Algae surveys open

RBC | It is springtime and the White River Conservation District (WRCD) is looking forward to proceeding with the White River Algae Technical Advisory Groups’ (TAG) mission, “To ascertain what is driving the algae growth in the White River to improve the overall health of the watershed.”  The District has finalized an agreement with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to conduct the research and that research has begun. 

As the USGS begins their investigation of benthic algae and stream conditions in the upper White River, it is also important to capture the historical knowledge from the Rio Blanco County residents regarding the river. 

Therefore, a short “historical” survey is available for anyone willing to share their knowledge and expertise of the river. That can be someone who casually observes the White River to someone who has/had a more involved relationship, such as irrigating or fishing, with the river. History is an important piece of the research puzzle and the more information, the better, so your help is greatly appreciated. This survey will give those who are willing an opportunity to share their knowledge and experience. If you are interested in participating, please go to or visit the district’s website at and click on the survey link found on the White River Algae Study’s page.

A second survey has been generated for private land owners and managers, as well as state and federal land managers with land adjacent to the White River and its tributaries above the 10th Street Bridge. The district would like to collect information about any land management practice changes that have been made over the past five years or will be made this year. Locations are grouped by 5-mile reaches identified on County Road 8 or some of the main tributaries (roads) rather than by specific names. It will be important for USGS to know of any land management practice changes that have taken place when information is compared from one year to another. If you are a land owner or manager with lands adjacent to the White River, please contact Tristan Nielsen at or 970-878-9838 and she will email you a link to the survey.  You are also welcome to stop by the office and she can help fill out the survey.

Both surveys are free to participate in and it is important to note that they are completely voluntary and will remain anonymous.  We hope you will share your knowledge with us to help determine the cause of the excessive algae in the White River. If you have any questions or would like more information on the White River Algae Study and/or surveys, please visit or contact Tristan at 970-878-9838.