Watson Lake Fish Bypass
A collaborative effort among the participants of the Northern Integrated Supply Project, Morning Fresh Dairy, noosa yoghurt and Colorado Parks and Wildlife is helping to improve the habitat on the Poudre River.
A fish bypass is being installed at the diversion dam adjacent to Watson Lake and the CPW fish hatchery nearby. The new fish passage fulfills one of the promises made by the participants of the Northern Integrated Supply Project to improve the Poudre River, outlined in the NISP Fish and Wildlife Mitigation and Enhancement Plan.
Crews broke ground on the $850,000 project in December, with completion slated for April.
Through the project, two segments of the river that had been disconnected by the diversion barrier will be reconnected, with the goal of improving several facets: ecosystem health, angler access, public safety and public education.
Designed by OneFish Engineering, the fish bypass will provide upstream fish movement through the diversion structure for all species present within the river reach including longnose dace, longnose suckers, white suckers, brown trout and rainbow trout.
Additionally, the State Wildlife Area and Hatchery, where this project is located, receives a lot of visitors whether they are fishermen, birders, or families enjoying nature. Onsite educational material discussing fish passage will be an important component of the project providing a learning experience for school children and all other visitors.