Restoration work on a waterway in the US is underway following the donation of the land around it by one of the country’s premier fly fishing companies.
Mayfly Outdoors, the owner of the Abel, Ross Reels and Airflo brands, donated 42 acres of land around the Uncompahgre River which runs through the city of Montrose, Colorado, to allow work on the 3,400ft stretch. The $1.6m restoration project is a multi-year, public-private partnership focused on ecological improvements. The centre goals revolve around enhancing habitat for aquatic and riparian wildlife, restoring the river’s flow and improving the functionality of the waterway for recreational opportunities.
“One of our goals is to be a community leader and make Montrose a better place to live. This project fulfils our commitment to do that,” said David Dragoo, the founder of Mayfly Outdoors.
Over a number of decades, a variety of land use practices and encroachments have negatively impacted on the Uncompahgre River, resulting in the destabilisation of the riverbanks and significant loss of critically important aquatic and riparian habitats. In some areas, the river’s channel has moved as much as 400ft over the past 50 years.
The restoration is taking place during low river flow periods during this and next winter. “This is wonderful for the Montrose community and our local fishery,” said Joel Evans, of Gunnnison Gorge Anglers (GGA), the local chapter of Trout Unlimited.
Evans and the GGA were instrumental in getting the section of river officially approved for catch-and-release regulations by Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW). “This new section of river significantly adds to restoration work done in previous years to other nearly stretches,” added Evans.