Fraser Flats project gets official opening for public fishing and recreation
A stretch of the Fraser River between Tabernash and Fraser was abuzz with activity and excitement Wednesday afternoon as representatives of local governments, conservation groups, Front Range water diverters and state agencies gathered for a dedication ceremony celebrating the completion of the Fraser Flats Habitat Project.
The Fraser Flats Habitat Project was the first river restoration project undertaken by Learning By Doing, a cooperative group of high country river stakeholders that includes Denver and Northern Water, Grand County, Trout Unlimited and others. The Fraser Flats Project focused on improving the fish and insect habitat of the Fraser through stream channeling as well as working to repair the riparian corridor of the Fraser with revegetation work.
The project tackled a nine-tenths-of-a-mile section of the Fraser River west of Fraser. The project was split roughly between sections of the Fraser on Devil’s Thumb Ranch property and property administered by Grand Water Number 1. Wednesday’s dedication ceremony was a formal opening of sorts for the four-tenths-of-a-mile of the Fraser on Grand Water Number 1 land that is now open to the public for fishing.
Kirk Klancke, president of the Colorado River Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited and a Grand County resident, was one of the individuals instrumental in bringing the project to fruition and led the dedication ceremony. Klancke thanked the gathered representatives for the collaboration that made the project possible and extolled the virtues of adaptive management processes that he said reduced conflicts between entities like Denver Water and groups like Trout Unlimited.
The new stretch of the Fraser River open to public fishing can now be accessed from Grand County Road 83, just east of Tabernash. After turning on County Road 83 keep your eyes peeled for the fishing area parking signs on the west side of the road a few hundred yards away from Highway 40.
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The Colorado Department of Transportation has closed Colorado Highway 125 in Grand County while crews work to clear the route of mud, debris and snagged trees piled up on various bridges and guardrails.