Fishing is Fun ( POGG1,PMAA,202200002241)
The Conejos Meadows Resilient Habitat Project created a low flow channel that will improve habitat conditions and connectivity to complex pool refuge habitat in a nearly 2-mile reach (9,200 linear feet) of the Conejos River just downstream of Platoro Reservoir. The project design took advantage of the site location and altered sediment transport regime created by Platoro Reservoir to excavate a low flow channel that will provide cover and feeding habitat as well as connectivity, improving migratory access to larger complex habitat features necessary for overwinter survival and for refuge during droughts. The project used large wood and on-site rock materials to enhance the complex pool habitat and stabilize erosive stream banks. Additionally, the project was designed to complement the Winter Flow Program operations at Platoro Reservoir, which is an effort to boost wintertime flows on the Conejos River. Additionally, the project will improve the conveyance of irrigation deliveries during low flow periods when the deliveries substantially improve habitat conditions. The project was constructed as designed, to balance conservation and recreation with an eye towards impacts from climate change.
Project Activities Report:
Construction on the Conejos Meadows Resilient Habitat Project was completed in December 2021 and the as-built designs are included in Appendix A. The project was built on budget and had the advantage of constructing the low flow channel at the target flow of 10 cfs which was identified in the project design. Constructing the low flow channel at the target flow allowed the on-site construction management engineer to build the channel to maximize organism passage and habitat quality for the specific flow rates known to exist in this reach for at least 40% of the year. The as-built project plans have been delivered to and accepted by the ACOE, to comply with the 404 permit requirements. Future sampling efforts at CPW’s historical sampling station located within the project area will give CPW the ability to measure changes in the population in this reach of the Conejos River. As-built project photos can be found below in Appendix B. The USFS will conduct monitoring necessary to comply with the ACOE 404 permit. TU paid for all project expenses and met all match requirements under the FIF PO.