In 2013 TU partnered with a landowner to remove a 500-foot section of concrete rip-rap on a popular recreational stretch of the Gunnison River. The armored bank was causing channel incision, and depositing sediment in undesirable locations downstream. Lack of vegetative cover and in-channel refuge increased trout susceptibility to low flows and increased water temperature. TU staff created a functional stream/riparian interface and increased river safety by removing concrete rip-rap and rebar embedding in the bank armoring. The constructed velocity control structures and work to reestablish native vegetation will provide bank stability and refuge for trout.
TU cooperated with the landowner and combined resources to improve habitat, user safety, and accessibility. This project will benefit the landowner, boaters, anglers and recreational users on the Van Tyle State Wildlife Area.
The project removed an eyesore in a high-traffic reach of the Gunnison River. The local community responded very positively to the riverbank makeover. This project jump started a larger scale project to restore 3 miles of the Gunnison River through the Gunnison River State Wildlife Area. This project was completed in 2018 in coordination with the City of Gunnison and Colorado Parks and wildlife.
Cary Denison, Gunnison River Project Coordinator
Jesse Kruthaupt, Gunnison River Project Specialist
Author of this Page
Jesse Kruthaupt, Project Specialist