Photo of large piles of rocks in a former river valley damaged by mining.

Swan River Restoration Project Blog

Updates on construction and project milestones.

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Mar 15

Swan River Restoration Project Update - BOCC Meeting Update & Fish Survey Results

Posted on March 15, 2017 at 9:59 AM by Jason Lederer


Last week, the Summit County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) authorized the Open Space and Trails Department (OST) to solicit bids from gravel contractors in order to continue processing and removing dredge rock from Reach B. This is great news for the Swan River Restoration Project, as removing this material is critical for facilitating ongoing upstream restoration work, as well as generating project funding by selling it for use in offsite projects (e.g., roadways, foundations, etc.).


Members of the public who provided comments during last week’s BOCC worksession meeting generally expressed strong support for the ongoing restoration work and gravel removal. It is exciting to see the surrounding community coalesce around this project, especially in light of some early project concerns and opposition. These types of restoration projects can occasionally result in temporary inconveniences and we continue to take all public comments, concerns, and questions seriously.


This coming field season, OST will wrap up revegetation efforts on Reach A, including plant installation work to be performed by the Summit County’s design-build contractor, Ecological Resource Consultants/Tezak Heavy Equipment (ERC/Tezak), Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, and potentially one or two volunteer groups. OST is also in the process of designing an irrigation system that will be operated by OST staff to support newly installed, juvenile plant materials. Noxious weed management will be overseen by the Summit County Weed Control Program.


We are excited to share the results of last September’s fish survey, performed just downstream of Muggins Gulch by Colorado Parks and Wildlife Aquatic Biologist, Jon Ewert, with assistance by Summit County staff. Last summer, we heard some concern from the community about project-related turbidity affecting stream health. However, the fish survey showed very positive results, with the excerpted report conclusion stating:


“Our catch rates produced population estimates of 242 total brook trout in the reach, or 2,759 fish per mile, and 189 mottled sculpin, or 2,154 fish per mile. While this is not a trophy fishery by any means, it is clearly a prolific and healthy one. In the future, we will continue to monitor this site, as well as additional sites within the habitat improvement reach after construction is complete.”



2016 Swan River electrofishing report
With such a healthy downstream fishery, we are eager to see how the fish population takes to the 1 mile of newly created habitat. CPW plans to conduct another Swan River fish survey this coming field season, this time in the newly constructed channel.
Sculpin 1




photo3
Group
Additional
information about Swan River Restoration Project is available at RestoreTheSwanRiver.com as well as on the Open Space and Trails Special Projects web page. If you have additional questions about the restoration project, you can contact Summit County Open Space and Trails Director Brian Lorch, or Open Space and Trails Senior Resource Specialist Jason Lederer, or call 970.668.4060.


Feb 16

Swan River Restoration Project Update - Update to BOCC & New Grant Funding

Posted on February 16, 2017 at 3:26 PM by Jason Lederer

It may be midwinter, but work on the Swan River Restoration Project continues. We wanted to provide you with a couple of updates as we look towards spring and the 2017 field season:

  1. Annual Update to the Summit County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC): One of the conditions of Summit County’s gravel milling permit (Conditional Use Permit) requires annual project updates to the BOCC. The Summit County Open Space and Trails Department (OST) will be providing its first annual update at a BOCC worksession on Tuesday, March 7th at 10:00 a.m. in the Commissioners’ Hearing Room in the County Courthouse in Breckenridge. OST will review accomplishments from 2016 and discuss plans for the 2017 field season including; installation of final restoration plantings, as well as options and approaches for continuing to remove gravel from the upstream Reach B. As always, your attendance at these meetings is welcomed. Please do not hesitate to contact OST with any other questions, or comments about this meeting. 
  2. Grant Funding: Summit County recently learned it is being awarded a $40,000 CWCB Watershed Restoration Grant. These CWCB grant funds will be applied towards Reach A upland restoration plantings. This is exciting news and, including the $59,000 Colorado Parks and Wildlife Wetlands and Riparian Restoration grant funding awarded late last year, brings the total new restoration grant funding to nearly $100,000! Given this recent funding injection, OST is working with its design team to update the Reach A restoration planting plan, as well as maintenance and monitoring approaches in 2017. 

It is shaping up to be an exciting 2017 field season and once the snow melts, we plan to hit the ground running! 

Additional information about Swan River Restoration Project is available at RestoreTheSwanRiver.com as well as on the Open Space and Trails Special Projects web page. If you have additional questions, you can also contact Summit County Open Space and Trails Director Brian Lorch, or Open Space and Trails Senior Resource Specialist Jason Lederer.
 
Brad-No_Snowmobile_sign


Nov 22

Swan River Restoration Project - Update for Week of November 21, 2016 - Winter Shutdown

Posted on November 22, 2016 at 11:32 AM by Jason Lederer

This week the Swan River Restoration Project is officially entering a winter shutdown period. Summit County’s design-build team of Ecological Resource Consultants/Tezak Heavy Equipment (ERC/Tezak) is completely demobilized from the site.The onsite gravel crushing operation is wrapping up as well. Crews anticipate completing their work and demobilizing from the site over the next several days leaving behind a pile of road base material for the State Highway 9 (SH 9) Iron Springs Realignment project contractor to retrieve next year.

Last week, crews from Western States Reclamation installed the final soil amendments, seed, and erosion control practices just in time for the snow to fly. With any luck, as well a more seasonal weather pattern, the newly placed seed will remain dormant under a blanket of snow in preparation for germination next spring.

Hydroseed 1



Hydroseed 2

Closed for Restoration

Looking towards spring/summer 2017, the ERC/Tezak team will complete installation of potted and larger plant materials. In addition to contracted plant installation, the Summit County Open Space and Trails Department has ordered several hundred smaller potted and tube planting 

from the Colorado State Forest Service Nursery (CSFSN) to be installed by Rocky Mountain Youth Corps crews and/or volunteers during the 2017 field season. CSFSN planting installation will be overseen by Open Space and Trails staff, as well as members of the design-build team, to ensure proper installation.

Snow Cover 2

Snow Cover 3

Snow Cover 4
As 2017 project planning advances, project updates will be presented to the Summit County Board of County Commissioners for their input and feedback. Notice of this future meeting will
be announced once scheduled, but likely during early 2017.

We sincerely hope that the this, as well as the previous 22 Swan River Restoration Project blog posts published over the last several months, have been informative and useful to those following this exciting project. This will be the last blog post for 2016, but we will resume posting updates in 2017 as the project begins to ramp back up. Additional information about Swan River Restoration Project is available at RestoreTheSwanRiver.com as well as on the Open Space and Trails Special Projects web page. If you have additional questions about the restoration project, you can contact Summit County Open Space and Trails Director Brian Lorch, or Open Space and Trails Resource Specialist Jason Lederer, or call 970.668.4060.