Colorado River Watch

The Uncompahgre Watershed Partnership organizes six volunteers to sample water at six key sites selected in the Upper Uncompahgre Watershed as part of the Colorado River Watch program. The data collected by these volunteers is crucial in understanding water quality in the watershed, and helping to plan restoration projects.

Check out the 10-minute video about River Watch in the Upper Uncompahgre River Watershed

You can download the documents from the video here: Meet Your Watershed Figures

Arlen Huggins is the River Watch liaison to the UWP Board, who helps troubleshoot and report on sampling activities and administration. Our volunteers are: Arlen Huggins, Amy Relnick, John Hulburd, Ronna Edgett-Underwood, Leslie Kaminski, Ali Dahl, and Taylor Poyner. UWP receives funding from Ouray County and the Town of Ridgway to support our water quality monitoring activities.

In the Upper Uncompahgre River Watershed, other River Watch volunteers include Ethan Funk and Eric Funk who sample from just below the City of Ouray to up Red Mountain Pass, as well as one site along CR 361. Also, Steven, the Parks Supervisor for the Town of Ridgway, contributes to River Watch data with water samples from Beaver Creek at Ridgway Ditch where it crosses CR 5A near the entrance to Elk Meadows.

Huggins produces periodic reports on past River Watch data within the upper watershed. The reports can be viewed and downloaded here:

monthly River Watch reports

2020 UWP River Watch Report

RW Data Summary (2019-21) and Review of WQCC 2022 Reg. 93 – 303(d) List of Impaired Waters

Sampling sites are called River Watch stations, and UWP’s is responsible for the following stations, from south to north:

Uncompahgre River at County Road 3

Uncompahgre River near Charles Street in Ridgway

Dallas Creek

Uncompahgre River at County Road 24 bridge

Uncompahgre River at the Pa-co-chu-puk area of Ridgway State Park

Cow Creek

In summer 2021, UWP’s River Watch team will also begin sampling at Blue Lakes in the Sneffels Wilderness Area and three high alpine locations up Red Mountain Pass.

Read about River Watch in the Jan. 2019 article in The Watch newspaper

You can find out information at: