Water News

  Our local TU Chapter along with Colorado and National Trout Unlimited is doing wonderful ongoing work in the defense of our rivers, and we're thankful that we are not alone in our struggle.
  One of our important allies in the fight to save our rivers is the Audubon society. While their focus is slightly different than the TU focus, our goals align closely. In addition, they have some excellent paid staff which enables them to more closely monitor and follow some issues that our volunteers in Grand County are unable to. The Audubon Society is a great organization which (unlike our local TU chapter) has paid staff to keep their website updated with the latest information and in-depth analysis. That's why you'll often find information blatantly stolen (with their permission) from their website on this website.  
  From time to time, you'll also find links to newscasts about water from our partners in producing the documentary series, The Mighty Colorado River at Grand County TV18 as well as other electronic media sources. Here are some recent examples.


Colorado River Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited





Normally, you can make a secure donation to the Colorado River Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited using your credit card or PayPal account directly by clicking the Donate button which will appear below again shortly. Unfortunately, for unknown reasons, PayPal suspended our account without notice and creating a new one takes a while for verification. We expect to have PayPal up and running again soon.

We apologize for the inconvenience. 

Please note that if you try to use a credit card associated with your PayPal account you will be required to login to and use your PayPal account, not the credit card itself.'s a little confusing, but that's the way PayPal works.
​The Colorado Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited welcomes your contributions. We are a 501(c)(3) corporation, so your contribution may qualify for a tax deduction. You can send us a check at:
Colorado Headwaters Chapter Trout Unlimited
PO Box 325
Fraser, CO 80442-0325

You can also support us by becoming a member and attending our only annual fundraiser, our Banquet in July at Devil's Thumb Ranch. We also invite members to attend our monthly board meetings. They're usually held the second Wednesday of each month at the Crooked Creek Saloon in Fraser. Start time is 6PM. We're an environmental organization, but beer and fishing stories normally happen at our meetings! Check the calendar for details or contact a board member for more info.

Be sure to check out our Facebook page!


You can also find us on Instagram by clicking here!




  The Colorado River Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited is located in beautiful Grand County Colorado. We are north-west of Denver and on the west side of the Continental Divide. We're located just where you'd expect based on our name: at the headwaters of the Colorado River. That means we're  where the human population density is low and wildlife density (including fish) is high. Our moose count far exceeds our stoplight count.  Grand County is roughly the size of the state of Delaware with a population of around 14,000. The main communities here are Winter Park, Fraser, Tabernash, Granby, Grand Lake, Hot Sulphur Springs, Parshall and Kremmling. We are fortunate to fish the Colorado and its first tributaries near their source, and the fishing here is wonderful.

The mighty Colorado River (originally called the Grand River, hence, Grand County, Grand Junction, Grand Canyon, etc.) begins its journey here in Rocky Mountain National Park. Soon after leaving Rocky Mountain National Park the Colorado enters Colorado's largest and most beautiful natural lake, Grand Lake. From Grand Lake, it makes its way through Shadow Mountain Reservoir and Lake Granby. The first major tributary to the Colorado is the Fraser River, which joins the Colorado River near Granby. From Granby the Colorado heads through Hot Sulphur Springs, Byers Canyon and Kremmling before moving on towards Grand Junction and the Utah border on its way to the Pacific. 
  As fishermen (and women) we find innumerable spots to find solace and wet a fly along the Colorado and Fraser Rivers here in Grand County.
  As members of Trout Unlimited, we care about our rivers and work to preserve the aquatic habitat required for fish to thrive. Colorado water law was written when it was still legal to buy a slave. That outdated approach to water enabled entities on the opposite side of the continental divide to buy the rights to most of the water in Grand County and send that water under the Continental Divide to the Front Range. In Colorado, water doesn't flow flows to money. 
  We don't have as much money or political clout as the Front Range so we know much of the water that was meant to be in rivers here will end up on Front Range lawns. Our TU chapter is dedicated to making the best of what's left. For example, we're working to turn the Fraser from a dying river to a healthy creek. Help us in our mission!

Fraser Rainbow by Brad Johnson

Thanks to TU Board member Brad Johnson for the excellent photo!

Volunteer Opportunities

News Flashes

Climate Threat Greater Than Expected

The UN Climate Change Conference clearly stated that the rate of climate change is faster than anticipated. Listen to, or read the text, of an excellent and very informative fact-based interview on PBS. William Brangham interviewed David Victor, author of Global Warming Gridlockand professor of international relations at University of California, San Diego, on December 6, 2018. Click here for the link .

Kirk Klancke Interview on Public Radio October 3, 2018

The president of our local Trout Unlimited Chapter, Kirk Klancke, was interviewed for a feature story on Denver's Colorado Public Radio. Kirk and others discussed the importance of conservation in their voting decisions. You can read the text of the interview and see photos or listen to the audio by clicking here.

Why TU Supports MECP Agreement With Denver Water

Some feel that it will lead to more problems for the Fraser and upper Colorado. TU recognizes the Denver Water owns more water in Grand County than they are currently taking. We wish that weren't the case. We'd rather see more water stay here, but the current reality is that under the law Denver can take more water than they currently do. The MECP agreement is intended to deal with that reality and make the best of a bad situation. For the past eighty years, Denver has been diverting water from the Fraser with no accountability for the health of the river. If this project dies, we're convinced that the next eighty years will look like the last eighty. If MECP moves ahead, the diversion permit is tied to adaptive management. TU believes adaptive management builds in the accountability that will enable us to ensure the ongoing health of the Fraser. ​One critical component of our agreement with Denver Water is Learning By Doing. According to our Trout Unlimited representatives at these meetings (Kirk Klancke and Mely Whiting) the first few meetings have been productive and promising. The first step to protect and improve our streams is stream monitoring. At TU, we believe a science and fact based analysis of the challenges our rivers face is the first step to developing an effective plan of action. Learn what should be done, make a plan and only then implement the plan!

Learning By Doing Protects Our Rivers

One of the most important components of our cooperative agreement with Denver Water and Grand County is Learning By Doing. Fundamentally, Learning By Doing relies on careful observation and information gathering as the first step. The information is then analyzed and solutions are proposed to address problems in our rivers. The suggested steps to mitigate the problems are implemented and observation continues. How well did the mitigation work? Do we think we could do better? What can be done differently to improve the results? Let's try another approach instead or in addition to what we've already done because we think it will be better for the rivers. 

Trout Unlimited is an important player in the Learning By Doing process and much of our current fundraising is devoted to funding continued participation in the process by TU's excellent attorney, Mely Whiting. For the latest updates, click here. 

Colorado Water Plan

If you're interested in the health of our rivers in Colorado, you're probably aware that our state has implemented its first ever water plan. Like any document created in a politically charged environment, it is a product of compromise. It doesn't give TU and other environmental environmental organizations everything we would hope for, but it appears to be a positive step forward. Here's a link to Trout Unlimited's  mostly positive take on the new agreement.

TV Newscast on Moffat Firming & Byers Peak Water

Click here for a link to the YouTube video of the newscast.

New Local Water Website

There's a new website on water issues in Grand County. Our friend (and TU board member) Anna created it as part of her masters program. Check it out by clicking here for one more perspective.

Continuing to Save The Fraser 
You've seen the "Save The Fraser" bumper stickers around the Valley for years, and have been wonderfully supportive. The opportunity for you to participate actively in actually saving the Fraser has just gone to a new level. To learn what you can do, click here.

Colorado River Most Threatened River in US

The PBS News Hour did an interesting report on our friends at American Rivers ranking of the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon as the most threatened river in the US. Follow this link to the video clip. American Rivers is also fighting commercial development in the Grand Canyon. To see their website and a petition to oppose that development, click here.

Why California Drought Matters to Us

The Sky Hi News ran an interesting article on April 17, 2015 discussing the impact and importance of the California drought to Grand County and the entire Colorado River basin. Everything is connected! To read the article, click here. The same paper had another article on Lake Granby. Click here for that article.

The Colorado Water Plan website from Trout Unlimited has lots of great information about the development of the newly proposed Colorado Water Plan. Follow this  link for details and more information.Down the Colorado Project Video Series Starts in Grand County May 2013
Watch films of a journey down the Colorado River from the beginnings at Lake Powell in the Rocky Mountain National Park to Lake Powell in Utah. It will be presented in 5 installments and the first takes place in Grand County. Local residents are interviewed along the way and a story unfolds about the problems facing this great river system.
  You can view the first episode at :  Further episodes and more information on the project can be found at:  


Colorado River Headwaters Chapter News

Local News

Fishing Rod Drive for Kids

  The Colorado Headwaters Anglers Club is hosting it's second annual Kids Fishing Rod Drive. They need spincast, flyrods, baitcast, ice fishing rods, tackle and tackle boxes. Budget Tackle is restringing reel with new line and the gear will distributed by the Mountain Family Center.
  Gear can be dropped off at City Market, Budget Tackle and Country Ace Hardware all in Granby. Look for the Big Boxes. Check through your closets and see if you don't have something that could be useful for this group!

TU on TV

New season of Trout Unlimited: On the Rise
On the Rise will air exclusively on the Sportsman Channel four times a week: Saturdays at 2 p.m., Fridays at 4:30 p.m., Thursdays at 6:30 a.m. and Tuesdays at 3 a.m.* Host Jed Fiebelkorn takes viewers on an adventure-filled journey to some of the best trout and salmon fishing locations in the United States. Reaping the rewards of Trout Unlimited's hard work and shining a spotlight on the critical issues facing America's trout water, Jed takes viewers to places many anglers only dream of going.

The season starts out in Alaska's Tongass National Forest—one of the most wild places in the country, where huge salmon and severe weather prove to be quite a challenge. Next, the show moves to the majestic mountains of North Carolina, where wild brook trout in tiny streams require a nimble cast and a light touch. From there, Jed and his arsenal of fly rods head to the famed waters of Idaho's Silver Creek, hike the Hawaiian jungles in search of trout and stalk big rainbows in Pennsylvania spring creeks—all while bringing to life the conservation work of Trout Unlimited volunteers.

Read about the full list of 2012 episodes here.

Sportsman Channel is available in HD on DISH on channel 9483, SD channel 285; also on DIRECTV channel 605. Check with your local cable or satellite provider for further information.
*All times ET.

Current Fishing Information

The great thing about winter fishing is that the fish are pre-frozen.


Trout Unlimited publishes a marvelous national newsletter. Click here to view it online.