In the fall of 2008, the landowners at Rowdy Trout Ranch contracted with Freestone Aquatics to perform a baseline study of the annual hydraulic fluctuations, collect and identify macro-invertebrates, and conduct an in-stream channel length and cross-sectional survey. Using the findings of the baseline study in combination with the landowners future use plans for the property, Freestone Aquatics tailored a habitat plan for the ½ mile river channel to broaden the use range for angling from 15-150 cfs to 15-600 cfs. Manipulating the in-stream habitat created several overwintering habitat areas, overhanging ledges, deep pools, riffles and glides, in addition to a significant increase in spawning areas. The project was completed by the end of June 2009 and has experienced an entire summer of flows and recreational use by the landowners and their guests, with the installed habitat performing as it was designed.
Future stream channel monitoring is in place as well as habitat performance and fish population surveying. In total, the Rowdy Trout Project utilized over 400 tons of granite boulders and rip rap (specifically requested by the US Army Corps of Engineers and Denver Water) for most of the habitat enhancements and was installed by Freestone Aquatics after the rigorous permitting process utilizing caterpillar equipment in channel as well as support equipment out of channel. Prior to use, all equipment was washed with an invasive species treatment solution to prevent the transfer and spread of Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS). To date, the project is considered a success and will greatly contribute to the conservation themed goals of the Rowdy Trout Ranch and the Upper South Platte drainage.
Check out the before and after photos of the Rowdy Trout Ranch project, To contact Freestone Aquatics, Incorporated , click here www.freestoneaquatics.com or call 303.807.7805.