Clear Creek Canyon Reach Restoration

WDTU completed the Clear Creek Canyon Reach Restoration project in 2011.

The success of the Golden Mile Restoration project encouraged the WDTU chapter to plan and execute a second Clear Creek restoration project. This restoration encompassed three sections in the Canyon Reach, chosen especially to provide safe access between Hwy 6 and the river, with special consideration 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.

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. 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.

As with the Golden Mile restoration, Frontier Environmental Services was the contractor. Major contributors were Jefferson County, Colorado Parks and Wildlife “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.

The March/April 2014 issue of Southwest Fly Fishing featured this project in a Conservation article by WDTU member Fred Fraikor. The magazine has kindly allowed us to repost the article on our website.