CONSERVATION CORNER: The White River Algae Study Update

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A White River Algae Study Technical Advisory Group (TAG) meeting met again in January where they heard more information from USGS and additional researchers. All TAG meeting notes and presentations are available on the White River and Douglas Creek Conservation Districts’ website.

USGS presented information on the algal taxonomy, synoptic sampling, streambed mobilization, and historic streamflow records data that was received from laboratories after the December 2020 presentation to the TAG. One interesting note is laboratory results show a variety of organisms exist at each of the sample sites. While it has been hypothesized that the Cladophora was the algae that was so abundant, there were no dominant species of algae among any of the sites. The larger effort to look for patterns will take place in 2021.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) and Trout Unlimited (TU) staff provided a presentation regarding the stream temperature study. Summary points: 1) the stream temperature varied a little with time and location, 2) stream temperature did not differ between the North and South Forks, 3) stream temperature is not a standalone predictor of algal growth, 4) stream temperature is affected by air temperature and discharge/flows, 5) White River stream temperature above Meeker is suitable for cold water fishes.

GEI Consultants provided an analysis summary of the CPW and TU macroinvertebrate study. Their conclusion is that the macroinvertebrate assemblages are balanced and diverse. Read more detailed notes and see PowerPoint slides from all three presentations at www.whiterivercd.com/white-river-algae-study.html or by scanning the below zap code.


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