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Fryingpan River Research

RFC Conducts Comprehensive Study of Lower Fryingpan River
Two years of extreme drought conditions and declining wildlife populations has Roaring Fork Conservancy and local citizens concerned for the health of the Fryingpan River. Beginning this month, Roaring Fork Conservancy is launching into a series of studies to better understand the river’s health. The studies, collectively called the Comprehensive Lower Fryingpan River Assessment has an overall goal to ensure the environment and economical sustainability of the Lower Fryingpan River, including its designation as a “Gold Medal Fishery”. The 13 miles of river below Ruedi Dam is some of the most popular fly fishing in the world and pumps millions of dollars annually into the local economy. For more information visit or download the Background Document.

Rick Lofaro Explains 2013-2014 Fryingpan River Study

Timeline for Lower Fryingpan Comprehensive Assessment
Roaring Fork Conservancy has updated the timeline for the 2013-2014 Comprehensive Lower Fryingpan River Study. To view the study plan visit click here

2008 Seven Castles Creek Debris Flow Study

The Evaluation of the Seven Castles Creek Sediment Inflow on the Fryingpan River was initiated after an August 2007 debris flow on Seven Castles Creek that moved a large amount of sediment into the Fryingpan River. Roaring Fork Conservancy worked collaboratively with the Colorado Division of Wildlife, the Town of Basalt, the U.S. Bureau of Reclaimation, Colorado River District, and Eagle County to fund this project. Below is the report and executive summary.

2008 Seven Castles Sediment Inflow on Fryingpan River Report

2007 Report on BOR's May 2006 Ruedi Reservoir Release
At the request of Basalt citizens, Roaring Fork Conservancy initiated a study of the effects of a 2006 coordinated reservoir release flow on the lower Fryingpan River above Basalt. In the spring of 2006, the Bureau of Reclamation increased flows in the lower Fryingpan River because of above average snow pack and resulting increased run-off. The resultant peak flow of 814 cfs had not been reached for seven years. Since Ruedi Reservoir started filling in May 1968 and diversions from the Upper Fryingpan began in 1972 as part of the Fryingpan-Arkansas (Fry-Ark) Project, the magnitude, timing, and duration of flows have been altered. We looked at maximum flows (one, three, and seven-day) and monthly (May and June) averages to determine how the 2006 flows compared to the historical record and modeled data.

2007 Report on BOR's May 2006 Ruedi Reservoir Release

2002-2006 Fryingpan/Roaring Fork Rivers Fishery Study

Ruedi Dam and Ruedi Reservoir on the Fryingpan RiverIn conjunction with the Fryingpan Valley Economic Study, Roaring Fork Conservancy has completed the two-year Fryingpan/Roaring Fork Rivers Fishery Study under the direction of Bill Miller of Miller Ecological Consultants. The fishery study is geared toward understanding the needs of the trout species that inhabit the Fryingpan and Roaring Fork Rivers. Below is 1) the executive summary of the report, 2) the full final report, 3) a supplemental report summarizing macro-invertebrate and thermograph data from the 2002/2003 winter season, and 4) a literature review tracking research and field studies that have been performed on the Fryingpan and lower Roaring Fork Rivers since 1943.

Summary Report: A Study of Macroinvertebrate Community Resonse to Winter Flows on the Fryingpan River - August 11, 2004
Summary Report: A Study of Macroinvertebrate Community Response to Winter Flows on the Fryingpan River - September 10, 2006
Fryingpan/Roaring Fork Rivers Fisheries Study Executive Summary - June 30, 2003
Fryingpan/Roaring Fork River Fisheries Study Final Report - June 30, 2003
Fryingpan/Roaring Fork River Supplemental Macroinvertebrate Report - September 24, 2003
Fryingpan/Roaring Fork River Literature Review - February 27, 2002

2002 Fryingpan Valley Economic Study
fryingpanriverThe Fryingpan Valley Economic Study, which was conducted during 2000 and 2001, represents an in-depth evaluation of recreation activities on the Fryingpan River and at Ruedi Reservoir. The study addresses the economic impacts of these activities to the local and regional economy. It also describes visitor use patterns, demographics, preferences, and opinions.
Related Study:

Photo by Robin Henry


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2013-15 Fryingpan Study Funders

Aspen Skiing Company Environment Foundation
Eagle County
RFC Donors
Ruedi Water & Power Authority
Town of Basalt

2013-15 Fryingpan Study Partners
Colorado Mountain College - Natural Resource Management Program
Colorado Parks & Wildlife
Colorado State University
Dee Malone
Miller Ecological Consultants, Inc.
Roaring Fork Conservancy
Ruedi Water & Power Authority
Lotic Hydrological LLC
White River National Forest

Fryingpan River in the News
Drought Prompts Study of Gold Medal Fishery Near Basalt - Aspen Public Radio 10/30/13

Scientists Check Fryingpan Health
- Aspen Times 10/29/13

Is There Something Fishy with the Fryingpan
- Moldy Chum 10/1/13

Is There Something Fishy with the Fryingpan
- Aspen Daily News 9/29/13

Concerns Arise About Fryingpan River's Health
- Aspen Times 8/16/13


Untitled Document

ROARING FORK CONSERVANCY Brings People Together to Protect Our Rivers
© 2002-2014 ROARING FORK CONSERVANCY P.O. Box 3349, Basalt, Colorado 81621 Tel: (970) 927-1290

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