Denver Post sides with the water buffaloes - Mountain Buzz

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Old 07-17-2006   #1
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Laramie, Wyoming
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Denver Post sides with the water buffaloes

I think this article is total BS but what do I know...

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Old 07-17-2006   #2
gunnison, Colorado
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IMHO what the corps is saying is true, the cobblestone, pool-drop style whitewater parks most of us inhabit would be a nightmare for a fish to get through. but fish aren't the only ones that could benifit. there should be more small boulders, the parks should be mostly attainable to kayakers, this would allow for a few things, better proving grounds for beginners, downriver freestyle and slalom racing. bigger rivers like the arkansas and gunnison will have problems with this though, since huge boulders are incredibly difficult to move in, and smaller boulders move around alot when the water comes up. even the ones in gunnison that get cemented in pop out and roll downstream occasionally, weve got one in either eddy on top and one downstream river left center, main channel at the bottom drop. of course in smaller streams this wouldnt be nearly as much of a problem, i cant think of a good reason to sacrifice a more natural feel and habitat when there arent any engineering issues. of course the engineering issues on larger rivers can be overcome, as well. then cost and willingness becomes the issue.
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Old 07-17-2006   #3
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I think the fish issue is valid. If you channel all the water into a narrow, high speed drop, yes, the fish can't get upstream. But, there are probably ways to deal with this, such as building some sort of fish ladder.

The other issues mentioned in the article, such as more flooding, or the problem with grouting the slots between the boulders seemed bogus.

All in all, I think this article was more creating a controversy when there wasn't one there to begin with.
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Old 07-17-2006   #4
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I would tend to agree that it is an issue that nobody ever thought of before. I loved Gary's response of "Rivers from the Animas to the Yampa have kayak parks with no ill effects, Lacy said." Did anybody ask the fish? Maybe fish ladders are the thing and should be thought about in the future.
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Old 07-17-2006   #5
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Englewood, Colorado
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Wow, I sure hope the DOW takes care of all the rapids upstream of our WW parks so that the fish can get around. Clearly, Rigor needs to go. I suppose there are cases where it would be best to put in a fish ladder. Fine, do that. Big deal. But I somehow doubt that fish are attaining Poudre Falls, and it doesn't seem to have hurt them.

Seriously, I doubt the article is complete bunk, but if you applied the standards they are talking about, fish would be in danger in any number of rivers we have where there are fast chutes or drops over a few feet, and any (passe, class III) slide would be endangering fish because it is the equivalent of having all that grout.

So, to get the DOW started, here is a list of places for pyrotechnic remodeling: Tunnel, Poudre Falls, Whiteline, Pineview, Supermax, Rigor, Coors Falls, all CB creeks, Vallecito, Big South. Give me a break - does anybody else see that the logic presented in that article simply doesn't add up? Goin' backpacking...maybe while I'm gone someone will shed some light and show if I'm off my rocker here???
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Old 07-17-2006   #6
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In my opinion, as long as you are re-engineering a river and providing (hopefully) a somewhat regular flow, that fish should be considered in the equation and given a chance to thrive.
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Old 07-17-2006   #7
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Caspian, yea, I kind of had the same thoughts, but consider that the Pagosa Springs kayak park is being built in a pretty mellow section of the river. There may not be any fish in a class IV or V section of a river, but the park is in a class II section. Fishing is big down there.
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Old 07-17-2006   #8
Da Fort, Colorado
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Caspian -- You're right, those places probably are natural barriers to fish. Those types of features can play an important role in diversifying genetics.

What the article was talking about, however, was a specific species of fish and a specific section of river. If you grout in a structure like that, there is no way for those particular fish to get thru, its as simple as that. In a boulder choked rapid, there are refuges for the fish, so they can pick their way through. Only under certain circumstances would WW park structures be a problem, and it looks as though this could be a special case. Trout don't necesarily travel upstream to spawn, so it is a non-issue in a lot of the WW parks.
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Old 07-17-2006   #9
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Look no further than the Osterizer (Mammoth Falls) in Cross Mountain Canyon. This rapid is very similar to the ledge style holes that Lacy builds. The DOW has never looked at this as impeding the migration of endangered fish, so I agree that this is a poor excuse to limit the buildout of playparks.

Our work building river features for boating should always incorporate benefits for boaters but most importantly fish/terrestrial/aquatic habitat and aesthetics. The ledge style features like the C and D hole here in Steamboat are the most invasive on the system, for sure, but also the most effective and shouldn't be seen as barriers for fish migration.

Our City is now looking at getting a river improvement master plan done here in hopes to provide a scope of work for the next ? years. Several of the suggestions that come up are not to build this river wide type feature, but more waves... as we already have the "big holes".

So is there a way to create a river feature that not only has the best aspects of a ledge hole, but also allows for passage on one side or the other for not only fish, but boaters who aren't capable of hammering thru the hole? Is there a way of creating only a hole on one side of the river by locking a rock or cluster mid stream, diverting flow to one side of bank that is built up? If you've ever seen the A hole in Steamboat, something like that, though the A hole needs some work to make for a modern play feature.

Grouting can be done esthetically if done correctly, and needs to occur if these features are to remain over time. Also, basement rocks (not sure if this is right term) should be placed so holes don't scoure under themselves.

Dpost article is not the greatest for our cause, but not all not true.
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Old 07-17-2006   #10
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old news, new news

must've been a slow denver news day and they were trolling the back issues of the durango herald. note that they removed a usgs gauge. excellent work.
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