Community Conservation Featured

Clint Packo's Freestone Aquatics tackles stream restoration in Colorado

Clint Packo. If you don’t know him, you should. He was one of the first people I met back when I first started with TU. I liked him from the get-go. He was sharp, a no-nonsense guy who clearly loved fish and fish habitat. His outfit, Freestone Aquatics, Inc. in Littleton, Colo., became a TU Business member almost immediately. And in time, we became friends.

The old saying goes that they don’t care how much you know until they know how much they care. Clint Packo and the staff at Freestone know fish and fish habitat. And they care deeply. Take stream restoration, for example. The whole thing starts with an evaluation to find the hidden potential within any piece of property. Whenever considering a project related to stream restoration, it’s extremely important to understand the present conditions and dynamics of the aquatic ecosystem. This can be as simple as taking a few samples or it may involve a more intensive analysis that can take several seasons. The primary consideration of Freestone Aquatics on any ecosystem evaluation is to understand the goals and vision of the project, large or small. Once the goals of the project have been clearly established, Freestone Aquatics can then provide a plan to meet those goals that is economically viable and biologically sound.

Design comes next. This is crucial to the success of any stream restoration project. Different projects require different objectives including improved riparian habitat, waterfowl habitat, or trout habitat. The design phase is about the tiered collaboration of landowners, fisheries/wildlife professionals, hydrologists, engineers, and permitting agencies to produce a comprehensive stream design for a sustainable aquatic ecosystem.

Then the exciting part begins — real work, in stream habitat construction. Again, Freestone Aquatics does it.

They provide general contractor, and construction management services to make the design a reality in the stream and remain one of the only firms in the country whose staff designs, permits and builds all phases of the aquatic ecosystem. Their goal throughout this phase is to promote long-term sustainability while maintaining the integrity of the natural environment. Their trademark is a light hand on the land and in the stream. A year post-construction, you might not ever be able to tell they were there. But the fish will know. With habitat enhancement structures, streambank stabilization and the creation of new habitats, the fish will most definitely know. And what’s more, you’ll know you’re doing the right thing.

Clint Packo always goes the extra mile. That’s just who he is. That’s why he’s a Gold Level TU Business member. That’s why he serves on the board of Colorado TU. That’s why he’s a well-known and respected member of the fly-fishing community across the West. Freestone Aquatics – they’re the real deal.

Freestone Aquatics, Inc.               

Clint Packo

Littleton, CO 80127

(303) 807-7805

By Walt Gasson.