NRCS Technical Note: Colorado Coldwater Fish Stream Habitat

Colorado Coldwater Fish Stream Habitat
Coldwater streams as discussed in this Technical Note refer to streams that maintain temperatures of 70 degrees Fahrenheit or less for most of the year. Most coldwater streams in Colorado are located at high elevation or are spring fed by cold ground water. Dissolved oxygen levels are usually higher than in warmer streams. The combination of cold temperatures and high oxygen levels, make many of these streams suitable habitat for trout.
A number of factors work together to make a coldwater stream either suited or not suited as trout habitat. Aquatic ecosystems are like terrestrial ecosystems in that they must provide food, shelter, and other life requisites for the species living there. A limiting factor may restrict the number or species of fish found in a stream. Oftentimes limiting factors for trout in coldwater streams are food production, shelter, and/or spawning habitat (Hooper 1973). If a coldwater fishery is the goal, the NRCS planner should evaluate stream habitat in relation to the life requisites described below then make recommendations that address any missing or deficient elements.

Water Quality:
Water quality may be a limiting factor for trout in streams. Trout are cold water fish species and as such, have specific water quality requirements that must be met in order to survive and … Bookmark the permalink.

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