Among the recent Fishing is Fun projects approved for funding is the Conejos Meadows in the San Luis Valley. In-stream habitat improvements will occur on 1.75 miles of the Conejos River downstream from Platoro Reservoir in the San Luis Valley. The project will address low-flow conditions during droughts and winter reservoir operations and will protect conditions for the existing selfsustaining brown trout population.
“The Conejos Meadows Resilient Habitat project is a model for projects that benefit fish habitat and wild self-maintaining trout populations, while also providing benefits to irrigation water users below a working reservoir,” said Kevin Terry, Rio Grande Basin Project Manager for Trout Unlimited. “Partnerships on the Conejos River between Trout Unlimited, CPW, and the Conejos Water Conservancy District ensure that each project identifies and maximizes benefits for the entire water community and the environment at the same time.”
Fishing alone contributes $2.4 billion dollars in economic output per year, supporting over 17,000 jobs in Colorado according to CPW’s 2017 economic study. For over 30 years, FIF has supported more than 375 projects in nearly every county in the state, improving stream and river habitats, easing public access to angling waters, developing new angling opportunities for youth and seniors and more. The program typically provides up to $400,000 annually from the Federal Sport Fish Restoration Program (SFR). This year the program awarded an additional $250,000 from revenue generated through the wildlife sporting license plate.
“Sportsmen and women who have signed up for the license plate have helped make more projects possible. That is a big boost to making angling accessible to many more people,” said Guthrie. The $650,000 total was met with more than $2 million in local support for the eight projects approved in 2020 (matching funds are required for the program).
Special Thanks to Kevin Terry, who spearheaded this grant!