Colorado River Watch

The Uncompahgre Watershed Partnership organizes five 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.

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, Diane Spooner, and Ronna Edgett-Underwood.

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.

In September 2020, Huggins produced UWP’s first comprehensive report on past River Watch data within the upper watershed. The report can be viewed and downloaded here: 2020 UWP River Watch Report. Huggins also creates monthly River Watch reports with timely statistics and updates on local water monitoring activities.

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 two to 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: https://coloradoriverwatch.org/