Colorado River Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited

  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 That outdated approach to water enabled entities on the opposite side of the continental divide to buy the rights to most of the water in Grand County and send that water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!

We Need Your Support!


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 below. 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 2135
Fraser, CO 80442-2135

You can also support us by becoming a member and attending our only annual fundraiser, our Banquet in July at Devil's Thumb Ranch. There's also Riverstock, our summer music and educational event at the Crooked Creek Saloon. 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. Beer and fishing stories are involved. Check the calendar for details or contact a board member for more info.

Thanks to TU Board member Brad Johnson for these two great photos!



Latest News And Action Requested

Perfect Holiday Gift For the Man or Woman With Everything!

Our TU chapter just solved your holiday shopping dilemma! Our brand new Platinum Level Sponsorship gives you great presents to put under the tree and the knowledge that you're helping to save the Fraser and Upper Colorado. Get the exclusive Save The Fraser Bug Bilz hat to hold your flies and the great long sleeve T-shirt you see here, our excellent aluminum water bottle and exclusive Platinum Sponsor bumper sticker. It's only $250 for the whole package! Stop in to Winter Park Optical in Fraser next to Safeway to pick up your sponsorship package today! Click here for more info.

TU Spring 2017 Volunteer Form
Let the River Restoration Begin!

After years of fundraising, negotiation, planning and preparation, we’re actually ready to do some work on the ground and in the water. On Earth Day, April 22, 2017 and again on April 29 (weather permitting) our TU chapter will revegetate a portion of the Fraser River on Devil’s Thumb Ranch and near the Sunset Ridge ponds just off Highway 40 at CR 83. We’ll gather cuttings from willows the first week, then plant them a week later.

Once established, the willows will improve shading to decrease stream temperatures, reduce erosion and help begin to restore the riparian zone. We’ll help return these areas closer to their original pre-grazing condition.

Here’s the plan for Earth Day, Saturday, April 22 and April 29, 2017:

  • 9:30AM Meet at the Sunset Ridge Pond parking lot at Highway 40 and CR 83.
  • 10:00AM - Noon Cut/harvest willows on April 22, plant them on April 29.
  • Noon - 12:30 Enjoy the lunch you brought with you and the company of your friends in TU.
  • 12:30 - 2:00PM Cut/harvest willows on April 22, plant them on April 29.
  • 2:00 - ? Enjoy the company of your friends in TU and any beverages you brought along. We’ll bring the snacks!

What to bring (if you can):
Waders or rubber boots, layered clothing, a hat, clippers for cutting willows, buckets, gloves, ball-pein hammer, sunscreen, bug spray, water, lunch, beverages.
Please send us an email by clicking here to let us know when you can help.

Meadow Creek Reservoir Improvements: Your Feedback Wanted, Public Meeting December 15, 2016

GRANBY, Colo. (Nov. 30, 2016) – The U.S. Forest Service’s Sulphur Ranger District is seeking public input on a project proposal currently in development. The Forest Service is looking to enhance recreation around Meadow Creek Reservoir as well as improve watershed and stream conditions in the area. Meadow Creek Reservoir is located about 5 miles east of Tabernash in the Arapaho National Recreation Area. This project aims to provide quality recreation opportunities, improve sanitation and develop a sustainable transportation system that considers recreation access, resource concerns and funding availability. The Forest Service is seeking public input on this project prior to developing its proposed action. “We really want to hear the public’s ideas early in the process,” said project leader Kelly Larkin. “This will help us tailor our proposed action to something that the public can support.”

The Forest Service will host a meeting to discuss the project at the Headwaters Trails Alliance Office in Fraser from 5-7 p.m. Dec. 15. If you cannot make the meeting or have further questions, contact Kelly Larkin at or 970-887-4146.

Dumping Into The Fraser River Spotted October 2016. What to Do If You See a Spill

During October, 2016, several instances of dumping of effluent from the Moffat railroad tunnel near the Winter Park Resort were discovered. Some nasty, black liquid was flowing from a pipe into the Fraser River near the Winter Park Resort. Thankfully, it was spotted. Our local TU Chapter members checked it out and the local newspaper was notified. Here's a link to several articles in our local SkyHi News about the incident.

Here's some information on what to do if you see a spill.

Call the EPA's hotline at 800-424-8802 immediately if you see:

  • Any petroleum product in the water
  • Any releases to waterways
  • Any mercury spills
  • Any sanitary sewer releases
  • Any releases that result in injury and/or death
  • Any deliberate releases or dumping

TAKE PHOTOS OF ANYTHING NASTY YOU SEE!  Unfortunately, sticking your water bottle in the river to capture a sample doesn't really help. Samples must be in special containers and taken under specific conditions. Here in Grand County, our local contact for water quality is Katherine Morris. Katherine is our County's Water Quality Specialist. You can call her at 970-725-3058 or email her at  Katherine wants to know about funky, toxic water and disgusting stuff getting into our rivers. She's funny that way.

For more about the EPA and spill reports, follow this link to their website.

You can also call the CDPHE at 877 518 5608.

Local Board Member Highlighted In TU Magazine

One of our own has hit the big time! Our local TU board member Kent Hughes has been profiled in the Colorado TU Magazine's Behind The Fin feature. Check it out by clicking here.

Fraser River Cleanup October 15

On Saturday, October 15, a group of local Trout Unlimited volunteers showed up at the Lions Pavilion near Safeway with waders, rubber gloves and trash bags. They spent the next few hours scouring the Fraser River from CR 804 to Rendezvous for trash and litter. They came up with quite a haul including foam mattress toppers, milk crates, plastic chairs, beer cans, insulation, T-posts  and lots of plastic and general litter. This is an incredibly popular, high-traffic, wildly visible zone that represents the local riparian environment to more of the public than any other area in the entire county.  Thanks to Charlie and Ann Garcia, Scott Linn, Rich Newton, Kirk and Darlene Klancke, Katherine Morris and Jerry Nissen for helping with the cleanup. The river looks much better!  Photo by Charlie Garcia.

Ballot Issue 1A Passed. Here's Why TU Supported it.

For many years, landowners, conservation groups, and trails advocates in Grand County (including TU) have worked to protect the headwaters of the Colorado River and its tributaries. No public funding has been involved, and we're happy that will finally change.  To see a 30-second video produced by TV18, click here.    For all the details, click here.  

County Commissioner Merrit Linke Video on Windy Gap

Grand County District 2 Commissioner Merrit Linke discussed the Windy Gap bypass proposal in a September 17, 2016 TV interview. Linke talked about the importance of the bypass to the river's health and even funding for the bypass. He also touched on the "big picture" of diversions, agricultural and municipal uses and even a bit of water law and history. The entire interview is available by clicking here.  

TU Banquet 2016

Our annual banquet was again held at the beautiful Devil's Thumb Ranch this past July. The banquet is our chapter's only annual fundraiser. This year's event was held on July 25 and we were fortunate to host our biggest crowd ever with over 200 people attending. Our auctions, boths silent and audible, were a big hit with many wonderful items purchased through very spirited bidding. The final numbers are still being tallied but it looks like we raised a considerable amount of money to continue our work to save the Fraser and upper Colorado rivers. We promise to put the money to good use. Many thanks to all of you who supported us by your generous contributions at the banquet and for your continuing support of TU.

Volunteer Opportunities

Our first "on the ground and in the water" steps to save the Fraser will require volunteers. We've spent lots of time figuring out how best to leverage our limited funds from TU by joining forces with others. We invest the money we raise to make real changes you can see here in Grand County's rivers. We're working with an experienced water engineering contractor to help us plan exactly what we will do first to implement real, positive change in the health of our rivers. 2016 has been our planning year. Our actual on-the-ground work will begin in 2017 and that's when we'll need your help. One example of the help we'll need is volunteers to plant willows in strategic places along the Fraser River. We've created a signup list of volunteers and a description of the specific work to be done on April 22, 2017 (Earth Day) and April 29, 2017. Check out the details just above here to the right of the photo of Julie from Winter Park Optical in her Save The Fraser cap and TU T-shirt.

Kirk Klancke's Latest Water Talk on TV 

At 7:30 AM on Saturday, July 16, TU president Kirk Klancke made a guest appearance on the local Grand County TV18's Morning Show, Good Morning Grand County. He talked about the health of our rivers, water diversions, and our changing relationship with Denver Water. The segment is available to view on the Grand County Television website by clicking on the Good Morning Winter Park logo on the upper right portion of the Home page. 

July 3, 2016 Kids Fishing Derby

Every year on the Sunday of the 4th of July weekend, the Fraser River Valley Lions Club puts on a wonderful family event. The Kids Fishing Derby gives kids a chance to catch fish, win prizes and enjoy some fun family time outdoors at the Lions Ponds near Safeway in Fraser. The Lions Club stocks and maintains the  ponds and puts on this free, fun event. Because there is a lot of overlap between Lions Club and Trout Unlimited membership, TU helps with the event. Thanks to TU members Alam Somerfeld, Kent Hughes, Jancie Hughes, Kirk Klancke and Jerry Nissen for working the event! To see all of Jerry's photos from the event, click here.



Killing the Colorado, the Truth Behind the Water Crisis in the West 

This series of articles curated by the non-profit journalism organization ProPublica is fascinating reading for anyone interested in water issues. It features articles on the issues surrounding water including dams, agriculture, how much water there really is, Las Vegas’ growth, an historical look at how we got to the dangerous position we find ourselves in today and much more. Visit the Killing the Colorado website by clicking here.

July 2, 2016 Run For Independence Photos

The annual Run For Independence is another annual local charity event. It's held on the 4th of July weekend each year and raises money for the Vacation Kidney Camp at the YMCA Snow Mountain Ranch here in Granby. The event was started by local TU board member Kent Hughes and his wife Jancie who lost their son, Scott, to kidney disease. While not a TU event, several TU board members help with the race each year so it just feels right to link to the photo album from the event here.  All photos are by TU board member Jerry Nissen.

Protect Our Rivers Colorado License Plate

Show your support for our rivers and Trout Unlimited by investing $25 in your new Colorado auto license plate. Your new license plate features the phrase "PROTECT OUR RIVERS" on it so everyone will know where you stand. Click here for the details.

June 13 Colorado water Quality Control Commission Meeting Comments

The purpose of the meeting was to evaluate the possibility of relaxing temperature limits on many of our streams in the fall. If you fish, you know how challenging those high temperatures can be for our fish, particularly brown trout which spawn in the fall. Local TU board member and former Wildlife Commission member Dennis Buechler made an excellent, brief presentation before the commission. Read the text of his remarks by clicking here.

TU & Lions Club Volunteers Help Veterans June 11 in Fraser

On Saturday morning, June 11, 2016 The Colorado River Headwaters Chapter of TU and the Fraser River Valley Lions Club joined forces to help veterans and their families through Project Sanctuary at the Lions fisning ponds near Safeway in Fraser. The vet support group Project Sanctuary was started in Colorado in 2007 and is dedicated to helping council military families by holding "family retreats".  Annually they  have a series of 26 separate retreats split between Winding River Ranch and YMCA of the Rockies.  Each retreat is scheduled for six days and is attended by eight to ten families.  On Saturday June 11, TU and Lions volunteers connected with Project Sanctuary participants who are enjoying a week long retreat at the YMCA of the Rockies. Lions Club (which stocks the ponds with trout) and TU volunteers helped the families net, bait, cast, and untangle lines.  To see more photos from this fun event, click 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 Headwaters Land Trust

On July 10, 2016 our friends at the Colorado Headwaters Land Trust (CHLT) held their annual fundraiser. The event was a great success at fundraising, but also at educating. An important part of the education was provided by this brief video produced by Michael Turner of TV18. To learn more about CHLT, visit their web site by clicking here. 

Local TU Meetings are Open to All

Our local Colorado River Headwaters Chapter board meets (with rare exceptions) the second Wednesday of each month in the back room of the Crooked Creek Saloon in Fraser. Meetings start at 6PM and everyone is welcome. We work on the projects we have coming up, plan events and fundraisers and plan how best to invest in saving our rivers. We also talk about fishing, the environment, drink beer and laugh a lot. Board member Paul Hollrah's wife likes him to attend the meetings because he always comes home in a great mood. Please join us!

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.

First TU Film Festival 

Our local Trout Unlimited Chapter debuted two new water-related films in the Middle Park High School auditorium on November 20, 2015. Thanks to all the interested folks who joined us despite the difficult weather and roads! We hope to have another similar event in the future.  Here's a little information on the films we showed. 

The Great Divide is the most comprehensive and educating film about the history and uses of water in Colorado. This film takes the perplexing issues around water and states them in a way that everyone can understand and feel empowered to help make a difference in our water future. For more about the movie, click here.

The Perfect Storm is a short film that tells the story of fighting for the rivers here in Grand County.

New Local Water Website

A new website on water issues in Grand County debuted in October, 2015. Our friend (and TU board member) Anna at Colorado Headwaters Land Trust created it as part of her masters program. Check it out by clicking here for one more perspective.

Toxic Mine Risk to Rivers

About three million gallons of toxic sludge spilled into a tributary of the Colorado River near Durango, CO on August 7, 2015.  Numerous mines in the US pose the same sort of threat.

We're fortunate that here in Grand County we were never a big mining center so we will won't have a problem of this nature. Our local struggle is more focused on maintining water quantity and managing the impacts of low flow rather than coping with a toxic spill.

The big picture is not that it's the EPA's fault for causing the spill. It's that there are 500,000 abandoned hard-rock mines in the US and thousands of them pose similar threats. TU national would like to be part of the solution, but current law makes it difficult for a non-profit to be much help in solving the problem. The upper 15 miles of the Animas River was dead for years before this spill happened because of leakage from mines. As a result, no trout died due to the spill.

 Here's a link to the Durango Herald which is frequently updating their information. Colorado Public Radio has produced several excellent features on the spill as well. Follow this link to their website and enter "animas" in the search box in the upper right of the page. Rocky Mountain PBS also had a segment on the spill, including an interview with a TU representative on their Friday 8/14/15 Colorado State of Mind show. Here's a link to the RMPBS website which already has several water-related features. 

Many Colorado Rivers Impacted by Mines

More than 1,600 miles of Colorado rivers are impacted by runoff from mines. The good news for us locally is that Grand County does not have any of the impacted rivers. For more detail and a detailed map click here.  

Family Fly Fishing Day Photos
Our third annual Family Fly Fishing event was again held at the beautiful Trail River Ranch inside Rocky Mountain National Park on Friday, July 31, 2015. Kids (and parents) learned the basics of fly fishing, the importance of water in the west and, best of all, caught some fish. To see the photos from the event, click here to go the photo album generously made available online by our friends at the Fraser River Valley Lions Club.

Special thanks to our instructors from TU, Wayne Balnicki and Paul Hollrah, Bonnie Severson from Trail River Ranch and Jerry Nissen for organizing the event. 

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.

Record Low at Lake Mead

Lake Mead relies on water from the Colorado to provide both water and electricity for Las Vegas and other parts of the southwest. Our ongoing 20-year drought has lowered the water level at Lake Mead to its lowest level since it was first filled from the Colorado 78 years ago. The drought, combined with the increasing demands will soon push the water level below the level at which the water driven electric turbines that produce electricity for Vegas will stop spinning. Vegas is building a new, lower intake (for $1.4 billion...yes billion, not million) to bring water from Lake Mead to Las Vegas for its municipal use. For an article with more details from the April 23 Las Vegas Review-Journal, 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.

Give TU Membership to a Teen

The holidays are fast approaching. What can you give the teen who has everything? Don't give them a thing at all, give them a TU membership! Trout Unlimited has a special offer to get teens engaged with something they will enjoy for their entire life. Follow this link for the details.

Colorado Water Plan Update 

Colorado is working on its first-ever state-wide water plan. An important component of that plan is the Basin Implementation Plan (BIP). Our friends at the Audubon Society's Western River Action Network came our with a brief summary of what they like and don't like from what has been presented so far. To see their informative one-page summary, click here.   

In late February, 2014, information about the first-ever Colorado water plan was published by the Northwest Colorado Council of Government. Planning based on science rather than political or economic clout will be good for our rivers and larger environment. Read more under the Conservation & Science tab of this website or by clicking here.

Science or Politics 

Trout Unlimited believes science should trump politics. As a result, we strongly disagree with a letter to the editor which appeared in the July 16, 2014 Sky-Hi News. To read TU's response to these politically charged comments, click here.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Robert F. Kennedy Jr, Others Talk About Water On StarTalk 

During February of 2015, the StarTalk podcast hosted by astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson devoted two entire episodes to a discussion of water. Guests Robert F. Kennedy Jr., The Gyalwang Drukpa, Dr. Tess Russo and Jason Sudeikis participated in an enlightened, informative discussion about water on our world and others. The podcasts are available by clicking here.

Confused About Colorado Water Law?

Water law in Colorado was written when it was still legal to own a slave. It's complex and often confusing. We're lucky to have a very readable one-page summary written by District 51 Water Commissioner Sue Avre to help us all understand the basics. Click here to check it out on our new Colorado Water Law page. Thanks Sue!

Fracking Water Recycling

6.2 billion gallons will be used next year for fracking in Colorado. What happens to that water? How much is recycled or can be reused? For an interesting report by Colorado Public Radio, click here.

Moffat Project Study Executive Summary & Final EIS

Confused about the Moffat Diversion Project? A study completed by Colorado State University in the fall of 2013 brought up serious concerns about the impact of reduced flows resulting from the Moffat project. This is the sort of science based analysis that helped lead to the favorable agreement of March, 2014. Supporting TU helps us to develop and use this sort of information in our efforts to protect our rivers and the environment. We believe the important decisions about our rivers and the environment should be influenced by science not money or politics. For an excellent, readable summary of the study's results, click here. The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) is available by clicking here.

Grand Lake Water Clarity Report

Grand Lake had long been famous for its amazingly clear water, but that's changed. The Bureau of Reclamation has finalized its Grand Lake Water Clarity Technical Review and Work Plan that addresses concerns of water clarity at Colorado’s Grand Lake. For more information and to access the report, click here.  

Trout Magazine Scam

Some Trout Unlimited members recently received an invoice from Platinum Publishing Service located in White City, Oregon, for renewal of TROUT magazine at a cost of $79.95.This is not a legitimate invoice from Trout Unlimited. TU is based in Woolly Bugger, WV and that's the only place an invoice would originate.

Teaching Kids to Fish

Several TU members were lucky enough to spend much of a day teaching a group of kids about the environment and fly fishing. We met East Grand Middle School science teacher Alex Romanyshyn and his students at Monarch Lake and spent several hours talking about the environment, coaching fly fishing and watching moose. Thanks to Darlene Carter, Jancie & Kent Hughes, Kirk Klancke and Jerry Nissen for participating! For a link to photos, including numerous moose shots, click here.


Every year, Jon Ewert, a team of DOW employees and volunteers from TU meet on one of our local rivers to do an evaluation of the health of that fishery. This is shocking (to the fish) because the team was electro-fishing in order to do a thorough inventory of the fish in this segment of the river. The process stuns the fish and allows them to be netted, counted, measured and released. Watching the process and the results was fascinating. Our film crew for the TU documentary The Mighty Colorado River was also on hand gathering content for future episodes. Check our the photos of the event in our photo gallery by clicking here. Watch for upcoming episodes of Trout Unlimited's The Mighty Colorado River on Comcast Grand County TV18 and from their website at

Colorado Declared Most Endangered River in USA

American Rivers announced the Colorado is America's most endangered river. This announcement was the lead story in the most recent Grand County news. Click here to watch the newscast. For more information, instructions on how to make your voice heard and a link to a moving video, click Colorado is US Most Endangered River . Also, please look for more information about the Colorado under our News tab by clicking here

Think Destroying the Colorado to Grow Grass In The Desert is a Good Idea? Don't Read This!

If you are one of the people who prefer lush green lawns in a desert to a healthy natural environment and a river with life in it, you probably don't want to read this. You don't want to be confused by the facts. You're probably one of the many people who prefers opinion based news to information based news. If, on the other hand, you see value in working toward a sustainable balance between urban water use and a sustainable natural environment, click here. 

Windy Gap Letter

Dennis Buechler, the Director Emeritus of the Colorado Wildlife Federation, sent an excellent letter to the EPA, Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Public Health & Environment Water Control Division on January 2, 2013. He discussed the positives of the December 2, 2012 1041 agreement regarding the Windy Gap Firming project and pointed out some important reasons to remain vigilant about the process. This brief letter is well worth reading and is available here

For more water-related news, go to our News page by clicking here.

Best Article Yet on Threats to the Colorado

  If you only have time to read one article about the plight of our namesake river, click here. To learn much more, go to both our News and Conservation & Science pages on this web site.CTU Action Page  Colorado TU maintains a great list of current issues and events. Here's a link to the Colorado TUAction page.

Older News Still Available  Our Home page was getting too crowded with important news, so some of our older (but still relevant) news has been moved to a new "Archived News" page under the News tab on this web site. Click here to go directly to that page.


Spill or Kill Reporting

During October, 2016 several instances of dumping into the Fraser from the Moffat Tunnel were discovered. What should you do if you see a spill into a river or lake? Call 800-424-8802.  The National Spill Response Center notifies all local agencies

If you see:

  • Any petroleum product in the water
  • Any releases to waterways
  • Any mercury spills
  • Any sanitary sewer releases
  • Any releases that result in injury and/or death
  • Any deliberate releases or dumping

Save The Fraser River

  The Fraser River was recently named as the third most endangered river in the US. To find out why, and what you can do about it, keep reading.
  The local town of Fraser was known as the Western Whitehouse during the Eisenhower administration because Ike spent so much of his free time here fishing the Fraser and other local rivers. Today, the Fraser River still offers excellent fishing despite the diversion of the majority of its water. The Colorado River Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited is one of the leaders in the effort to protect the Fraser, the headwaters of the Colorado and the associated cold-water fisheries in a difficult situation. 
  Our members are dedicated to protecting this amazing fishery and environment to the best of our ability. We understand that previous generations of western Colorado residents sold the rights to a substantial portion of the water that originates here to communities on the Front Range of Colorado, and that has consequences for our rivers today. We realize that much of the water which historically flowed through the Colorado to the Gulf of California and the Pacific will continue to be diverted across the Continental Divide to Front Range cities and will ultimately find its way to the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. While we would like to see as little water diversion as possible, our efforts are focused on minimizing the effects of that inevitable water diversion on the natural environment. 
  By careful stewardship of our environment and through tireless education, we will do our best to maintain a healthy riparian environment here in Grand County.This website exists, in large part, to facilitate education about the science and the practical aspects of the challenges faced by our rivers and environment. You'll find links to a great deal of information and some suggestions as to concrete steps all of us can take to ensure the long-term health of our rivers and  environment.
  For a link to the Save The Fraser page on this web site, click here.

Defend the colorado

  What can you actually do to help save our rivers? One easy step is simply to sign up on the Defend the Colorado web site and to Like it on Facebook.
  Don’t let the Colorado River go down the drain. Soon, 80% of the Colorado’s water could be diverted from its headwaters to the sprawling cities and suburbs of the Front Range. Only a trickle would be left for fish, wildlife, recreation and the small headwaters communities. Join the fight to protect the Colorado and Fraser rivers and our Colorado way of life.
  Follow this link to the Defend the Colorado website for a wealth of information including links to several video clips by Ted Wood from the Story Group.

Contact Information

Colorado River Headwaters Chapter
Trout Unlimited
PO Box 990
Winter Park, CO 80482-0990

Trout Unlimited Mission Statement

  The Colorado Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited mission is to conserve, protect, and restore the Upper Colorado River and its tributaries for present and future generations.

National Trout Unlimited and Colorado Trout Unlimited

  The Colorado River Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited is an integral part of the network of TU Chapters across the state of Colorado and throughout the country. Our Chapter is especially active for several reasons. The fishing here is wonderful and it is also at risk because of human activity. By working locally and in a broader area with help from TU in Colorado and nationally, we will do our best to protect and preserve our fishing opportunities and the rivers on which we rely. TU is the perfect organization within which we can achieve our goals. If our goals coincide with yours, please consider joining us. Click here for more about becoming a member.

Keep Grand Lake Blue

  Grand Lake (also known as Spirit Lake) is Colorado's largest natural lake and the first stop for the Colorado River as it leaves Rocky Mountain National Park. Like the Colorado and the Fraser Rivers, Grand Lake faces a variety of challenges resulting from human activity. The Colorado River Headwaters Chapter of National TU is dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of all our local surface water including this very special lake. Click here for our Grand Lake Home Page.


  Welcome to the Colorado River Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited's web site. Because so many of our members have slow internet connections here in rural Colorado, there are no moving images, flashing banners or the like. There are also relatively few photos on most pages, but there is a photo gallery that we're beginning to populate. If you discover any errors, broken links or etc. please let me know.

  Jerry Nissen, TU Board Member & Chief Web Lackey

TU State & National

For the National TU's website, click here.
For  Colorado Trout Unlimited's website, click here.