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My friend and I hiked in to the South Platte about a mile above Cheesman Reservoir on Sunday. The devastation to the South Platte at that location is beyond my wildest nightmares. :eek: What was once a beautiful, thriving trout stream has become comletely sterile, devoid of any vegetation or aquatic life. :(

The riverbed was replaced with decomposed granite and gravel. As I stood on the bank and watched the water go by I could see the gravel tumble downstream. One, two, and three feet high banks of gravel lined the river. The flow was just 65cfs and the bottom was shifting continuously. It reminded me of Medano Creek in the Sand Dunes during runoff.

I can’t describe how dead this stream is except to say that I may hike back there in ten years to see how it’s doing. Don’t waste your time hiking in there before then unless you don’t plan to fish. I would like to see what that arm of Cheesman reservoir looks like from the air – I can only imagine that it’s one big gravel pit. The drainage ditches in Colorado Springs and Denver have a better chance at supporting a trout population than that stream.

This is not an exaggeration – but I wish that it were. :-\
 
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