving habitat. The projects include lowering the north bank of the Poudre near the North Shields Ponds Natural Area so the river can better connect with its natural floodplain.
Other projects linked to the restoration effort include replacing the Shields Street bridge over the Poudre River. Larimer County expects to replace the bridge in 2015.
Taking out the diversion structure is a critical piece of the overall project, said Rick Bachand of the Fort Collins Natural Areas Program and the project manager.
Occasional floodwater from the river will rejuvenate the area’s vegetation and boost habitat for a variety of aquatic creatures, he said. Public access to the ponds area will include pedestrian and bike trails.