October Watershed Snapshot
Flows were low across the Upper Colorado River watershed throughout October, as the summer drought stretched into fall. Luckily, cooler weather from the season change kept water temperatures nice and cold for the alpine aquatic life.
From mid September to mid October, we are starting to see normal low flow conditions in most of the rivers in the Upper Colorado River Watershed. Elevated flows are seen below Lake Granby and Ranch Creek to send extra water downstream for endangered fish. Cooler air temperatures have brought the water temperatures down into safe levels for fish. As a result, temperature is not being reported on the map. Most sites in upper elevations are low as a result of our dry summer and fall. Fishing active lures and streamers will continue to be good until ice starts to form on lakes and streams. Is your ice fishing gear ready?
We’ve all been feeling the impacts from the lack of rainfall, with wildfires flaring up in multiple locations around Grand County. While our October Watershed Snapshot measures flow levels from across the Upper Colorado River watershed, what it doesn’t capture are the environmental effects the local wildfires will have on long-term watershed conditions.
UCRWG has been monitoring the Upper Colorado River watershed in our monthly snapshots throughout the spring, summer, and fall months in order to document changing aquatic conditions by compiling publicly available data from USGS gauges. We believe that this ongoing work is critical to ensure responsible, science-based management of our shared water resources. As we head into winter months, when flows will drop all the way to their normal base levels and temperatures will become cold, we will not be doing watershed snapshots.