City lands $284,000 Fishing is Fun grant for river improvements

The city will be using Fishing is Fun grant money toward Phase 1 of river restoration improvements along the Uncompahgre River, flowing adjacent to the Great Outdoors Colorado Connect Trail.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has selected the City of Montrose to receive a $284,588 Fishing is Fun grant for the Uncompahgre River Improvements Project.

The Fishing is Fun program provides federal and state matching funds to Colorado communities and organizations for the development and improvement of aquatic resources and angling opportunities.

Grant funds will be used toward Phase 1 of river restoration improvements on 0.65 miles (3,400 feet) of the Uncompahgre River traversing through the Montrose Urban Renewal Authority (MURA) development and adjacent to the recently completed Great Outdoors Colorado Connect Trail.

The project will include reestablishing a resilient channel, connecting the river to its floodplain, creating a stable riparian zone, improving fish and other aquatic habitats, stabilizing the river banks, and expanding river access for the public.

"The members of the citizen-based River Improvement Committee and our Grant Coordinator Kendall Cramer have developed an outstanding blueprint for improving the Uncompahgre River near the Colorado Outdoors development area," Montrose City Manager Bill Bell said. "We are very appreciative of the financial support we have been awarded by our state and non-profit partners, which has made this habitat restoration and bank stabilization project a reality."

Aerial imagery indicates the river’s channel in the project area has moved approximately 400 feet over the past 50 years.

To date, the City of Montrose has secured $784,588 in grants for the $1.6 million project. The MURA board has approved funding the difference to complete the project.

“This project delivers on the Montrose community’s desire to see stewardship of the city’s natural resources, which was identified as a top priority during the city’s comprehensive planning process," said Grant Coordinator Kendall Cramer. "The restoration of our river enhances aquatic and wildlife habitat provides new opportunities for anglers and other recreationists, and will serve as a catalyst for economic growth in Montrose."

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