This year marked the 4th year of the Poudre RiverFest, a community gathering to learn more about and celebrate the Cache la Poudre watershed. Stream Tracker joined the festivities with a booth and welcomed in a good crowd of future Stream Trackers.
Do you live in the Cache la Poudre watershed? Take a closer look at how the basin is doing with the Poudre River Report Card. This report card is an ongoing project of the City of Fort Collins as a comprehensive method of gauging overall watershed health. This study takes a close look at the 24 river miles of the Cache la Poudre from Gateway near the canyon mouth to Interstate-25 through Fort Collins. A grade (A-F) is assigned to each reach based on 6 metrics: flows, sediment, river channel, water quality, aquatic life, and the riparian corridor. The overall score given in this study for the Cache la Poudre was a "C". Read more here
Why is tracking small, intermittent channels important when this study just focuses on the main stem of Cache la Poudre? Every large stream is fed by smaller streams. The tributary channels that are part of the Stream Tracker network contribute to all of the metrics in which the large channel is scored on. In mapping the flow patterns in intermittent channel, we are able to improve our estimates of baseline flow conditions along the Poudre. By mapping where intermittent stream channels exist, we are able to target zones in which tributaries may be contributing sediment to the main river channel. In visiting the intermittent stream reaches over time, we are able to observe areas that are viable habitat for both aquatic and terrestrial wildlife.