Environmental experiments proposed in hopes of restoring Gold Medal status for the Blue River | SummitDaily.com

Environmental experiments proposed in hopes of restoring Gold Medal status for the Blue River

Fishing the Blue River

FRISCO — On Friday, Nov. 1, the Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness group sent out a newsletter detailing the decline of the Blue River and current efforts to restore Gold Medal status for the river, which was lost in 2016. The letter explained that while The Blue River Enhancement Workgroup has met several times to discuss potential solutions to the declined state of the river, University of Colorado professor William Lewis has stepped in to help scientifically test the theories brought up by the group.

Lewis studies limnology, or the study of the biological, chemical and physical features of lakes and other bodies of freshwater, per the Oxford English Dictionary. He has proposed a series of experiments to help determine river remediation strategies. 

According to an article by Lane Wyatt, director of the Watershed Services & Summit Water Quality Quantity Committee, the main issue is the fact that the fish are not receiving proper nutrition for some unknown reason. To lay the groundwork for river experiments, group members have begun monitoring the river’s nutrients, temperature, macroinvertebrates and fish to find the baseline condition of the river. 

The group, following Lewis’ suggestions, has looked at several river factors that will be important in future experiments, such as the condition of the stream bed environment and evaluation of the phosphorus content of the river.

“After meeting with stakeholders in the Blue River watershed (Trout Unlimited) and (Blue River Watershed Group) identified the issues that (The Blue River Enhancement Workgroup) was grappling with as the first phase for funding,” Wyatt said in his article. “The hope is that these experiments will be initiated in 2020.”

Wyatt also stated in the article that the primary goal for those involved with the various groups is for the Gold Medal status of the Blue River to be restored.

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