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I'm afraid I don't see where the big problem is. Horsetooth is no different than a hundred other lakes I have seen. Nutrients from various sources, mainly agricultural fertilizer runoff, enter the lake and promote algae growth. Dead algae fall to the bottom, where they are decomposed by bacteria. The bacteria use up all of the dissolved oxygen below the thermocline. So you have two main areas in the water column. Above the thermocline, plenty of oxygen. Below the thermocline, very little oxygen. So what do the fish do? They hang out at, or just above, the thermocline until the fall turnover mixes the water again. Do they go deep and just asphyxiate? Of course not.

If you want to catch lots of fish, fish the regions where the thermocline and the bottom intersect.

Since Horsetooth is primarily a drinking water supply, where is the problem? It doesn't need to have any fish or aquatic life in it, in the first place. This is not a natural resource, it's a man-made drinking water supply. If they want to have fish in it, fine with me, I'm all for it. But when they start whining about the conditions the fish have to live in, I don't see the point. Fish are surviving under similar conditions all over the country. And if the water treatment facilities think they need a certain level of dissolved oxygen, they can aerate the water. No problem.

In towns that draw their drinking water from wells, what amount of dissolved oxygen do they expect to get out of the ground? Sounds to me like the EPA should find better ways to spend their time.
 

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If that's the case, I don't think it will help to point a finger at Horsetooth, since its water comes mostly from elsewhere, probably carrying the excess nutrients in with it.

I think a lot of the water that feeds Horsetooth comes down from Carter Lake via underground tunnel. On the road between Horsetooth and Masonville, you cross a bridge where you can see the water for a short distance, where it has left the tunnel from Carter and is entering the tunnel to Horsetooth. What shape would Carter be in, then? I have fished Carter and no problems are apparent by purely visual inspection.

The local watershed would be another source of water (if it ever rains, that is), however it mainly consists of unimproved land, mountains, and state park land, and would probably not be much of a source of agricultural fertilizer runoff. West of Horsetooth Mountain Park there is Redstone Creek and Buckhorn Creek, but those run south to join the Big Thompson and don't feed Horsetooth Lake. I think there may be a creek corresponding to Fort Collins' Spring Creek, that enters the west side of Horsetooth at a location I have never been to, but if so, I also suspect it's probably dry most of the time.

The only other possible source of nutrient input that I can think of is from the residents around the lake putting fertilizer on their lawns, which can then wash into the lake with rain water. That could be controlled, I don't know if other sources could be.
 
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