Watson Lake Fish Bypass

Watson Lake Fish Ladder in progress (February 2019)

 

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.

This fish bypass was 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 NISP participants 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 2018, and it was completed and operating by March 2019. 

Through the project, two segments of the river that had been disconnected by the diversion barrier are now reconnected, which will improve several facets of that stretch: ecosystem health, angler access, public safety and public education.

Designed by OneFish Engineering, the fish bypass provides 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 the fish passage will be an important component of the project, providing a learning experience for school children and all other visitors.

Media Coverage from Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for the Watson Lake Fish Bypass

 

 

 

 

Construction begins in December 2018 on Watson Lake Fish Bypass

Construction begins in December 2018 on Watson Lake Fish Bypass

Watson Lake Fish Bypass construction progress (February 2019)
Watson Lake Fish Bypass construction progress (February 2019)
River view of fish bypass construction progress (February 2019)
River view of fish bypass construction progress (February 2019)

 

 

Construction worker at Watson Lake Fish Bypass (February 2019)
Construction worker at Watson Lake Fish Bypass (February 2019)
Close-up of rocks within the fish bypass (February 2019)
Close-up of rocks within the fish bypass (February 2019) 
Filter cap that will be used at the Watson Lake Fish Bypass (February 2019)
Filter cap that will be used at the Watson Lake Fish Bypass (February 2019)

 

 

Different angle of completed Watson Lake Fish Bypass (March 2019)
Different angle of completed Watson Lake Fish Bypass (March 2019)
River view of Watson Lake diversion structure and new fish bypass (March 2019)
River view of Watson Lake diversion structure and new fish bypass (March 2019)
Watson Lake Fish Bypass dedication (May 2019)
Watson Lake Fish Bypass dedication (May 2019)

 

 

Ribbon-cutting at Watson Lake Fish Bypass dedication (May 2019)
Ribbon-cutting at Watson Lake Fish Bypass dedication (May 2019)
Crowd gathered at Watson Lake Fish Bypass dedication (May 2019)
Crowd gathered at Watson Lake Fish Bypass dedication (May 2019)