Grand Mesa: Rotenone to be used to reclaim Water Dog Reservoir


Here’s the release from Colorado Parks and Wildlife:

The public is advised that Colorado Parks and Wildlife will be reclaiming Water Dog Reservoir to remove white suckers beginning Sept. 5. The reservoir is located on the Grand Mesa, east of Grand Junction. Lands around the reservoir are managed by the U.S. Forest Service. Anglers and others engaged in recreation in the area are asked to observe posted signs and avoid the area around the reservoir until further notice. Wildlife managers expect the project will be completed by the middle of October.

The most recent survey performed by wildlife managers found only white suckers present in the reservoir. Wildlife managers say that white suckers, likely introduced by anglers using them as live bait, can displace rainbow trout.

Once the work is complete, Colorado Parks and Wildlife plans to stock rainbow trout into the reservoir in the early summer of 2013.

“Water Dog is a productive reservoir and had been an excellent rainbow trout fishery,” said Lori Martin, aquatic biologist from Grand Junction. “Because there are only white suckers in the reservoir, and the current water volume is low, it gives us an opportunity to eliminate the suckers and restore the sport fishery.”

At full capacity, the reservoir is approximately 24 surface acres, but it was recently drawn down to approximately 15 surface acres to meet the needs of downstream water users.

White suckers will be removed through the application of rotenone, a toxicant derived from a South American plant. Rotenone has been used as a fisheries management tool throughout Colorado and the United States for decades because it degrades quickly and poses no danger to other wildlife or humans.

Application will be carefully controlled and the water will be monitored afterward by aquatic biologists from Colorado Parks and Wildlife. No treated water will be released from the project area before detoxification of the water is confirmed.

Dead fish will be left to decompose naturally to recycle important nutrients as the reservoir fills. The public is prohibited from harvesting fish killed by the project, and people are asked to avoid the reservoir while the project is underway.

“We look forward to restoring Water Dog Reservoir as a great place for anglers to catch rainbows,” said Martin. “We encourage anglers to be ethical and follow fishing rules and regulations to prevent live baitfish from establishing populations that will negatively impact our sport fisheries.”

Wildlife managers remind the public that with the exception of Navajo Reservoir, the use of live fish as bait is illegal in all waters west of the Continental Divide in Colorado. Violators can face significant fines and the permanent loss of hunting and fishing privileges. For more information about angling ethics, please visit:

More restoration/reclamation coverage here.

Mesa County: Residential irrigation workshops May 18, May 20 and June 8

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From The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Curtis Swift):

We will be conducting a workshop on May 18 from 9 to noon at the First Congregational Church at 5th and Kennedy designed to teach you how to identify and correct sprinkler system problems. Low head drainage, spacing of sprinklers, using the correct nozzles, correcting the arc and throw, replacing heads and correcting broken pipes will all be covered. You can register by calling 244-1834. Registering will ensure we have adequate handouts and staff available for the workshop. You can either pay the $5 per person registration fee at the CSU Extension office at the Mesa County Fairgrounds or when you show up at the workshop.

On May 20, we will be doing a workshop at Bill Heddles Recreation Center in Delta for those who want to learn how to properly water their lawns. You will learn how to determine the water pressure at critical locations in your system, and how to determine the proper irrigation schedule for each month of the season for each sprinkler zone in your system. We will conduct an audit of a sprinkler zone so you will know how to audit your own lawn. This session will be held from 1:30 to 3:30 at the Rec Center. Preregister is through the Delta CSU Extension office on Dodge Street – 874-2195. A $5 registration fee is being charged for this session.

An even longer and more in-depth session on how to audit your lawn will be held in Grand Junction on Tuesday, June 8 at the Sagebrush Room at the Mesa County Fairgrounds. We’ll start at 9 a.m., break for lunch between noon and one and continue until 3. If you install sprinklers, work for a municipality, school district, college or other agency and are responsible for sprinkler system maintenance and scheduling or simply want to learn more about how to conduct irrigation audits and develop a watering schedule this is the session you should attend. We will show you how to audit your system to determine water application rate and efficiency and how to use that data so ensure your lawn receives the proper amount of water for each month of the season. We will provide everyone who attends this session a CD containing a program you can use to develop a watering schedule based on an audit. The June 8 session will cost $10 to attend. Please register by calling the CSU Extension office in Grand Junction at 244-1834. Irrigation audit kits will be available for rent at the CSU Extension offices in Grand Junction, Delta and Montrose for those who want to conduct lawn irrigation audits.

If you are interested in learning more about drip irrigation we will be conducting a workshop on this topic at Pioneer Village in Cedaredge on Saturday May 29, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. While this session may not take all this time, I want to ensure we cover everyone’s questions. We will cover the different types of drip tubing and which one should be used based on soil texture. How to determine the water holding capacity of the soil, how much water plants use and how often and how long the system should be run will be covered. We will be testing several different types of drip systems to determine pressure needs, filtration requirements, emitter spacing and flow rates and spacing between drip lines. For our hands-on exercise we will design and install a drip system in one of the flower beds at the village. A $10 per person registration fee is being charged for this session. We will take time out for lunch. You may want to bring your own lunch or eat at one of the local eateries. I would appreciate it if you would register for this session by calling the Delta Extension office at 874-2915. Paying ahead of time is preferred but you can always pay the fee when you arrive at the site.

More Mesa County coverage here.

Mesa County: Commissioners approve contract for first phase of wastewater project for Whitewater

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From The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Mike Wiggins):

County commissioners Craig Meis and Janet Rowland on Monday approved a $2.1 million contract with Mendez Inc. of Grand Junction to complete the first phase of a three-phase sewer line project from Whitewater to the Clifton Sanitation District, 3217 D Road. Commissioner Steve Acquafresca was absent from the meeting…

The first phase of the project, which should be completed early next year, covers three miles of sewer line to be built from the entrance to the Western Colorado Dragway, just north of the intersection of U.S. Highway 50 and 32 Road, to the intersection of 32 and C 1/2 roads. County Senior Engineer Julie Constan said the county received nine bids for the first phase, including six from Front Range firms. The bid from Mendez, which was the lowest, came in nearly $900,000 below the county’s estimated project cost, an indication of how hungry the recession has made contractors for work.

More wastewater coverage here.

Mesa County: Highline Lake is open

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From The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Dave Buchanan):

After a weather delay, Highline Lake State Park is now open to all boaters, jet skiers, water skiers, and wake boarders. As part of the statewide fight to curb the spread of aquatic nuisance species, including zebra and quagga mussels, all vessels entering and leaving Highline Lake will be inspected for nuisance species. If any are detected on any watercraft, decontamination is required…

Also, catchable rainbow trout have been delivered to Mack Mesa Lake.

More Colorado River Basin coverage here and here.

Mesa County Water Association to offer ‘The Water Course’ January 19, 27 and February 2

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From the Grand Junction Free Press (Sharon Sullivan):

What: “The Water Course” covering water law, water quality and balancing competing demands, sponsored by the Mesa County Water Association
When: Jan. 19 and 27, Feb. 2, 6-9 p.m. Registration due Monday, Jan. 11.
Where: GG City Hall Auditorium, 250 N. Fifth St.
Cost for entire series: $35 MCWA members; $45 nonmembers; Single session: $15 MCWA members; $20 nonmembers. Some scholarships..
Info:, or 683-1133, or

More from the article:

Studies estimate a 600,000 million-acre-feet shortage [ed. in the Grand Valley] by 2050, said Grand Junction Utility and Street System Director Greg Trainor, and a board member of the Mesa County Water Association.

The MCWA was first formed 25 years ago by the late Ruth Hutchins, a Fruita farmer concerned about a proposal that would pump water from the Western Slope to the Front Range. Citizens, irrigators and government leaders held “Water 101” courses on controversial water topics for many years. After several years of inactivity, the MCWA was resurrected a year ago by Trainor and Hannah Holm to resume educating people on water issues affecting the Western Slope. The association is governed by a seven-member board of directors. “Current water laws serve the valley well, but it really behooves people to appreciate the resource and protect it as the water situation gets tighter,” said Holm, MCWA coordinator. “We can’t stay in our bubble forever.”[…]

A three-part water course series starts Tuesday, Jan. 19, at Grand Junction City Hall Auditorium. The first course will address water law; how the valley’s water rights relate to the water rights of California and Denver; and who is responsible for irrigation water once it leaves a canal…

The Jan. 27 course will cover laws and programs that seek to protect and clean up Colorado waterways, the condition of Grand Valley rivers and streams, and how drinking water is protected and treated. The February course will explore threats to irrigated agriculture as cities grow; environment and recreation water needs; and how the Grand Valley could change with drought and increasing competition for water.

More Colorado River Basin coverage here.

Fruita: City Council approves $57.9 million budget including dough for new wastewater treatment plant

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From the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Mike Wiggins):

…the council adopted a $57.9 million budget for 2010. The vast majority of that money — roughly $44 million — is dedicated to the construction of a new wastewater treatment plan and a community center.

More from the article:

Council members unanimously agreed to enact the city’s parks, open space and trails master plan, which calls for developers of subdivisions adjacent to primary trails identified in the plan to donate a portion of their project for a trail. For properties that abut canals and drainage ditches, trails would be built next to those waterways, assuming the land is developable. Under the plan, developers would have to dedicate 20 feet of right of way for the trail next to the canal easement. The trail requirement only applies to land as it’s annexed into and developed in the city. City officials emphasized they will not force landowners to sell or acquire land for trails through eminent domain. The plan to create trails next to canals has generated concerns from the agencies that own and operate irrigation canals. Even though the city said it will develop trails next to, rather than on top of, canal easements, some worry about the proximity of recreation to waterways. “We’re still concerned with any recreational use of the canal,” Robert Raymond, president of the board of directors of the Grand Valley Irrigation Co., told council members. The irrigation company maintains nearly 100 miles of canals in the valley.

More Colorado River Basin coverage here.

Mesa County: Water supply systems

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Here’s a short primer with details for water supply in Mesa County, from Michelle Will writing for The Grand Junction Daily Sentinal. From the article:

Here in the Grand Valley, we rely on snowpack for our water storage and supply. If you live in Mesa County, the water providers are the city of Grand Junction, Clifton Water District, the town of Palisade and the Ute Water Conservancy District. Although these water providers all serve residents of the Grand Valley, even their source waters can vary.

• The city of Grand Junction’s source water comes from Juniata Reservoir, the Kannah Creek Basin, the North Fork of Kannah Creek and Purdy Mesa Reservoir, all of which store runoff from the forests on Grand Mesa.

• The Clifton Water District’s sources are tributaries that flow into the Colorado River, including the Blue River, the Eagle River and the Roaring Fork River.

• The town of Palisade’s source water comes from Cottonwood Creek, Kruzen Springs, Rapid Creek and Cabin Reservoir, all on Grand Mesa. Approximately 25 springs contribute to the town’s water supply.

• Ute Water’s source is snowmelt surface water on the north-facing slopes of Grand Mesa. More specifically, the water travels from Coon Creek, Mesa Creek, Plateau Creek and Rapid Creek, as well as the Jerry Creek Reservoirs. Ute Water also can supplement its water sources with diversions from the Colorado River.

Most people don’t realize that a large part of all the lakes, rivers, creeks and streams located on Grand Mesa constitute a majority of the Mesa County water provider’s watershed. For additional information on where your water comes from, contact your individual water provider.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Mesa County: Coping with wastewater problems

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From the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Le Roy Standish):

De Beque, Powderhorn, Mack and Coll- bran all face major issues. De Beque is trying to get ahead of the curve by building a new wastewater treatment plant and upgrading a facility in anticipation of more energy workers and population, once the economy rebounds. At Powderhorn, the ground shifts every spring, and every spring the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment issues a “boil water” order. In Mack, the lagoon system has leaked wastewater into the groundwater for years. And in Collbran, the whole system is simply falling apart from lack of maintenance.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Mesa County water projects

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From the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Le Roy Standish):

They approved funds to improve the wastewater treatment plant in Mack, accepted the completion report for the rebuilt Bruner water system in the Rosevale neighborhood and accepted an easement from Clifton Sanitation for part of the Riverfront Trail east of 32 Road near D Road.

The wastewater treatment pond in Mack is leaking into the groundwater, according to Julie Constan, a county engineer…

Growth had all but passed by the Rosevale neighborhood, situated south of Broadway and west of the Colorado River. The neighborhood of about 250 homes had an aging water system (built in the 1950s) and its water provider was going out of business. The situation hit a peak last year. Ute Water Conservation District stepped in and rebuilt the system with the help of Mesa County and $600,000 in federal funding through Community Development Block grants. On Monday, the commission approved Ute Water’s project completion report…

Residents are being charged $5,800 each for the new meters and lines. Those who chose not to pay the sum immediately are being charged $30 a month.