Algae Alert, Online Auction, & WCOC Grant!
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We've been slimed!

An algae bloom in the Uncompahgre River at Rollans Park in October.
Another example of the slimy algae in the river at Rollans Park.

    Every year, a few weeks before Halloween, the Uncompahgre River seems to blossom with slimy, bubbling growths in areas of the lowest flow. This substance is green algae, decaying and releasing bubbles that are often trapped by iron deposits. Though the algae appears more prominently and abundantly in this season, it's actually present in the river – even in high flow areas – year round. This fall, the slime may be more noticeable due to more pronounced bubbles caused by the unusually warm temperatures.

     While this algae is a typical condition of many river systems and streams, it suffocates macroinvertebrates. According to Uncompahgre Watershed Partnership board member and River Watch volunteer Dudley Case, River Watch experts explained that the zinc in the Uncompahgre River negatively effects both fish and macroinvertebrates, and the slime clogs up areas where they might nest and reproduce. 

     "Macroinvertebrates are a food source for fish, so the less macroinvertebrates, the less fish. Since the slime is so endemic in the river, reducing the slime safely would be a useful project," said Case.

     Observing and reporting on these types of water issues is one of the goals of the Uncompahgre Watershed Partnership (UWP) as we monitor watershed conditions and communicate with stakeholders. We are reviewing our Watershed Plan this winter so we can make updates related to project and study results from recent years. We hope you will contribute your observations and ideas about priorities to the review and update process. Please feel free to contact us anytime with your thoughts, and we will be back in touch with you to collect input in the coming months, too.

Thank you to UWP Project Coordinator Agnieszka Przeszlowska for contributing information and photos for this report.

Above, the slime is visible in September 2015: top, in the river at Potters Ranch by the County Road 3 bridge over the river; and bottom, in the river in Ridgway about a quarter of a mile north from the Highway 62 bridge. The river often looks yellowish because of the decaying algae.
The Uncompahgre Watershed Partnership has two donations available for your bid in the Great Old Broads WILD for Wilderness Online Auction, open until Nov. 13. Go to the Water & Fishing Adventures auction page to buy your river race entry packages for the 2017 Ridgway RiverFest now, and you'll be getting a head-start in the races as well as supporting a great cause – wilderness advocacy, education, and stewardship.

A big thank you to the Women’s Club of Ouray County...
The Uncompahgre Watershed Partnership applied for a grant from the Women's Club of Ouray County and received $250 in October. The club’s generous financial contribution will help fund our nonprofit's education and outreach to youth. We regularly provide opportunities for learning about the watershed to students of all ages through school visits, field trips, the Ridgway RiverFest and other special events with our partners. We are also planning to create a “youth portal” on our website to provide a special area for young people to find facts, maps, games, and other resources to learn about water resources and issues. 

Please DONATE or become a MEMBER: The Uncompahgre Watershed Partnership is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, and we rely on donations and memberships to help cover our operating expenses. 

Please share this subscription link with your family, friends, neighbors and coworkers so they can keep updated on what's happening in our watershed, too!
Copyright © 2016 Uncompahgre Watershed Partnership, All rights reserved.

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