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http://www.denverpost.com/willoughb...ter-hess-reservoir-welcomes-long-awaited-life




PARKER —Since its origins more than 20 years ago, Rueter-Hess Reservoir has always dreamed big. That is, to the degree that a lifeless water body created by the Parker Water and Sanitation District is capable of dreaming at all.

But as of last Thursday, the massive pool with potential to store some 75,000 acre-feet of water can no longer be considered devoid of life. A long-awaited first step toward establishing water-based outdoor recreational amenities in arid Douglas County was taken when officials dumped the first batch of fish into Rueter-Hess with the long-term objective of creating a new recreational fishery along the lines of Chatfield, Aurora and Cherry Creek reservoirs to the north.

"The reservoir's volume has now reached a point that we are comfortable with implementing the stocking plan," PWSD district manager Ron Redd said in an announcement of the launch.

The reservoir, which was completed in 2012 and has been slowly filling since 2011, currently holds nearly 20,000 acre-feet of water. Any actual fishing remains a few years away, although the fish-stocking plan developed by Aquatics Associates Inc. includes annual stocking through 2019.

The initial purpose of the stocking program is to fulfill a portion of the aquatic vegetation management plan required by the reservoir's Environmental Impact Statement. But aquatic recreation has also been a component of the Rueter-Hess proposal since voter approval of the project.
Parker Water and Sanitation District staff released minnows at Rueter-Hess Reservoir on Thursday.
Parker Water and Sanitation District staff released minnows at Rueter-Hess Reservoir on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of PWSD)

"There's always been plans to do something (about recreation), but there wasn't the funding to move forward," Redd told The Denver Post last year. "It's something we hear a lot about from our customers. When they voted in the property tax to open Rueter-Hess, it was one of the priorities identified."

The plan is to first stock the reservoir with forage species such as fathead minnows and bluegill. Other game fish will be introduced in 2016 or later, including channel catfish, rainbow trout and potentially other species. There's also a plan to stock bass in 2017 to help maintain a "balanced and successful fishery" in a region where residents have been long starved for angling options.

"Stocking the fish in phases, over time, will provide an opportunity to establish a successful ecosystem for the reservoir, thereby increasing the success of an overall future stocking program," said PWSD director Bill Wasserman. "And it will provide for outstanding recreational fishing opportunities a few years down the road!"

The goal is to create a healthy recreational fishery that includes a balance of forage and game fish species. Naturally, fishing regulations will need to be determined and implemented as stocking progresses and the fish population grows. But the fishery biologists at Aquatic Associates are predicting the reservoir will be able to support rainbow trout weighing up to 20 pounds.

Talk about big dreams.

Technically, providing recreational facilities is not part of PWSD's job description, although passive recreational uses such as fishing, nonmotorized boating and camping were approved in the project's Environmental Impact Statement. An interconnected trail network near the reservoir is also planned, albeit with no definitive timeline.


The PWSD board would like to focus on recreation that maintains a "tranquil and serene" environment at the reservoir located just a few miles east of Interstate 25. The next step is formally adopting an agreement establishing a collaborative Rueter-Hess Recreation Authority — likely to include Douglas County, the towns of Parker and Castle Rock, and the cities of Castle Pines and Lone Tree — responsible for creating a recreational master plan for the reservoir.

That alone is expected to take at least a year. By the time anyone's actually fishing, those minnows may very well grow into the monsters of your dreams.
 

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That's good news. A little far for me, but maybe it will divert some of the crowds from other lakes. :biggrin1:
 

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Suppose to be a non-motorized lake, doubt it will divert much traffic from other waters.
 

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Suppose to be a non-motorized lake, doubt it will divert much traffic from other waters.
Aurora Reservoir diverts some traffic. Every little bit helps. Rueter would be a true waste of real estate in my eyes if it didn't divert any. :biggrin1:
 

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I take it as being non-motorized means not even an electric motor. Maybe Fishrangler can weigh in on these regs for Rueter-Mess!
 

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I take it as being non-motorized means not even an electric motor. Maybe Fishrangler can weigh in on these regs for Rueter-Mess!
Got it now. Well, maybe it will be my home lake then. :biggrin1: By "traffic," I didn't mean boat traffic; just fishing pressure in general.
 

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Sounds like all their stocking is Fathead Minnows and Bluegill, gonna be a long long time till/if we see anything in the 20lb range and I'm betting it Won't be a Rainbow.
 

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Sounds like all their stocking is Fathead Minnows and Bluegill, gonna be a long long time till/if we see anything in the 20lb range and I'm betting it Won't be a Rainbow.
I'm keeping my expectations low. I always jinx it when I allow my expectations to reach high levels. :D
 

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Fatheads spawn 3-4 times in a year. It is a good bait fish to stock. Blue gills are a good choice too. Better to have action then no action at all. I think they will allow electric motors on boats. But is there a boat ramp? Or will it be like Quincy? It sure looks full from the I-25. Also, if they are diverting water from CC, there are some fish going in there.
 

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We need some crawdads also.
It is a good Idea to get the bait fishes started but lets at least get a few Rainbows started soon also.
It was cool when Aurora opened, we had great Rainbow fishing since they had been their several year prior to opening.
 

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I think the crawdads will find their way in there. The big thing is at least they are working on a stocking plan. It will not take long for the minnows to spawn and it will be filled with them. I wonder how much the lake has filled in the last month due to the rain.
 

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I wonder how much the lake has filled in the last month due to the rain.
They are probably pulling all they can from Cherry Creek. They may have a limit of how fast they can fill though. USBR has a "First Fill" procedure for new reservoirs, not sure if they are following something similar though. USBR is basically fill to 20% height and hold that level until water has time to saturate the dam. Then go to 40%, rinse and repeat. Next 60%, 80% and 100%. Idea is if you have a path for water to flow through the dam, that wasn't designed, it should present itself before you have more water than you can empty prior to a catastrophic failure. Google Teton Dam for an example.







Hope the reservoir ends up being another good metro destination. As little as Cherry Creek flows, it is hard to imagine it reaching full most years.
 

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"If you build it, they will come". Put rainbows in there and they will come in force.
I hope it all works out for good fishing, more places for us to fish is always a good thing!
 

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It already has some fish in it, those were spotted last year. The fish they are puting in now are required by law. The boat thing is up in the air I hear directly from someone in the know. Gas motors no way. Electric is undecided, but may happen. The good news is they did not fence it off and shut it down they almost did though. This is only because of the pot heads in the state and that has produced some growth here. At this point i don't care at one time before they enlarged the lake I was counting the days. Now it will be 20 years before it resembles Atown.
And the Crawdads that are in Atown were brought in by the rangers from Quincy via 5 gallon buckets atleast 2 that i know of before it opened to the public. The rangers also tried and were not able to put structure in Atown before it was full, the city would not let them. I do have 20 Waypoints saved from my bud who got them two years ago of major drops and holes that will be in 20 FOW eventually. I also have some pictures of the water testing craft on the water first day its a pretty dang nice pontoon boat. Some are having fun already.
Dirt boat ramp last I asked.

They do have day tours call them At pwsd and ask you need atleast 4 people its free they take you to all the water facilities and it ends on the tower on top of the Dam. They use their own SUV.
Make sure to really put the screws to them and ask how does well water become lake water? LMAO Thats a 9wants to know, wheres Paula Woodward? Do you guys really think all that water is coming from CC creek?

If Parker parks does not take it over it could be a lot of years. The other idea is many cities managing it, only time will tell. I do know this some people that were"f"ing things up got canned!
 

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They are probably pulling all they can from Cherry Creek. They may have a limit of how fast they can fill though. USBR has a "First Fill" procedure for new reservoirs, not sure if they are following something similar though. USBR is basically fill to 20% height and hold that level until water has time to saturate the dam. Then go to 40%, rinse and repeat. Next 60%, 80% and 100%. Idea is if you have a path for water to flow through the dam, that wasn't designed, it should present itself before you have more water than you can empty prior to a catastrophic failure. Google Teton Dam for an example.







Hope the reservoir ends up being another good metro destination. As little as Cherry Creek flows, it is hard to imagine it reaching full most years.
Above would suck being I live below the dam :smile:
 

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Above would suck being I live below the dam :smile:
That's OK bud, in 9 years we can bring back up the thread about the flood and how someone saw parkertom floating down the river with a 20 lb trout in his mouth and laugh about it!!! :biggrin1:
 
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