Using a combination of equipment, raw materials and manpower, the Dolores River Anglers chapter of Trout Unlimited, in conjunction with the United States Forest Service, recently completed a restoration project on two creeks that join and run into the Dolores River.
Between June 18 and June 20, volunteers placed rebar, 10 tons of rock and 240 feet of aspen rolls in or around the confluence of Taylor Creek and Little Taylor Creek.
In all, volunteers dedicated over 160 hours of time to make the project possible.
“Prior to this project, the creek was in really terrible shape,” said Dolores River Anglers Secretary-Treasurer Chris Burkett. “Everything was washed out due to high water flows and some off-road vehicle use in the area.”
To complete the restoration project, the Dolores River Anglers relied on Forest Service engineers and staff to provide guidance. Local individuals and local businesses provided materials and funding.
“We had 14 volunteers from the Dolores River Anglers show up at the site,” explained Burkett. “We also had many others doing logistical things.”
Ultimately, river restorations projects on the Dolores River benefit the entire community. River water that is properly channeled erodes less topsoil and washes less silt down the river.
“Less silt means less filtering of drinking water,” stated Burkett. “Cleaner water is also better for fish.”
San Juan District Ranger, Derek Padilla stated that he was “pleased with the results and looked forward to partnering [with the Dolores River Anglers] in the future.”
The Dolores River Anglers hope to complete at least one river restoration project each year. The goal of Trout Unlimited is to conserve, protect, and restore North America’s cold-water fisheries and watersheds.
Those interested in fly fishing, river restoration projects or the Dolores River Anglers in general can contact Brad Waltman at (970)759-0175.