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  1. #1
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    Bear Creek Cutthroat Trout - Trail Changes might be coming

    Pure greenback cutthroat trout confirmed in remote Colorado stream - The Denver Post

    I am not sure what the final outcome of this might be, but it could forebode some issues for us trail users?

    Edit:
    <= Some thoughts =>
    Personally I have never seen any fish in the creek?
    Trail closure? Trails re-routed? Moto shutdowns? If trails are closed, how far up? Nothing?
    Think of Severy Creek's by Pike Peak and its decade long closure.
    This might put the stop on the Ring the Peak trail?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by pastajet View Post
    Pure greenback cutthroat trout confirmed in remote Colorado stream - The Denver Post

    I am not sure what the final outcome of this might be, but it could forebode some issues for us trail users?

    Edit:
    <= Some thoughts =>
    Personally I have never seen any fish in the creek?
    Trail closure? Trails re-routed? Moto shutdowns? If trails are closed, how far up? Nothing?
    Think of Severy Creek's by Pike Peak and its decade long closure.
    This might put the stop on the Ring the Peak trail?
    Ring the Peak was effectively killed with abandonment of the Pikes Peak Multi-use Plan and establishment of the South Slope Watershed Access Policy (access by special permit only).

  3. #3
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    [QUOTE=pastajet;9722302
    I
    Personally I have never seen any fish in the creek?

    QUOTE]

    I have seen alot of fish in bear creek, and yes this is scary considering the severy creek closure.

  4. #4
    I think I can.
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    According to the article the fish is prevalent in Colorado, so what is going to be the biggest issues as it pertains to trail users? It's just a fish and has survived without our help up to now, knowing the lower bear creek area the biggest problem is the dog park. I wouldn't touch a fish caught anywhere on the front range as water levels and contamination affect the quality of any fish.

    As for trails maybe research into how to build bridges like the one moto's built at the intersection of 666-667 could be the answer.

    Dam,
    Bikes are FUN

  5. #5
    zrm
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    Eliminating stream fords is one strategy that they can use to protect critical fisheries. Bridges can accomplish this but they are very expensive. even though they may be some distance from riparian areas. It' also important to create or modify trails/roads that absolutely minimize sedimentation load into waterways. It can also mean closing some trails to certain types of use.

  6. #6
    I'm with stupid
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    Sushi anyone?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    Eliminating stream fords is one strategy that they can use to protect critical fisheries. Bridges can accomplish this but they are very expensive. even though they may be some distance from riparian areas. It' also important to create or modify trails/roads that absolutely minimize sedimentation load into waterways. It can also mean closing some trails to certain types of use.
    They ruled out bridges already.
    Environmentalists suing over dirt bikes on popular Springs area trail | springs, dirt, bikes - Colorado Springs Gazette, CO
    "The group wants the agencies to close the trail to dirt bikes until it can be
    re-routed away from Bear Creek."

    5/10/12
    "An environmental group announced Thursday it will sue Colorado Springs
    Utilities and Pike National Forest, seeking to halt what it says is damage to
    endangered trout habitat from dirt bikes on one of the region’s most popular
    motorized trails."



    They want the OHV's out. It's that simple. Everything else is just talk.

    Dirt-bikers dispute enviro claims about impact on Bear Creek trout | trail, dirt, colorado - Colorado Springs Gazette, CO
    “We’re definitely not opposed to all dirt biking as a whole, but that trail,
    there’s not a way to protect the trout and have a trail right next to the
    creek that has dirt bikes on it,” Greenwald said. He said that though the
    population drop occurred downstream of where vehicles are allowed,
    upstream erosion could be a factor.


    “They think because they’ve been doing something for a long time it must
    be OK, and that’s not always true,” he said.




    More good fodder.

    Drink a beer, help restore fish habitat in the Pikes Peak region | beer, peak, pikes - Colorado Springs Gazette, CO
    Newcomer to the brewing scene, Monument-based Pikes Peak Brewing Co.,
    has partnered with Trout Unlimited to raise money for the protection of
    Greenback Cutthroat Trout in the Pikes Peak region.

  8. #8
    zrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post
    They ruled out bridges already.
    Environmentalists suing over dirt bikes on popular Springs area trail | springs, dirt, bikes - Colorado Springs Gazette, CO
    "The group wants the agencies to close the trail to dirt bikes until it can be
    re-routed away from Bear Creek."

    5/10/12
    "An environmental group announced Thursday it will sue Colorado Springs
    Utilities and Pike National Forest, seeking to halt what it says is damage to
    endangered trout habitat from dirt bikes on one of the region’s most popular
    motorized trails."



    They want the OHV's out. It's that simple. Everything else is just talk.

    Dirt-bikers dispute enviro claims about impact on Bear Creek trout | trail, dirt, colorado - Colorado Springs Gazette, CO
    “We’re definitely not opposed to all dirt biking as a whole, but that trail,
    there’s not a way to protect the trout and have a trail right next to the
    creek that has dirt bikes on it,” Greenwald said. He said that though the
    population drop occurred downstream of where vehicles are allowed,
    upstream erosion could be a factor.


    “They think because they’ve been doing something for a long time it must
    be OK, and that’s not always true,” he said.




    More good fodder.

    Drink a beer, help restore fish habitat in the Pikes Peak region | beer, peak, pikes - Colorado Springs Gazette, CO
    Newcomer to the brewing scene, Monument-based Pikes Peak Brewing Co.,
    has partnered with Trout Unlimited to raise money for the protection of
    Greenback Cutthroat Trout in the Pikes Peak region.
    I've seen dirt bikes, ATVs and Jeeps more than a few times yahooing up and down stream beds where trails cross them. It's not as uncommon as the OHV groups would like you to believe. Horsepower can be intoxicating and when you have a lot of it at your fingertips, restraint and respect is often not the first thing that comes to mind. I see that sort of thing too often to have much sympathy for the OHV enthusiasts when it comes to protecting watersheds.
    If I was the moto guys rather than fight for the "right" to drive their rigs in places close to streams, I'd start looking at re routes and how to make them happen. Say "OK, we don't need to be too close to these streams, you people partner with us to come up with an alternative that works for everyone."

  9. #9
    STRAVA!!!!!!
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    I said it before and I will say it again...... Show me one!!! Does anybody have an up to date picture of the illusive fish from Bear Creek???? Been ridding up there for 30 years and I have not seen one....

  10. #10
    zrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waafoo View Post
    I said it before and I will say it again...... Show me one!!! Does anybody have an up to date picture of the illusive fish from Bear Creek???? Been ridding up there for 30 years and I have not seen one....
    Have you ever looked? If you really want to see the world around you you have to stop, slow down, get on your hands and knees. You have to go places you normally don't go, walking lightly and quietly. Many other living things we share the earth with are elusive.

    But if you don't want to put forth that effort, I'd imagine you could talk to someone at CDOW to ask for evidence.

  11. #11
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waafoo View Post
    I said it before and I will say it again...... Show me one!!! Does anybody have an up to date picture of the illusive fish from Bear Creek???? Been ridding up there for 30 years and I have not seen one....
    Dude - they're *fish*... it pays, evolutionarily speaking, for you NOT to be able to see them. And don't you worry - they're there. Them fish are always there...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles View Post
    Dude - they're *fish*... it pays, evolutionarily speaking, for you NOT to be able to see them. And don't you worry - they're there. Them fish are always there...
    I realize you are joking but from what I've read so far the fish haven't
    always been in Bear Creek.

    The greenback cutthroat is native to the South Platte River Basin.

    Bear Creek is not in the South Platte River Basin,
    there are no "native" greenback cutthroats in Bear Creek,
    so how can anyone claim that populations are increasing or decreasing?

    Therefore the calls for saving the fish is a red herring used to mobilize
    public support for the real agenda which is removal of OHV's from public land.

    If they are really concerned about the greenback cutthroat they maybe
    should relocate them to the South Platte and close Waterton Canyon.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post
    I realize you are joking but from what I've read so far the fish haven't
    always been in Bear Creek.

    The greenback cutthroat is native to the South Platte River Basin.

    Bear Creek is not in the South Platte River Basin,
    there are no "native" greenback cutthroats in Bear Creek,
    so how can anyone claim that populations are increasing or decreasing?

    Therefore the calls for saving the fish is a red herring used to mobilize
    public support for the real agenda which is removal of OHV's from public land.

    If they are really concerned about the greenback cutthroat they maybe
    should relocate them to the South Platte and close Waterton Canyon.
    Right. I was just addressing the "I ain't never seen no fish in that there crik" comment...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waafoo View Post
    I said it before and I will say it again...... Show me one!!! Does anybody have an up to date picture of the illusive fish from Bear Creek???? Been ridding up there for 30 years and I have not seen one....
    You could ride up there for 100 years and not see one, if you stop and sit by the stream in a likely spot for a few minutes you certainly will.

  15. #15
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    Which Bear Creek?

    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post
    ...Bear Creek is not in the South Platte River Basin...
    Just curious: which of the several hundred Bear Creeks in Colorado are we talking about here? Which basin does it flow into?
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    Just curious: which of the several hundred Bear Creeks in Colorado are we talking about here? Which basin does it flow into?
    It's in the Arkansas River basin.

    Bear Creek in North Cheyenne Canyon.
    Flows into Monument/Fountain Creeks = > Arkansas River


    ref:
    Cutthroat Trout*
    Greenback Cutthroat Trout

    Oncorhynchus clarkii stomias

    The greenback cutthroat trout is the native salmonid of the South Platte basin and Colorado's state fish. Presumed to be extinct by 1937, numerous wild cutthroat populations identified as greenbacks were discovered in the South Platte and Arkansas basins starting in the late 1950s. However, genetic research published in 2012 has revealed that the true greenback cutthroat trout remains only in a single stream, outside their native range. The greenback cutthroat trout was listed as an endangered species in 1973 and downlisted to threatened in 1978. Diligent efforts to recover these populations were proceeding along a track that suggested the recovery plan benchmarks might soon be met, but the recent genetic findings will require that the Fish and Wildlife Service reevaluate the taxonomy and status of the species.

  17. #17
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    666 ?

    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post
    It's in the Arkansas River basin.

    Bear Creek in North Cheyenne Canyon.
    Flows into Monument/Fountain Creeks = > Arkansas River
    ...
    So the trail that is threatened would be the Bear Creek Trail (when I lived in CS it was #666) that exists between upper Capn' Jacks and lower High Drive?

    EDIT: I could imagine that back in the 1800s when Colorado Springs was a community of resorts and clinics for overcoming consumption somebody might have put a stock tank onto a train filled with S. Platte water with cutts in it and dumped it into Bear Creek. Which means that yes, it wouldn't be a native population, it would be introduced...
    EDIT-EDIT: OK, just read the Denver Post article where it says a hotel operator stocked Bear Creek with S. Platte Greenbacks. My guess was either a good one or I read that article in my sleep last night.

    What species of trout do you suppose was in the Ark Basin? Rainbow, Brown, Brook all are imports from elsewhere...

    One more EDIT: I think it's actually quite an asset to have a genetically pure population of greenbacks that are successfully reproducing wild in Bear Creek. It's a nice bit of trail, but introduced or not, if that's the only population we have then it's significant. Getting stocked fish to breed successfully isn't a slam dunk. I think it would be a good idea to stock some of the offspring of that population in remote drainages in the S. Platte basin and hope they become self-sustaining. But if there's a wild population, that's worth something. Just my opinion, don't want UT to hunt me down and kill me
    Last edited by TomP; 09-26-2012 at 10:36 AM.
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  18. #18
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    Erosion?

    I'm curious about the whole issue of sedimentation of the creek and the effect on trout. The section of the creek in discussion- about 4 miles- is near some serious slopes. After most flash floods there are way more cubic feet of decomposed granite moved by water than the motorcycle or bike guys can accomplish. It would seem the fish would be better served with some good terracing then moving the trail. Ironically the population seems to be surviving some serious sedimentation issues currently without any intervention. Perhaps this is a good project for some of my grad students to investigate.

    Given the topography of that section of the creek I'm not sure a reroute is even feasible. I realize that many see this as a back door way to get the trail shut down.I'm not sure I've arrived at that conclusion. Any body have actual experience working with the group in question? Given the quotes from their lawsuit it doesn't look promising.

    A further irony is the amount of dollars in OHV grant every year poured into maintaining that trail. It isn't like there aren't already multiple agencies involved in oversight.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    So the trail that is threatened would be the Bear Creek Trail (when I lived in CS it was #666) that exists between upper Capn' Jacks and lower High Drive?
    The Bear creek headwaters start up near trail 667 (Jones Park trail follows the creek), the creek merges with the 666 trail down Bear Creek Canyon proper until High drive, it follows High drive and then parallels Lower Gold Camp through the city all the way to Monument creek. Where the 150 fish population exists is speculation? Even if the fish exist further downstream than most of the biking trails, the upstream pollution (erosion?) can hamper trail access?

    It's all strange since this was a stocked non-native (to this creek and river basin) fish, but it's the only pure strain left. And what the heck does "an important part of Colorado's heritage" mean? The Pikes Peak granite naturally erodes anyway, and one major rainstorm puts a lot more damage on things than any user group?

    A big mess!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    So the trail that is threatened would be the Bear Creek Trail (when I lived in CS it was #666) that exists between upper Capn' Jacks and lower High Drive?
    I think actually the section they are calling Bear Creek is what we would
    call upper Captain Jacks and then also from the creek crossing going up
    667 including the other creek crossings along Pipeline.

    IMHO they want to close Pipeline but are calling it Bear Creek Trail.


    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    yes, it wouldn't be a native population, it would be introduced...
    Correct.


    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    What species of trout do you suppose was in the Ark Basin? Rainbow, Brown, Brook all are imports from elsewhere...
    According to this:
    http://wildlife.state.co.us/SiteColl...essRelease.pdf

    giant yellowfin cutthroat


    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    One more EDIT: I think it's actually quite an asset to have a genetically pure population of greenbacks that are successfully reproducing wild in Bear Creek.
    Don't get me wrong, I'm all for saving the fish. But what I see is a group of
    people with an agenda misrepresenting the findings of the study to further
    their cause at our expense. The fish and the trail have coexisted for decades.
    There is no urgency.

    Besides CDOW has already introduced the fish into their hatchery breeding
    program for stocking into other areas.

    I'll also tell you this. Those fish are probably further down Bear Creek than
    you are being told. Like in the City, and we proposed constructing pools to
    enhance their habitat in our Bear Creek Park Master Plan update probably 6
    years ago, to which there was little interest. The dog park won out, and if
    you've ever visited the dog park you can see the muddy water created for
    yourself.

    I can't help but wonder why there was no concern about the sedimentation
    and feces/urine in the creek that that resulted and the effects on what
    few fish there were in that portion of the creek?

    And just to clear the air, I don't hate dogs.
    My only objection to the dog park has been this particular issue, allowing
    dogs in the creek to muddy the water. A representative of State Parks
    even agreed with me and questioned why water wasn't diverted out of the
    creek into pools for the dogs to wade, where sediment and pollution could
    be mitigated. Unfortunately, ignorance wins when mob rule is allowed.
    They want their dogs in the creek, and the fish and problems of protecting
    them became someone else's (bikers) problem.

  21. #21
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    This is the state fish for Colorado and national organizations like Trout Unlimited and such will use this as an opportunity to celebrate how they are dedicated to protecting at risk species. The off road groups (IMBA, OHV groups, etc) will not win out over the environmental groups.

    As a member of trout unlimited, I respect their efforts to save a species that represents our state on many levels. Building bridges for bikes is acceptable, but horsepower does lead to misuse often at the detriment to the aquatic species. If this is really the last creek to host these fish, then off road users, and to some extent mtn bikers, need to respect that and relocate where they recreate. If not, we come across as stupid ignorant m-f'ers that die hard environmentalists bash and attack. These groups are looking for an enemy to blame for why species struggle and off road users are an easy target.

    Move on everyone, move on to a different drainage and play there.


    "We're only bike terrorists, 5:30, second Friday, Berkley BART" -Jeff Ott, fifteen

  22. #22
    STRAVA!!!!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles View Post
    Right. I was just addressing the "I ain't never seen no fish in that there crik" comment...
    I have seen plenty of Brook trout in that creek and every other creek I have hiked and biked around in the front range for the last 40 years! I have never seen a cut throat trout in any of the streams in Colorado springs.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by brownfinger View Post
    You could ride up there for 100 years and not see one, if you stop and sit by the stream in a likely spot for a few minutes you certainly will.
    I see fish in there all the time and they all have the tell tale white line on the bottoms of the pectoral, pelvic, and anal fins (Brook trout). You can see it from 15 feet away, go look for yourself.

    http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/Portals/9...%20by%20JZ.jpg

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmalling View Post
    Move on everyone, move on to a different drainage and play there.
    The problem ^^^

    FYI in 2010 we essentially gave up the entire South Slope of Pikes Peak and Ring the Peak Trail.

    Before that it was the North Slope.

    We were told no access to the top of Cheyenne Mountain a few months ago, but hikers and horses can go.

    Waldo, Rampart Rez and everything north of there almost to Mt Herman is closed indefinitely b/c of the fire (about 35,000 acres of NF) .

    There aren't too many drainages left to ride.

  25. #25
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    Man, some of you guys are funny. Thinking just cause you can ID a brookie there are no cutts in there? Thinking that they are actaully "lower" what they're stating? What the heck does "an important part of Colorado's heritage" mean? Huh?

    Seriously, I would be pissed to be losing trail as well but the fish IS a part of Colorado's heritage. My experience* with them has only been at elevation and to think that you can figure out what's in a entire stream by the fish you can ID from shore is silly.

    I ride way more than I fish but I vote for the fish if it's in there as they say. Again, I'd be pissed at losing trail as well and don't wish it on anyone but if that fish is in there, regardless of how it got there they are going to protect it.







    *as stated, just my experience
    Last edited by jugdish; 09-26-2012 at 09:16 PM.
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