Federal Plan for Endangered Fish Worries Roaring Fork Anglers

November 2, 2011 By: Benjamin Clary

Proposed releases from the Ruedi Reservoir would bolster flows in portions of the Colorado River supporting habitats of four endangered, native species but could disrupt the Roaring River trout fishery.

The Razorback Sucker, the Colorado Pikeminnow, the Bonytail Chub, and the Roundtail Chub, once prolific in the state’s rivers, have been confined to a few small areas.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed releases from the Ruedi Reservoir to one of those areas, a 15-mile stretch near Grand Junction.

However, the releases, which are proposed to take place from mid-July to mid-October, have some worried it will disrupt the Roaring Fork River, a tributary of the Colorado River, notes Bob Berwyn.  “The proposed releases could reverse the natural hydrograph of the river, and that could be a problem for spawning fish,” according to Mark Fuller, director of the Ruedi Water and Power Authority.