Event offers public a chance to help Blue River Project | SummitDaily.com

Event offers public a chance to help Blue River Project

Fundraising continues for the community project in Silverthorne to repair a 0.6-mile stretch of the Blue River to improve trout habitat.

Earlier this year, the National Forest Foundation earlier this year gave the project a $94,750 grant that has to be matched dollar for dollar.

So far, the Blue River Project Committee has raised about $31,000, with The Summit Foundation kicking in $13,500, Trout Unlimited giving $8,000 and the Silverthorne Factory Stores contributing $1,000. Other large contributors include Neils Lunceford Nursery, Jim Hudson Chevrolet and Ecological Resource Consultants. Individuals have given more than $7,000.

This Saturday, the general public can help the cause by attending the Blue River Festival, 4-8 p.m. at the Silverthorne Pavilion. A $15 entrance fee pays off in live entertainment, fly-fishing instruction, information about the project, appetizers and more.

Silent and live auctions also will take place.

The Blue River Project, a $223,000 package, will address a degraded streambed from the area below the Dillon Dam to the first fishing hole past the Wildernest Road bridge.

The streambed that exists was carved by significant water releases from the Dillon Reservoir. Low water is now the norm. The project will rework the channel and create habitat for trout. The goal is to maintain the Blue River’s Gold Medal status as a fishery.

Gold Medal status means anglers can find big trout. That designation is important to the area economy.

For those who could not care less about fishing and tourism, the improved fishery can still have meaning. A stream that supports fish also supports wildlife.

All in all, the Blue River Project is a fine example of a public-private partnership uniting on an economic and ecological issue. It is part of the Building Bridges series of projects that seek to address economic, environmental and recreational issues in Summit County.

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