Feb 11, 2013 3:59 PM by Lacey Steele

Improvements to Arkansas River will help anglers

There are huge improvements happening to the Arkansas River in Pueblo.

We found out why crews are placing large rocks in the river.

It's a pretty big project.

"It's 7.1 miles," said Pete Gallagher, President of Fin-Up Habitat Consultants.

Placing rocks in the river may seem simple, but it's not.

"A lot of work goes into one of these projects before the first boulder is rolled or the first piece of equipment enters the stream," said Gallagher.

Each placement is actually very scientific.

"Elevations are very important, angles are important," said Gallagher.

"It's an ideal situation," said Gallagher.

It causes changes in the flow of water.

"They create areas where there's nice slow water where the fish can rest and can feed adjacent to faster water where the food source is actually coming to the fish," said Gallagher.

This is good news for fisherman.

"We can actually increase angler opportunity by improving the habitat, increasing the numbers of fish," said Gallagher.

"It's going to improve the fishery by a tremendous amount, probably 30-40% more holes to fish," said Lou McCullough, Owner of Steel City Anglers.

"With our increased popularity of the last few years that's really going to help create just more space for the anglers to come and always find an open spot," said Ben Wurster, Owner of Steel City Anglers.

Which also means great things for tourism in the Pueblo area.

"It's increasing the tourism into the city, and of course it's a tremendous fishery, and it's going to do nothing but increase," said McCullough.

Any work that's not completed by mid-March when the flow of the river is expected to rise will be finished in the fall once the river goes back down.



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