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It turns out that some local kayakers destroyed the majority of the habitat for the endangered Greenback Greenback Cutthroat in the Little South Fork of the Poudre by cutting out logs that had been placed there by the Division of Wildlife and other agencies to help protect the species.

Not only is this in the wilderness area and illegal but this species is considered threatened. Both of which could bring pretty serious legal ramifications for those that did the deed.

The little south harbored one of only two populations of this trout when recovery efforts were started in 1937 and was the basis for the recovery effort. The DOW and other agencies spent a ton of money to create those log jams to protect the species.

I’d like to see what the rest of the Fort Collins community of boaters thinks about cutting wood out of protected runs even if it destroys fish habitat and affects threatened and endangered fish species.

So what say you?
 

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Sounds like a load of bullshit to me.

Sounds like someone hiding behind a username trying to start crap.
 

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I like fishing and wildlife.

But, if the fish simply can't huck the GNAR; than that is just natural selection.

Boof or Die!
 

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So the DOW manufactures log-jams? Please inform us as to how many Greenbacks were destroyed, in the so called- "destruction," of your beloved logjammer. Err,i mean log jam.

You tool.
 

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DOW should leave the river alone too!

I'm not sure that they have any business altering the wilderness any more than the kayakers that cut it out. Was the NEPA process done? Were kayaking groups contacted prior to this log jamming occuring? The fish can live without log jams. Kayakers can't live if they get trapped in them. This is like the "habitat enhancement" DOW did on the Dowd Chutes on the Eagle River, about 16 years ago. Their "enhancement" turned into a keeper hole that ran all the way across the river, eating rafts and kayakers. They were forced to take it out.

Best if the DOW left the log jams in the unrunable creeks and rivers, if their are any.... chow! Jim Jim




It turns out that some local kayakers destroyed the majority of the habitat for the endangered Greenback Greenback Cutthroat in the Little South Fork of the Poudre by cutting out logs that had been placed there by the Division of Wildlife and other agencies to help protect the species.

Not only is this in the wilderness area and illegal but this species is considered threatened. Both of which could bring pretty serious legal ramifications for those that did the deed.

The little south harbored one of only two populations of this trout when recovery efforts were started in 1937 and was the basis for the recovery effort. The DOW and other agencies spent a ton of money to create those log jams to protect the species.

I’d like to see what the rest of the Fort Collins community of boaters thinks about cutting wood out of protected runs even if it destroys fish habitat and affects threatened and endangered fish species.

So what say you?
 

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Don't they usually put signs up when you enter a wilderness area? I don't recall seeing any.

I also stopped writing any personal accounts of wood removal for public reading, just to be safer.
 

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Don't try to make an issue out of something that's not. Cutting a few suspended logs out of a river channel to make it safe to paddle is not a crime. Keep it in perspective, too, one forest fire anywhere near that drainage, or other headwaters, would have far more impact than anything, non-commercial, than man can do. Thanks to the pine beetle I think I would worry far more about that for the next 25 years, than I would people with good intentions, enjoying the outdoors.
 

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If the logs were placed so the current flowed over them creating a shelter underneath, like a cave, then they should not be a problem for boaters and they benefit the fish. If they are strainers with a lot of current underneath them, then they are a hazard to boaters and of little benefit to the trout, except as shade. I hope boaters do not cut out well designed features, but death traps made by man are unacceptable in my opinion. My take as a boater and fisherman.

As far a the wilderness issue, did they use chainsaws or hand saws? Which violates the intent of wilderness the most, creating man made features or removing them?
 

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It turns out that some local kayakers destroyed the majority of the habitat for the endangered Greenback Greenback Cutthroat in the Little South Fork of the Poudre by cutting out logs that had been placed there by the Division of Wildlife and other agencies to help protect the species.

Not only is this in the wilderness area and illegal but this species is considered threatened. Both of which could bring pretty serious legal ramifications for those that did the deed.

The little south harbored one of only two populations of this trout when recovery efforts were started in 1937 and was the basis for the recovery effort. The DOW and other agencies spent a ton of money to create those log jams to protect the species.

I’d like to see what the rest of the Fort Collins community of boaters thinks about cutting wood out of protected runs even if it destroys fish habitat and affects threatened and endangered fish species.

So what say you?
Fishguy, you are full of shit. Nice try.

This is pretty funny though...
 

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The biggest threat to the Greenbacks survival are the non-native Browns, Rainbows and Brookies. Is TU calling for their removal?
 

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Just to set the record straight --
I live right up above the Little South Fork of the Poudre and visit it almost daily. I participate in outdoor activities of all kinds on this river, however primarily fishing and hiking. I have no issue whatsoever with kaykers in general. Have fun -- but have some respect please! Remember "Leave no Trace" and "Tread Lightly?"
Facts:

  • The section of the Little South Fork from where it leaves County Road 63E (Pingree Park Road put-in at Fish Creek Trail bridge) to the confluence with the main Poudre is a few miles below the fish exclusion devices intended to protect the Greenback Cutthroat Trout upstream from non-native trout species. This section is not a protected zone for Greenback reproduction.
  • Greenbacks are not unusual in this lower stretch of river below the fish excluders, nor are they common, but they must be immediately returned to the water unharmed if caught.
  • The land from put-in at the bridge to the confluence with the main fork Poudre is mixed private, US Forest Service, and Wilderness area. There are no signs marking the entrance to the wilderness area on the river, as there are no trails or roads at the canyon bottom. One piece of private property exists on the river with wilderness area both up and down stream. It is your responsibility to know where you are at all times.
  • The CDOW did place logs across the river to improve fish habitat many years ago (20-30 years ago) at the same time they closed all the primitive campsites between the Lazy D bridge and the Fish Creek Trailhead bridge. They have not done so elsewhere on the river to my knowledge.
Laws:
( I am NOT a lawyer, nor do I have any affiliation with the US Forest Service. However, unlike many government agencies, their regulations are actually fairly easy to understand, and this is how I read them. Your mileage may vary.

  • USFS regulations (and wilderness regulations also) prohibit doing anything with live trees other than looking at them, even if they are blocking the river. Portage!
  • With dead trees, you can pretty much do what you want ( including "flossing" the river,) unless you are 'removing it' from the forest, however:
  • If you used a chainsaw to do this in a wilderness area (specifically the Cache La Poudre Wilderness here), you could be in deep trouble.
  • It is illegal to use a wheeled dolly for portaging your kayak in a wilderness area. Same with bicycles, game carts for hunters, wheelbarrows. Really! You can only have wheels if you are handicapped.
My opinon?
Remember "Leave no Trace" and "Tread Lightly?" These codes of ethics are especially important in wilderness areas. They are not laws at all, just guidelines for responsible behavior. Clearing all the logs out of a river so you don't have to portage is really crass and rude to other users of the river, such as fishermen, hikers, backpackers, horseback riders, fish, moose, and other wildlife. Cleaning out a log that could kill you or your buddies while kayaking the river is a no-brainer. Just my opinion, as I said.

LITTLESOUTHFORK
 

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that's funny. i've fished the little south several times, always coming up from the main stem, and i've never seen one thing from the DOW about greenbacks being in there, nor have i ever caught one. it's all browns in there, so i think the OP is full of shit.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
There is no doubt there is a population of Greenbacks in there.

Greenback Recovery Plan

From the recovery plan “…At the time of the enactment of the Endangered Species Act in 1973, only two small historic populations of greenback cutthroat trout were known to exist - Como Creek and South Fork, Cache La Poudre River - that conformed to the meristics of the type specimens. These two small headwater streams of the South Platte River drainage collectively represented 4.6 kilometers of stream habitat and supported less than 2,000 greenbacks…”

Also, to alter a protected wilderness stream is likely illegal. It might be a little gray but it seems like it would be shaky ground, perhaps one of the attorneys on here can chime in.

Ask yourself this, would you feel confident talking to ‘John law’ while cutting logs out of a stream in a wilderness area (likely using chain saws), with the presence of threatened and protected species. It might be interesting to pose the question to the US Fish and Wildlife Service as they oversee the implementation of the endangered species act.

As an aside I find this whole thing interesting… “save the poudre (but only if I can kayak the nar)”

Don’t let the fish get in the way!

 

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"fish exclusion devices" :confused: Oh...those are emplaced to keep the non-native trout from driving the greenback out of exsistence. Good luck fighting natures design. Let us know how it works out for you.

BTW - Are you for the elimination of ALL non-native trout? Wouldn't that TRUELY be leaving no trace?
 

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Well if it truly was a designated area and it was posted then it probably shouldn't have been flossed. If it is not posted though it seems that maybe there should be some notification for people.

Just so you know it is Gnar not nar, and while I haven't ever done the run (due to too much wood) I don't believe it falls into the Gnar category.
 

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While, I think fishguy is generally full of BS he does bring up a good point with respect to wood removal, fish habitat, and how we as kayakers interact with the river environment.

Woody debris has been shown to be good for fish habitat as it provides cover, shading, velocity refuges, increases roughness, decreases velocity, creates pool habitat and generally increase habitat complexity. However it can pose a safety risk to kayakers. Something for kayakers to keep in mind is a complete "flossing" of wood is generally not necessary to safely get by. Maybe a trim on one side or another is enough to allow passage without a portage which would probably not significantly impact fish habitat and is also a whole lot less work for the crew doing the maintenance. It may also be beneficial for both kayakers and fish habitat for a few large jams to remain in the upper part of a run to act in a sacrificial manner. While we don’t like portaging a couple portages aren’t that bad and these jams would serve to collect wood coming from upstream in one or two locations and prevent them from moving downstream into a rapid or somewhere where they could pose a significant risk or hazard.

Just food for thought. Keep it safe out there.
 

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More thoughts.

Don't try to compete with the forest service for the category of "best-in-class" stream flosser. Fishjump was dynamited on the SF of the Clearwater in Idaho (to aid upstream fish migration), eliminating a keeper hole by the way (thank you FS) and not more than two or three years ago when a side stream blew a hundred trees into the Middle Fork of the Salmon, they just came in with dynamite and blew the log jam to splinters. I've also read about a stream in Oregon that had some man-made habitat structures that were blown away by a flood and the whomever put them there (I think it was DOW?) never came back to clean up the cables, etc., leaving a major river hazard. If the river didn't put it there, why should man? We should respect endangered species, but that also means we shouldn't, heavy-handedly, get in the way of the natural course.

Put it another way, if I caught a greenback (which I have), #1 rule, keep it in the water, then get your hands clean and wet using the river before handling, and very gently remove the hook. If it doesn't immediately swim off, guide it back and forth in the water to run some flow through its gills (akin to fish CPR), then watch it swim off.

No boater I have met would ever rudely harm fish habitat. Like someone said above, you can remove the hazard to the boater, and leave the 99% of what was there and needed by the fish. By definition a strainer has a lot of flow underneath it, a lot. That would provide a small amount of shade cover, but not the big shady eddy where a fish could actually live and feed.

Lastly, my public service announcement, then I'll shut up. From someone who's removed a fair amount of wood before. I would encourage all boaters who are contemplating removing wood to consider each situation by weighing several things: #1 is the log visible from upstream far enough ahead for a boater to see it and react. #2 is the log a hazard if the boater is even remotely "on line". #3 if the log is low risk, can you just remove some branches to create a window of passage? There's a bunch of things to consider, but I think most people would agree and understand that most wood is a non-issue, while some trees (blind-corners, stream width, and in fast water) simple gots ta go!

Also, don't be a jerk Fish Guy, get your facts straight before posting with threats. Sounds like you haven't left your chair to see what you're actually talking about. It's laughable someone has called you out for the habitat you described as having been built by man isn't even on the same stretch of water.
 

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To re-iterate --
The Little South Fork from the confluence at the Poudre to the fish exclusion device above Tom Bennett campground *does* indeed contain Greenbacks, I have caught them many times but certainly not every time I go. However, these escaped over the excluder device during high water, and that long stretch of river through the wilderness area is *not* part of the greenback recovery area.

Kayakers and Greenbacks rarely meet, as the perfect streams for these fish are very small. The Little South (and other local Pingree Park creeks where the DOW is breeding these fish, such as Pennock Creek) in the protected area are only about 3 feet wide and a foot deep.

Even starting a chainsaw in the wilderness area, though, is illegal. Not even federal wildland firefighters are allowed to use them there.

All I can say is, kayakers, please show some respect for your national forest and especially your wilderness areas. If you don't -- you will find the sport under some very stringent regulations, as happened to OHVs.

LITTLESOUTHFORK
 
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