The Colorado River District is an independent sub-district of the State of Colorado charged with the protection and development of the Colorado River and its tributaries in Colorado. The River District has been an active partner in the Upper Colorado River Recover Program since its inception.

A SUCCESS STORY:  The Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program and the San Juan River Basin Recovery Implementation Program were established under cooperative agreements as multi-agency partnerships in 1988 and 1992, respectively. Recovery program partners include the States of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming; Southern Ute Indian Tribe; Ute Mountain Ute Tribe; Jicarilla Apache Nation; Navajo Nation; environmental organizations; water users; CRSP power customers; Bureau of Reclamation; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Bureau of Land Management; National Park Service; Bureau of Indian Affairs; and Western Area Power Administration. These two recovery programs are recovering populations of endangered humpback chub, bonytail, Colorado pikeminnow, and razorback sucker while water use and water development continue to meet human needs. Actions of the recovery programs provide Endangered Species Act (ESA) compliance for 1,800 Federal, tribal, and non-Federal water projects depleting more than 3 million acre-feet of water per year in the Colorado and San Juan Rivers and their tributaries in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and New Mexico. No lawsuits have been filed on ESA compliance provided by the recovery programs.

Elkhead Reservoir Spillway Fish Barrier Ner Project – Completed in 2016, this project, led by the Colorado River District and backed by a unique partnership of local, state and federal agencies, including a diverse array of water, power and environmental interests, recreational fishing opportunities will continue to be available at Elkhead Reservoir near Craig, Colorado for at least the next 15 years.

Our policies in support of the Recovery Program:

The Colorado River District supports the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program and its dual purpose of recovering fish species listed as endangered while allowing historical water use and water development to continue consistent with state law and Colorado’s entitlements under the Colorado River Compacts.
Congress should reauthorize the Endangered Species Act and amend provisions of the Act to provide for better implementation that focuses on species recovery, encourages and rewards constructive and meaningful partnerships with non-federal parties, and respects private property rights including water rights.

Coordinated Reservoir Operations (CROS) – The purpose of CROS is to to enhance the peak flow in the 15-Mile Reach of the Colorado River to improve habitat conditions for 4 endangered fish species. The Colorado River District’s Wolford Mountain Reservoir is a participant in CROS.

Press Release from the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program

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