Progress in Restoring Favorite Big Thompson Public Fishing Hole
[This section of the river was restored as part of the Jasper Lake project, completed in April 2017]
By Dave Piske, Rocky Mountain Flycasters Chapter of Trout Unlimited, and member of the BTWC Board of Directors
Prior to the record-breaking Big Thompson River flood in September 2013, the Narrows County Park, located just upstream of Narrows Canyon, was a favorite evening fishing spot, especially for anglers residing in or near Loveland. Reflecting gratitude for that convenient location, and the high quality trout habitat that existed at Narrows Park, volunteers from our chapter annually conducted clean-ups of the Narrows Park.
The 2013 flood waters scoured the stream bottom, moved large boulders downstream of the Park, and left a smooth, graveled stream bed that is now barren of holding waters for fish.
As part of a massive stream restoration project, the Big Thompson Watershed Coalition, with its office located in Loveland, is managing a number of complex river and riparian restoration projects, one of which is called Jasper Lake to Narrows, and includes Narrows County Park.
That project will rehabilitate extensive trout habitat and adjacent riparian vegetation, leading to, and including the public fishing access to the Big Thompson at Narrows Park.
With a goal of continuing the long-standing support from Rocky Mountain Flycasters, a donation of $4.500 was transmitted to the Big Thompson Watershed Coalition on December 14, 2016.This donation was made possible by gifts to RMF from two sources; one from Cargill (thank you Linda Jefferies) and a gift from the Trout and Salmon Foundation, located in the Chicago area and
including members who ardently support the health of the Big Thompson fishery.
These funds will be used to pay a portion of the costs of post-flood restoration in the Jasper Lake to Narrows project. That project’s design has been completed and is now in the permitting stage. Assuming that phase is timely completed, implementation will be underway in Spring, 2017.