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'Hidden Mile' improved

Posted: Thursday, Nov 15th, 2012


Kay Watkins, left, SLV Trout Unlimited proposal writer, with Bill Senderlein and Matt Shupe, of Flywater, Inc. from Fort Collins, survey a stretch of the Conejos River in the “Hidden Mile” below Spectacle Lake.


CONEJOS — The SLV Chapter of Trout Unlimited (SLVTU), in cooperation with the National Research Conservation Service (NRCS), the US Forest Service (USFS), Conejos River Anglers and the Colorado Department of Wildlife (CDOW) did habitat work on the river in this “Hidden Mile” section of the Conejos in 2010, and they plan additional work in 2014.

The SLVTU chapter plans to submit a proposal to “The Fishing is Fun” program to obtain funds to hire Flywater, Inc., to design and supervise the habitat work to be completed in the “Hidden Mile” in 2014, and to lease the necessary equipment for the structure work. SLVTU will be working with the USFS and CDOW who will furnish in-kind work. Matching funds will be provided by SLVTU and Conejos River Anglers. In addition to the planned structure work, which will result in more overhead structure and deeper pools, the SLVTU chapter will plant willows to stabilize the banks and add fencing to protect the willows from grazing by cattle.

The first habitat work on the Conejos river was done on approximately two miles of river in the meadow about one mile below Platoro in cooperation with NRCS, USFS, and CDOW. Matching funds from the “Embrace a Stream” program of Trout Unlimited and in-kind contributions from the government agencies resulted in converting the river in the meadow from a wide, shallow stretch of river that would not support fish during the winter to a more narrow, deeper river that has become one of the best fishing sections in the Conejos.

Funds for completing projects that enhance trout habitat and for matching grants comes from the annual auctions held by SLVTU during the spring.












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