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September River Notes



Happy New WATER Year! ūüíß

Sign up for weekly river and snowpack reports

Friday, October 1 was the beginning of a new water year. The water year, which begins on October 1 every year, is a term commonly used to describe a 12-month period for which precipitation totals are measured. Its beginning differs from the calendar year because in the late autumn, winter snow begins to accumulate creating the first and primary source of moisture that will become next summer’s runoff. The high-elevation Engelmann spruce and subalpine fir forests in the watershed act as frozen reservoirs, collecting and holding the winter snow, then slowly release the valuable stores of water
throughout spring and early summer.

With the arrival of water year 2022, we happily usher in the cooler weather and beauty of fall colors and the optimism that a new year can bring. Although unforeseen challenges lie ahead, we all remain hopeful for a good
or even average water year to replenish the ecosystem.



Did you know we write a weekly river and snowpack report? Every Thursday afternoon you can read the report on RFC's website and social media pages, OR read it every Friday on page 2 of The Aspen Times, OR sign up to receive the reports in your inbox.










Stream Temperature Update

While local stream flows remain well below average for this time of the year, stream temperatures have dropped throughout the fall and are now below the 68¬įF threshold considered stressful for aquatic cold-water species. Here are some additional updates:

ūüíß RFC volunteer citizen scientists collected water temperature data¬†through the Hot Spots For Trout program this summer. While these¬†volunteers collected data throughout the entire watershed, it was¬†the lower Roaring Fork and Crystal Rivers that primarily exceeded¬†68¬į F in this dataset.

ūüíß This matches RFC temperature logger data which show steady temperature declines since mid-August.

ūüíß Increased releases from Ruedi Reservoir in late summer/early fall¬† provided a much needed cooling effect on the Fryingpan and lower Roaring Fork Rivers.

ūüíß The lower Crystal River, which does not benefit from Ruedi releases, maintained temperatures near the 68¬įF threshold into mid-September and have only just begun to drop in the last two weeks.



We are extremely grateful to the Hot Spots for Trout volunteers that collected and reported almost 300 stream temperature readings since early July!  Thank you!

Rob Angier, Ted Behar, Jeff Davlyn, Sheldon Doolan, Ken Everett, Abby Harris, Greg Jeung, Jennifer Long, Lani Kitching, Brent Maiolo,                         Buzz McArthur, John McDermott, William Mitchell, Christine Pearson, Joel Shute, Karin Teague, Doug Walker, Steve Wilson



North Star Preserve, Coal Creek and the Crystal River Make Great Classrooms



RFC educators are busy leading school field trips throughout the valley. Students and teachers are excited to get out this fall and enjoy the beautiful riparian areas in the Roaring Fork Valley!

We are now scheduling for November and December school programs. Teachers, if you are interested in scheduling a program contact education director, Megan Dean, at



Photo submission details and additional information can be found at








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Contact Us

Roaring Fork Conservancy

PHONE: (970) 927-1290

PO Box 3349
Basalt, CO 81621

22800 Two Rivers Road
Basalt, CO 81621

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