NewsCovering Colorado


CPW to host Lake Pueblo State Park dam water standards meeting

Posted at 9:33 AM, Sep 06, 2023

PUEBLO — Colorado Parks and Wildlife is hosting a public meeting tonight to discuss adjusting the temperature standards for water in the Arkansas River, below the dam at Lake Pueblo State Park.

The one-hour meeting will happen tonight from 6 p.m. at the Park Visitor Center. Colorado Parks and Wildlife tells me the proposal to adjust temperature standards is needed because that section of the river has been sufficiently cooled since the lake pueblo dam was put in. Adjusting the temperature standards will just reflect the reality of what the temperatures have been since the dam’s installation.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife says the current, default temperature standards cannot be met from July through December. That’s because the dam created an unnatural condition, creating a cold-water fishery in the tailwater below the dam. This section of the river includes the pueblo state fish hatchery. The 80-acre hatchery is home to the only facility in the state that breeds cold-and warm water species of fish and the temperature of the water can determine if the hatchery can continue to operate. As for people who fish and use the dam, Colorado Parks and Wildlife says not much will change.

“There shouldn’t be any impact to people using the dam, using the fishery. We don’t think they will see any changes. If anything, they will see a slight improvement. We are trying to reduce our temperatures coming from the hatchery just to keep this section of the river as cool as possible and to keep those trout happy,” said Melynda May, CPW’s Water Quality Coordinator.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is proposing to keep the existing temperature standards for the months of Jan. to June. The agency hopes to adjust the standards for the warmer months so they can reflect the slightly warmer river water temperatures that happen July through December.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife water quality team will present the history behind the current water temperature standards and the agency’s reasonings for wanted to adjust those standards. After the presentation, the room will be open for questions and comment.

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