Drought / Hot Spots for Trout

HOT SPOTS FOR TROUT: Monitoring Water Temperature

The 2017-2018 winter season in the Roaring Fork watershed had significantly lower-than-average snowfall, leading to a below-average snowpack. As a result, flows throughout the Roaring Fork watershed are lower than historic averages, which could lead to increased stream temperatures.

Water temperature plays a vital role in determining the quality and quantity of aquatic life. Aquatic organisms, from plants to insects to fish, are adapted to live within specific temperature ranges. In the Roaring Fork watershed aquatic organisms including plants, aquatic insects, and fish, are adapted to cold temperature ranges.  In the upper limits of that range, organisms becomes stressed, making them more susceptible to disease, increasing angling-related mortality in fish, and reducing their ability to compete for limited resources. 

Temperature also affects the amount of oxygen that is available for respiration because the amount of oxygen that dissolves in the water decreases as temperatures increase. In addition, nearly all other water quality parameters are influenced by temperature.  A variety of factors influence stream temperature including man-made dams and diversion structures, riparian vegetation and shade, local weather, stream surface area, sediment load, solar energy, altitude, surface area of the stream, runoff sources, and stream flow.

In a drought year, it is important to monitor stream temperature to stay informed of overall stream health and aware of where waterways may be stressed.



With low flows likely throughout the Roaring Fork Watershed this summer, Roaring Fork Conservancy is asking for your help in monitoring stream temperatures. By collecting stream temperature data, you can help locate areas of concern in our watershed. Once impacted areas are identified, Roaring Fork Conservancy can advocate for and implement best management practices to protect these vital ecosystems.

HOT SPOTS FOR TROUT is a citizen science water temperature monitoring initiative in the Roaring Fork Watershed in Colorado, originated by Roaring Fork Conservancy. Citizens are asked to use a reliable thermometer, or pick one up in our office in Basalt, and post the data to our online database.  

To become one of our citizen scientists and upload air and temperature data, please CREATE A PROFILE HERE.

Anyone can VIEW DATA HERE.

  |  2018 Roaring Fork Valley DROUGHT RESPONSE





Thank you Fishpond, Inc. for providing thermometers for Hot Spots for Trout!

Who? What? When? Where? Why? of Hot Spots for Trout

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Why Monitor Stream Temperature?

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Contact Us

Roaring Fork Conservancy

PHONE: (970) 927-1290
EMAIL: info@roaringfork.org

PO Box 3349
Basalt, CO 81621

22800 Two Rivers Road
Basalt, CO 81621

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