High Water Temperatures Endangered Fish 2018

Dangerously High Temperatures

This letter is from our good friend, Jack Bombadier, from the summer of 2018. Due to an improved snowpack in the spring of 2019, we're hopeful this summer will not repeat the same conditions. We are keeping this letter here because as our climate continues to change and large amounts of water are diverted from the Western Slope, the problems discussed here will certainly reoccur.


To all those with an interest in the health of the Colorado River,

 As of June 28th,the Upper Colorado River is experiencing some low water conditions, which in turn have contributed to warmer water temperatures and some algea blooms. The blindingly hot weather hasn't helped, either.  There isn't any additional water coming for another week or more, but by mid-month big water releases from Wolford Mountain and other sources should see us through.  Odds are we'll have the some summer monsoons rolling in too, which should cool things off.

 The make or break it period will be over the next week or two.  There isn't much cooler weather predicted for that period, and there will be a lot more people on the river.  The temperatures have gone up to 71 degrees farenheit over the past two days, as registered by the new USGS gauge at Catamount. https://waterdata.usgs.gov/co/nwis/uv?cb_00010=on&cb_00020=on&cb_00060=on&format=gif_default&site_no=0 

 If there's one factor I hope mitigates things a little, it's that's there are some exceptionally deep holes along the Upper Colorado River.  There are three holes down this way that are twenty feet deep, and one that that is a least forty.  If the fish can make their way to these refuges, they should be fine. 

The point of this email is to raise awareness about what will hopefully be a short-term problem.  Almost every reservoir on the Upper Colorado System is close to full, so its not like the resources  aren't there should things take a turn for the worse.  But please try to do your fishing earlier in the day, before afternoon temperatures climb.  If you have to wet a line,  do it near those deeper holes where the fish will be in better shape.  Obviously don't play fish to exhaustion, and give'em a little love when you put them back, making sure they're ready to swim away on their own steam before releasing them. 

Lets help our precious fish make it through this tough stretch! 


                                                             Jack Bombardier




Jack Bombardier
Confluence Casting LLC
Mail - 14503 Colorado River Road
Shop - 13403 Colorado River Road
Gypsum CO 81637