Roaring Fork Watershed Report

BASALT—“Dismal.” That’s the word local experts are using to describe the valley’s river and stream flows. According to the latest report from the Roaring Fork Conservancy, the flows across the watershed range from 25 to 45 percent of normal for this time of year. The Colorado River at Glenwood Springs should be running around 8 thousand cubic feet per second. Instead it’s just above 36-hundred cfs. Similarly startling readings can be found up and down the valley from the Frying Pan River to the Crystal River and the Roaring Fork. Officials at the conservancy are expressing a growing concern about the waterways warming up and endangering aquatic life. A call for citizen volunteers is being sent out to help monitor water temperatures. The program, “Hot Spots for Trout,” asks volunteers  to collect five water temperature readings per week from now through mid October. The data would be uploaded over cell phone or computer at least twice per week. Low and warm water levels are dangerous for trout and other aquatic species.