Fish returning to the Fraser in one of Colorado’s high mountain valleys

An example of what can happen when folks stop fighting over water and search for common ground paths:

Now, instead of a wide shallow creek, the low-flow Fraser River drops into a narrow channel that allows to run deeper, faster and colder. That led to a nearly immediate rebound in the fish population, according to a preliminary assessment by Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

“We found about a four-fold increase in trout population,” said Jon Ewert, an aquatic biologist at CPW who surveyed the river both before and after the project was finished. “It was pretty exciting to see that.”

This arises from a collaboration between environmental groups and a municipal water agency, Denver Water. These folks had been at odds for a while. This is an example of the point Jennifer Pitt made in Tony Davis’s recent piece about Minute 323, the U.S.-Mexico Colorado River agreement:

Pitt warned that if governments and water users end up fighting over a dwindling supply, the environment will be the biggest loser.

“No politician can support nature when communities are threatened by a water supply crisis,” she said.

Two cautions here on the Fraser story. First, it’s just a tiny bit of data. Second, it’s just a tiny bit of river. But it nevertheless is progress.

One Comment

  1. as the old story goes “it made a difference to that one”…

    any little bit of help that nature can get at this point is
    sorely needed.

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