PURPOSE AND SCOPE
Friends of Rivers and Renewables (FORR) recently identified a need for a comprehensive stream gaging1 system in the Roaring Fork Watershed to inform multiple stakeholders involved in natural resource management decisions with timely, unified, and scientifically defensible stream flow data. This need was also classified as a priority in the Roaring Fork Conservancy’s (RFC) 2011 Watershed Management Plan. In April 2012, FORR and RFC held a collaborative Stream Gage Needs Workshop, the results of which have been compiled in a Draft Summary Report for free distribution to all interested parties (hereafter referred to as the ‘Workshop Summary’). Participants at the Workshop identified 7 specific development goals for a proposed gaging network, and selected 8 stream reaches in the watershed as top-ranked priorities for gaging. These reaches are termed first tier priorities.
The purpose of this report is to recommend physical locations for stream gages on each first tier reach, provide a brief analysis of the strengths or notable weaknesses for a particular site, and discuss alternative options for a given site where appropriate. Site recommendations are driven by a combination of technical and non-technical factors, and follow USGS-based guidelines for gaging locations. Technical factors include the existence of stream channel morphology amenable to gaging discharge, and locations favorable to wireless communications network needs. Non-technical factors include site accessibility, land ownership, and stakeholder criteria as specified in the Workshop Summary and other communications.