Upper Ohio Creek Flow Restoration
Trout Unlimited is working to improve stream flows and fish habitat in Castle Creek and the Ohio Creek--tributaries of the Gunnison River--by collaborating with irrigators on irrigation infrastructure, irrigation management, and riparian improvements.
During years of below average precipitation or above average temperatures, Acme ditch diversions can significantly diminish or dry up several miles of Castle Creek and Ohio Creek. Improving irrigation management and steam flows will make the agriculture operation and aquatic habitat more resilient to climate change and drought.
TU is providing technical and financial assistance to improve irrigation efficiency, and management guidelines to reduce diversions from Castle Creek. TU is in the process of communicating with water users about the relationship between irrigation management and healthy flows.
Plans for efficiency improvements have grown from one irrigation ditch user to two. The work has increased monitoring and communication between ditch users, which will reduce water being unnecessarily diverted and improve stream flows for fish.
Jesse Kruthaupt, Gunnison River Project Specialist, email@example.com