Colorado Headwaters Sub Regions

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Includes information on: Water Consumption, Recreation and Environmental Conditions, Projects



Grand County Water Information Program

Mission is to coordinate, manage and consolidate the comprehensive water quality monitoring, information and educational programs in Grand County, Colorado.



Grand County Learning by Doing

A partnership of East and West Slope water stakeholders that emerged from the Colorado River Cooperative Agreement to respond to impacts on the Colorado River from transmountain diversions.



Listed according to study type: multi-topic, flow, aquatic biology, riparian biology, water quality, or geomorphology.


Multi-topic Studies

Grand County Stream Management Plan:
Monitoring Reports for 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2010 Stream Management Plan

By: Tetra Tech for Grand County, 2010-2015
Type: Multi-Topic
Notes: The purpose of this Stream Management Plan is to provide the frame work for maintaining a healthy stream system in Grand County, Colorado through the protection and enhancement of aquatic habitat while at the same time protecting local water uses, and retaining flexibility for future water operations.


Moffat Collection System Project Request for Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification (Final Report)

By: Denver Water, CDM Smith for Colorado Water Quality Control Division, June 2015
Type: Multi-Topic
Notes: The Proposed Action has the potential to impact surface waters in seven major watersheds in the region as a result of changes to the timing and/or volume of water diverted into or out of each watershed. In general, the four impacted watersheds on the west side of the Continental Divide (Fraser River, Williams Fork, Blue River, and Upper Colorado River watersheds) will see an overall increase in water being diverted out of the basin, with flows in the Fraser River and Williams Fork watersheds being the most impacted by the project.


Windy Gap Firming Project Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS)

By: Bureau of Reclamation Great Plains Region, December 2014
Type: Multi-Topic
Notes: This Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) describes and analyzes the potential effects of the proposed Windy Gap Firming Project (WGFP) and four alternatives to the proposed project including the No Action alternative. The WGFP includes construction of new water storage reservoirs that would allow more reliable water deliveries to Colorado’s Front Range and West Slope communities and industry from the existing Windy Gap Project.


Upper Colorado River Basin Information

By: Leonard Rice Engineering, January 2007
Type: Multi-Topic
Notes: General information regarding surface water projects and operations within the Upper Colorado River basin.



Morgan Gulch – Instream Flow Water Right Recommendation

By: Bureau of Land Management, July 2012
Type: Flow Recommendation
Notes: Morgan Gulch originates on the Arapahoe National Forest approximately seven miles southeast of Williams Fork
Reservoir. This reach begins at the headwaters of the creek and extends downstream to the confluence with the Williams Fork River.


Little Green Creek – Instream Flow Recommendation

By: Trout Unlimited w/ Colorado Division of Wildlife, December 2010
​Type: Flow Recommendation
Notes: Little Green Creek originates in the headwaters of the Gore Range at an elevation of approximately 9,800 feet. Over the next 3.75 miles it flows generally east through the Arapahoe National Forest as it drops to its confluence with Muddy Creek at an elevation of 8,400 feet.


Unnamed tributary to Muddy Creek – Instream Flow Recommendation

By: Trout Unlimited w/ Colorado Division of Wildlife, February 2010
Type: Flow Recommendation
Notes: This unnamed tributary to Muddy Creek originates in the headwaters of the Gore Range at an elevation of approximately 9,800 feet. Over the next 1.75 miles it flows generally east through the Arapahoe National Forest as it drops to its confluence with Muddy Creek at an elevation of 8,760 feet.


Aquatic Biology Studies

Sport Fish Research Studies, Job 4: Whirling Disease Resistant Wild Strain Establishment, Brood Stock Development andEvaluations

By: Eric R. Fetherman, Ph.D., George J. Schisler, Ph.D., CPW, August 2015
Type: Aquatic Biology
Notes:  These experiments are designed to establish, develop, and evaluate “wild” strain whirling disease resistant rainbow trout for reintroduction into areas where self sustaining populations have been lost due to whirling disease.


Lake Granby Fish Survey and Management Data

By: Jon Ewert; CPW Aquatic Biologist, 2012
Topic: Aquatic Biology
Notes:  Lake Granby, approximately 7,000 acres when full, is one of the largest coldwater reservoirs in the state. It is a focal point of the Grand County tourism economy and offers many amenities. Focuses on all fish within lake comparing each set of data from previous years to monitor current populations.


Colorado Lake and Reservoir Food Web Ecology Project Summary

By: Colorado Parks and Wildlife, 2014
Topic: Aquatic Biology
Notes: Conduct summer profundal index netting (SPIN) to obtain lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) population estimates in Grand Lake and Taylor Park Reservoir.

Sport Fish Research Studies Federal Aid Project F-394-R14

By: Colorado Parks & Wildlife Aquatic Research Section, August 2015
Type: Aquatic Biology
Notes:   The purpose of this project was to investigate methods to improve spawning, rearing, and survival of sport fish species in hatcheries and in the wild.


Fish Survey and Management Information (Colorado River near Parshall)

By:   Colorado Parks and Wildlife; Jon Ewert – Aquatic Biologist (Hot Sulphur Springs), 2015
Topic: Aquatic Biology
Notes: Location is approximately 10 miles east of Kremmling, CO on US highway 40


Fish Survey and Management Information (Fraser River)

By: Colorado Parks and Wildlife; Jon Ewert – Aquatic Biologist (Hot Sulphur Springs), 2015
Topic: Aquatic Biology
Notes: The Town of Fraser, in partnership with other entities including Trout Unlimited and the Colorado Division of Wildlife (now CPW), completed a habitat improvement project in this area in 2005 (the Safeway station, located immediately behind the Safeway store in the town of Fraser)


Colorado River Aquatic Resources Investigations Federal Aid Project F-237R-18

By: Colorado Division of Wildlife Aquatic Wildlife Research Section, 2011
Type: Aquatic Biology
Notes:  Document the relative abundance and distribution of the aquatic invertebrate fauna of the upper Colorado River between the confluence with the Blue River and Windy Gap Dam west of Granby, Colorado.


Grand County Water Information Network Algae Monitoring Project Final Report

By: Sarah Clements and edited by E Jane Tollett Grand County Water Information Network for the Colorado Watershed Protection Fund, December 17, 2008.
Type: Aquatic Biology
Notes: The purpose of the Project was to quantify the extent of the existing algae problem and potential health risks in Grand County through a watershed-specific approach.


Water Quality Studies

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment: Water Quality Control Commission, Colorado’s Section 303(D) List of Impaired Waters and Monitoring and Evaluation List

By: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, 2016
Type: Water Quality
Notes: Beginning on page 64.


Upper Colorado River Water Quality Management Plan​

By: Northwest Colorado Council of Governments, 2012.
Type: Water Quality
Notes: Includes a watershed overview, review of water quality conditions and issues, and applicable land-use regulations.


2012 Waterbody Assessment Report for the Colorado River from outlet of Windy Gap Reservoir to 578 Road

​By: US Environmental Protection Agency, 2012
Type: Water Quality
Notes: The overall assessment of the waterbody is reported as good


2012 Waterbody Report for Fraser River from Tabernash to Granby

By: US Environmental Protection Agency, 2012
Type: Water Quality
Notes: The overall assessment of the waterbody is good


2012 Waterbody Report for Fraser River, Vasquez Creek

By: US Environmental Protection Agency, 2012
Type: Water Quality
Notes: The overall status of this waterbody is impaired (Aquatic Life Cold Water-Class 1)


2012 Waterbody Report for Ranch Creek

By: US Environmental Protection Agency, 2012
Type: Water Quality
Notes: The overall status of this waterbody is impaired (Aquatic Life Cold Water-Class 1).


Responses of soil and water chemistry to mountain pine beetle induced tree mortality in Grand County, Colorado, USA

By: David W. Clow, Charles Rhoades, Jennifer Briggs, Megan Caldwell, William M. Lewis Jr., June 2011
Type: Water Quality
Notes: The objective of this study was to investigate possible changes in soil and water chemistry in Grand County, Colorado in response to the epidemic, and to identify major controlling influences on stream-water nutrients and C in areas affected by the mountain pine beetle.


Water-Quality Characteristics and GroundWater Quantity of the Fraser River Watershed, Grand County, Colorado, 1998–2001

By: U.S. Geological Survey, 2004
Type: Water Quality
Note: The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Grand County Board of County Commissioners, conducted a 4-year study to assess ground- and surface-water-quality conditions and ground-water quantity in the 302-square-mile Fraser River watershed in north-central Colorado.


Streamwater Quality at Selected Sites in the Fraser River Basin, Grand County, Colorado, Water Years 1991–2000

By: U.S. Geological Survey, 2003
​Type: Water Quality
Notes: To determine the effect of population growth on streamwater quality in the Fraser River Basin, the U.S. Geological Survey did a study in cooperation with the Grand County Commissioners and the East Grand County Water Quality Board. During water years 1991 through 2000, the study determined that concentrations of un-ionized ammonia and nitrite plus nitrate in the streamwater of the basin are within Colorado State streamwater–quality standards.


Hydrology and water-quality characteristics of Muddy Creek and Wolford Mountain Reservoir near Kremmling, Colorado, 1990 through 2001

By: Michael R. Stevens and Lori A. Sprague, USGS, 2003
Type: Water Quality
Notes: A water-quality monitoring program was begun in March 1985 on Muddy Creek in anticipation of the construction of a reservoir water-storage project.


Total Maximum Daily Load Assessment (Un-named Tributary to Willow Creek)!67k3NVb0F6WVlnZTNYX00/edit

By: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Water Quality and Control Division, June 2000
​Type: Water Quality
Notes: Mainstem of an un-named tributary to Willow Creek (Segment 6c of the Upper Colorado River Basin, was listed on the 303(d) in 1998 as partially supporting due to a temporary modification to existing ammonia standards.  Sources of the ammonia within the watershed are wastewater discharge from the Three Lakes Water and Sanitation District, animal waste from grazing cattle non-point source) and decomposing plant life.


Geomorphology Studies

Final Draft Report 2013 Spawning Bar Core Samples

By: Tetra Tech and HabiTech, Inc. for Grand County, Colorado, November 2013
Type: Multi-Topic
Notes: Primary objectives of this report are to (1) describe the 2013 substrate particle size composition at the nine monitoring sites throughout Grand County during the summer post-runoff period, (2) compare the 2013 results with those from similar samples collected in 2010, 2011 and 2012 (Tetra Tech and HabiTech 2010, 2012a, and 2012b), and (3) continue to document channel morphology of the Fraser River downstream of the new sediment pond.


Final Draft Report 2011 Spawning Bar Core Samples

By: Tetra Tech and HabiTech, Inc. for Grand County, Colorado, January 2012
Type: Multi-Topic
Notes: Specific objectives of this report are to 1) evaluate 2011 post-runoff conditions by determining substrate particle size distributions in known trout spawning habitats, in particular the content of fine sediments, 2) compare this composition with that of similar samples collected in 2010 (Tetra Tech and HabiTech 2010) and with published values for estimating trout embryo survival rates, 3) assess the temporal change in substrate fine sediment composition between the post-runoff period and the late fall spawning period, and 4) document existing channel dimensions and substrate composition downstream of the Fraser River sediment pond.


Simulation of Hydraulic Conditions and Observed and Potential Geomorphic Changes in a Reconfigured Reach of Muddy Creek, North-Central Colorado, 2001-2008

By: United States Geological Survey (Scientific Investigations Report 2010−5183), 2010.
Type: Geomorphology
Notes: Prepared in cooperation with the Colorado Water Conservation Board and the Colorado River Water Conservation District.