An unhealthy section of the South Fork of the South Platte below Antero Reservoir where temperature impairment is extreme.
A healthy section of the South Fork of the South Platte above Highway 285 where temperature impairment is mitigated naturally via groundwater exchange and shading.
Mark Beardsley of EcoMetrics collected stream temperature data across the county from 2011 to 2020. Stream temperature regulates biochemical factors in streams. A lot of riparian and shady areas were lost when land use in the 1800's changed streams by diversions and cattle grazing. High temperatures are considered a pollutant. Colorado has temperature standards which need to be met. Some streams at high altitude get too hot in the summer because shady vegetation was removed and streams were disconnected from their riparian areas and floodplains. EcoMetrics coordinated with Colorado Parks and Wildlife who also monitored the health of local fish. Monitoring temperatures will help determine types of remediation necessary to lower temperatures to improve aquatic habitats.