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Discussion Starter #1
We touched on this topic a couple of years ago and many of you who knows the answer?

For the last few years I have been moving boulders (byhand) to create some micro eddies and small waves to play on in the river behind my establishment!

2 years ago I had the police called on me and he and I laughed and decide to move them quietly at night! Well now I received a call from the county commissioner saying I must remove any boulders I have placed in the river due to a certain persons complaint!!!

1st what is the allowable moving of rock in and out of water along your property and
2nd how would I explain that its mostly for erosion control and deflection of water from the eroding bank?

at high water most everything I made is under water or toppled over and "my wave" is ripping sweet for this little creek!!!!!!!
 

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If you need legal advice you should consult an attorney, but you most likely can't modify the stream in the manner that you have done so. You can probably answer your own question with a little research. Unless the stream flows through federal lands, state law will probably apply. Most states have laws that govern how you may modify the stream. Contact your state's agency in charge of surface water and they will be able to give you some guidance.
 

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Contact the attorney that took care of Jones up on the Lower Blue - no one seemed to mind him doing all kinds of "river improvements."

-AH
 

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Again, the whole "I'm not an attorney" disclaimer applies.

In Colorado you cannot make any in-stream diversions (i.e. moving rocks, even by hand) without the permission of the USACE. They require drawings and calculations stamped by a professional engineer providing sufficient proof that there will be no change in the floodplain in the area as a result of your modifications. I believe this applies even if you own the adjacent property and for even the most minor of changes.

The reason for this is that you could increase the floodplain causing increased damage to properties outside of yours. Additionally, you could make small streambed changes to illegally take water from the stream.

Again, I'm not a lawyer but this is the way that I understood the water law when I researched it.

COUNT
 

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the clean water act makes all navigable waters of the US subject to federal regulation. anything you want to do below the ordinary highwater line of any navigable water of the US is subject to section 404 permitting. this permit process goes through your district office of the US Army Corps of Engineers. It does not matter who owns the land, the clean water act applies to all waters of the US regardless of the ownership.

There is a separte State permit, 401 water quality certification, which is also required (most of the time) to do anything below the ordinary high water line.

There are a number of different 404 permits depending on what you are asking to do and how much material you are placing below the OHW.

Drawings do not actually have to be stamped by a PE.

The long and short of your question is that what you are doing is technically illegal.
 

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Why can fisherman do this?

Overall I prefer a natural river, but don't have an objection to a small enhanced feature here or there in places where the natural beauty is not affected.

I don't know how many streams and rivers in CO have been bastardized by fisherman making 'trout pools'. Another example of discrimination.

:mad:
 

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The short answer is that they can't legally do it either, but the more remote the stream, the less likely anybody is going to say anything about it.

The alteration of waterways is pretty heavily regulated for reasons already mentioned, especially in colorado since water rights are so hotly contested.
 

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You're in Georgetown, just tell them your minning. Really the miners on the creek have told me you can mine a 10'x10' hole without out a permit.

Can't wait to stop in and get some buritos this summer!
 

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What I dont understand is how farmers and many landowners here in Cody, Wy change the river bed all the time. A ranch owner below Deer Creek went into the creek bed with a small bulldozer on forest service and moved the entire stream bed around and destroyed our gauge rock which was the size of a dumpster. They have done this numerous times to help with there irrigation intakes and keep the high water in the stream bed. I have seen this exact thing happen on numerous rivers in the area and I feel like its going under the radar completely. It seems very wrong and to see someone get in trouble for moving a few boulders around sounds ridiculous, someone has too much time on there hands to be making complaints like that. It just seems like farmers can get away with moving the streambed around and nobody complains about that. The South Fork River has a mile section of bank lined with a rubber mating type material too keep the bank from eroding and im sure the ranch owner never got a permit for that and its an absolute eye soar.

Aaron
 

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It's largely a squeaky wheel issue. One of the OP's neighbors has been making phone calls, so the law gets enforced. If you started making phone calls about the Deer Creek guy there's a decent chance you'd get a response... eventually. It's not like the DNR/Dep. of Interior/[insert gov. agency] is flying helicopters up watersheds to make sure nobody is building a play park; they're just responding to complaints.
 

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What I dont understand is how farmers and many landowners here in Cody, Wy change the river bed all the time. A ranch owner below Deer Creek went into the creek bed with a small bulldozer on forest service and moved the entire stream bed around and destroyed our gauge rock which was the size of a dumpster. They have done this numerous times to help with there irrigation intakes and keep the high water in the stream bed. I have seen this exact thing happen on numerous rivers in the area and I feel like its going under the radar completely. It seems very wrong and to see someone get in trouble for moving a few boulders around sounds ridiculous, someone has too much time on there hands to be making complaints like that. It just seems like farmers can get away with moving the streambed around and nobody complains about that. The South Fork River has a mile section of bank lined with a rubber mating type material too keep the bank from eroding and im sure the ranch owner never got a permit for that and its an absolute eye soar.

Aaron
I think to a point its legal in Wyo. Not real sure but it is legal to put up to a certain amount of rock in the streambed without a permit
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thats what I was looking for! last time this issue came to hand someone on the forum had this info? so much in tons allowed in and out of river without permit! and of course this is move by hand how many tons can a little ol me actually move for a little wave and some erosion control!!!c'mon

I will be taking another photo of it today I hope, and will post for how pathetic this complaint is!
 

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historic agricultural diversions are exempt from 404 permitting unless they are being completely relocated. Annual maintenance does not require any permit and I think everyone who spends time on rivers can think of examples where the definition of "maintenance" was stretched.
 

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during low water shmitty and i would place rocks in certains locations in the river(not saying were) to make the play park holes smoother and better at low water. bored teenagers huh
 

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i know of a guy that was building a feature in front of his house for natural enhancement and he called the army core and they explained it to him. might do that before you change anything else. The guy i know of was having the same problem of getting the cops called on him when he was loading rocks with his bobcat. The cop came down and called him on it. so he gave the cop all the written permission from the core and the cop walked away with the neighbors watching.
If i remember right there was a legal limit to the amount you can put in but other than that its legal. I have no idea in Colorado, just my experiences with it up here in Casper.
Luke
 
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