‘Very good’ Grand County trout fishery soon to be ‘great,’ CPW biologist says
Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Denver Water are planning to start work this week on a month-long project to improve the habitat within a popular fishing stretch of the Williams Fork River near Parshall.
In the Kemp-Breeze State Wildlife Area, the section of river that’s to be improved will not close during construction, but anglers are being advised to consider casting lines elsewhere while the work is ongoing.
In a news release, CPW and Denver Water acknowledge that October is primetime for fishing on the Williams Fork, but agency officials added that the work is not possible until flows recede below the Williams Fork Dam to approximately 75 CFS or less, which is expected to occur the first week of October.
The planned improvements call for reshaping the river channel to enhance habitat diversity for all life-stages of trout. Currently, the river has an overabundance of long riffles, and pools that would make excellent holding areas for trout have been filled in with sediment. The project is expected to address both of these problems.
“Unfortunately, this will affect some fishing trips to this area, but anglers should know that the long-term improvements will be worth the temporary inconvenience,” said Jon Ewert, an aquatic biologist with CPW, in the release. “This project will turn a very good trout fishery into a great one, so we ask anglers for a little patience.”
He added that the most significant short-term impact caused by construction should be visible sediment in the water.
“Due to the type of habitat work that will occur, there will be periods of significant turbidity in this stretch and downstream beyond the confluence with Colorado River,” Ewert said. “And of course there will be heavy equipment throughout the area so it won’t be aesthetically ideal. If anglers choose to fish here they are welcome to do so, but they should avoid machines and construction areas.”
For more about the project, call Denver Water at 303-628-6700. For more about the Kemp-Breeze SWA, contact CPW’s Hot Sulphur Springs office at 970-725-6200.
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