Criteria (abbreviated) Applicants must be currently enrolled or have been selected to matriculate as a full time graduate student (9 semester hours) At Colorado State University in the life sciences studying fisheries biology, fisheries management, water quality related to coldwater fisheries or conservation with emphasis on salmonid species and their ecosystems. Application and awarding of the Scholarship is handled by the staff at Colorado State University.
For information regarding this Scholarship or if you wish to help support the West Denver Scholarship, please contact:
Ric Tarr. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-233-9391. The West Denver Chapter of Trout Unlimited is classified as a 501(c) 3 organization under the IRS code. Your contribution is 100% tax deductible.
In 1994 National Trout Unlimited (NTU) implemented a Home Rivers Program to tackle watershed management challenges. The program recognizes that the most effective way to protect coldwater fisheries is to protect the environmental integrity of the watersheds those fish inhabit. The Home Rivers program now consists of six watersheds located throughout the nation none of which, by the way, is a Superfund Site. Based on positive support from the Watershed Programs Director of NTU, Clear Creek represents an excellent watershed for inclusion in the Home Rivers Program. That support is based on both the environmental importance of the watershed and the due diligence performed by WDTU. The Clear Creek watershed is not only an important fishery, but serves as a source of water and recreation resource for a huge population, its stakeholders have demonstrated solid commitment to environmental quality, and it’s road system provides immediate accessibility to anglers. It is also important that Clear Creek represents an important habitat for Native Greenback Cutthroat Trout, currently listed as a threatened species.
The importance of addressing fishery improvements by means of watershed conservation is further endorsed by Colorado Trout Unlimited’s statement of core principals. The first core principal declared in the Strategic Plan 2008 – 2013 is “To conserve, protect, and restore Colorado’s trout fisheries and their watersheds”. During the last year WDTU performed considerable due diligence to be certain that a Home Rivers Program can be successfully implemented.
WDTU believes that the Clear Creek Watershed would be an excellent opportunity for the Home Rivers Initiative. Through its previous conservation efforts in Clear Creek TU knows that several organizations have programs to protect natural resources in the basin. Home Rivers is designed to facilitate watershed improvements by concentrating TU’s knowledge and experience on enhancing the fishery resource of the Clear Creek Basin.
We are currently in an evaluation process to determine whether or not to apply to National TU for Home River designation. To find out more about this important initiative please read the following white paper:
White Paper -Clear Creek Home River Initiative
The Windy Peak Outdoor Education Laboratory is one of two outdoor education laboratories owned by the Jefferson County Public Schools. Windy Peak is 8 miles south of the town of Bailey, about a 90 minute drive from Denver. Windy Peak hosts 3500 sixth grade and 400 high school students in the Jefferson County School District each year. To many students, the week spent at Windy Peak is their first exposure to the outdoors.
Windy Peak has two ponds on their campus which are used as outdoor laboratories for the study of entomology, fish biology, limnology, microbiology, hydrology, water quality, botany, and wetland ecology. The ponds are also used to teach the fundamentals of sport fishing for trout with spinning and fly tackle. The lower pond is 100 years old and was partially silted in.
It become weed choked, limiting the number of trout the pond it could support and threatening their over wintering survival. The drain pipes controlling the upper and lower water levels in the pond are at least 40 years old, become almost inoperable, and needed to be replaced. Resident beaver on the pond continually filled the upper water level control pipe with woody debris requiring almost daily maintenance during the Spring and Summer months. An erosion channel below the existing spillway was eating its way up the back side of the dam, threatening the dam's very existence.
The West Denver Chapter of Trout Unlimited built a handicap accessible fishing platform on the pond in 1990 to prevent shoreline degradation and erosion from all the students using the pond. While the fishing platform was still structurally sound, it was in need of maintenance, as the posts supporting the platform had settled resulting in a tilted platform.
Project objective:The purpose of this project was to ensure the continued use of the Windy Peak Pond as a valuable educational resource to teach sport fishing and related outdoor studies to the youth of Jefferson County. This project enhances the lower pond's value as an outdoor teaching laboratory by:
ensuring the pond's very existence,
extending the life of the pond,
enhancing the over wintering survivability of the trout,
doubling the pond's current carrying capacity for trout,
providing a means to maintain more stable water levels,
requiring less maintenance,
providing a means to effectively drain the pond if the need should arise,
providing student anglers a level and more stable fishing platform, and
providing consistent water levels for the existing wetlands.
Results and Benefits:
Major contributors to this project included:
$87,429.00 - Fishing is Fun grant from the Colorado Division of Wildlife
$31,204.00 - Jefferson County Open Space
$11,500.00 - West Denver Chapter of Trout Unlimited
$3,000.00 - Embrace-A-Stream grant from National Trout Unlimited
$7,000.00 - materials for the fishing platforms donated by Zimkor Industries, Inc. of Littleton, CO
The balance of the project costs were picked up by Jefferson County Public Schools.
The pond renovations were completed in the fall of 2003. The pond was dredged to a depth of at least 15' over a minimum of 1/3 of the pond area. This has resulted in a deeper pond with a longer life expectancy, colder water, and less aquatic weed growth.
Dredging occurred in an area of the pond where wetlands were present. An aerator was installed to help keep the pond open in the winter months and to increase the level of dissolved oxygen in the water. Together, these measures will double the number of trout the pond can support.
The pond's drain pipes were replaced to allow the pond to be drained in the event that action is needed. In addition, an access pipe was added so that the fire department can readily draw water in case of an emergency. The upper water level control pipe was also replaced with an improved spillway structure to provide the ability to better control pond water levels. The spillway now has a pool area below the dam which currently has a few resident cutthroat trout living in it. The erosion on the back side of the dam was repaired to assure the structural integrity of the dam guaranteeing the existence of the pond.
The Boy Scouts of America, their parents, and WDTU constructed and submerged several "fish condos" in 4 to 5 feet of water to provide shade and cover for the fish. Members of the West Denver Chapter of Trout Unlimited have constructed three fishing platforms to ensure a level, safe, and stable platform for students and to prevent further erosion of the pond's shoreline and degradation of the pond's wetlands. In May 2011, DOW stocked the pond with 200 rainbow trout
Windy Peak School is located 8 miles south of Bailey and is operated by the Jefferson County Public Schools. Every sixth grader in the Jefferson County Public Schools attends Windy Peak or its sister campus, Mount Evans, for an intensive week of environmental education during the school year. For more information about the Jefferson County Outdoor Education Program and the Windy Peak Outdoor Education Laboratory, visit their web site at: http://220.127.116.11/elem/windypeak/
River watch is a cooperative program between the Colorado Rivershed Network and the Colorado Department of Wildlife in which periodic water samples and bug life samples are taken in a good number of the state's streams. A multitude of organizations participate in sampling the streams including schools, various Trout Unlimited chapters, and other nonprofit organizations.
Samples are collected monthly which we analyze for hardness, alkalinity, dissolved oxygen, pH and temperature. We also collect samples to be analyzed for total and dissolved metals, which include Al, As, Ca, Cd, Cu, Fe, Mg, Mn, Pb, Se and Zn. This analysis is performed at the CDOW laboratory in Fort Collins. Twice a year we collect nutrient samples that are analyzed in Fort Collins for ammonia, chloride, sulfate, total suspended solids, total phosphorous, nitrate and nitrite. We collect an annual macroinvertebrate sample which is sent to the state who then sends it to an outside lab for identification. The data collected is input by the DOW into a database which is made available on line. Two of the sampling points we have been collecting data for are on Clear Creek near the top and near the bottom of our "Golden Mile" stream improvement project. They are identified as "Clear Cr: Below Church Ditch" (CC222) and "Clear Cr: Below Highway 6 Br," (CC221). to access the database. From time to time the DOW asks us to also do samples of some high mountain feeder streams at about 10,000 foot of elevation.
Clear Creek Golden Mile Renovation
West Denver TU Chapter Education Schlorship
Windy Peak Pond Renovation Project
West Denver Chapter Trout Unlimited
West Denver TU completed the Clear Creek Golden Mile stream restoration project in 2009. The lower section of the Golden Mile begins just above the kayak course in Golden and extends upstream to the Canyonside condos (adjacent to the Hwy 6 bridge); the upper section begins just above the Canyonside condos and extends on upstream to the relatively new footbridge crossing Clear Creek. Numerous cross vanes, J hooks and boulder clusters provide winter habitat, bank stabilization and feeding lanes, as well as much improved fishing access. Major contributors included the City of Golden, Jefferson County, DOW's "Fishing is Fun", Alfred Frei and Sons quarry, Coors, Orvis, Henderson Mine, TU's Embrace-a-Stream, and the contractor, Frontier Environmental Services. Total capital outlay approximated $200,000. The restoration work has been enthusiastically embraced by the Golden community, and has accomplished the WDTU goal of enhancing the community's sense of stewardship for the Clear Creek watershed.
The success of the Golden Mile project encouraged the WDTU chapter to plan and execute a second Clear Creek stream restoration project, the Canyon Reach project, which was completed in September, 2011. This restoration was done in three sections, chosen especially to provide safe access to and from both the highway and stream for young families and marginally mobile anglers. The downstream section is located at Mayhem Gulch near Hwy 6 MM 262, the middle section is upstream at a large unpaved parking area near MM 261, and the upper section is at a paved parking area further upstream near MM 260.5. Frontier Environmental Services was again the contractor. Classic structures like cross vanes, J hooks and boulder clusters provide winter habitat, bank stabilization, feeding lanes, and improved fishing access. Two innovative toe wood structures provide large organic masses to encourage riparian growth in extremely rocky terrain. Major contributors were Jefferson County, DOW's "Fishing is Fun", Alfred Frei and Sons quarry, Colorado Water Conservation Board, Henderson Mine, the Trask Family Foundation, and CTU's GoMo Grant. Capital outlay to date is approximately $300,000, exclusive of both past and future volunteer hours and planned signage. Excellent trout populations already exist in these sections; better winter habitat and planned water treatment of the north fork waters nearby should lead to significant improvements in trout numbers and size.