Colorado Water Rights Grab – Again

Colorado Water Grab

In the late 1800’s Colorado was famous for gold rushes, mining and water rights fights. Over a 100 years later and not much has changed. About 10 years ago, the town of Pagosa Springs filed for a massive water rights claim on the San Juan River Water based on their projection of the town’s growth. This went to water court and the town got hammered on their growth projections. After revision, a reasonable rights claim was filed.

This time it is not out of state grabbers but our own Montrose County and the towns of Nucla and Naturita filing for extensive claims on the Lower San Miguel and Delores Rivers. They filed in part to beat a deadline set by the Colorado Water Conservation Board. (See the bureaucrats again.)

These filings set off a firestorm of opposition from the Colorado Water Conservation Board, the division engineer, the town of Telluride, the Sheep Mountain Alliance and many others. There are hundreds of millions of dollars involved with these filings and long term objectives in the range of 60 years according to the Montrose County Engineer.

Eventually this will come around to affecting fly fishing in the area too. Hopefully the Ross Reels Company and Scott Rods Company will weigh in on this issue somewhere.

Personally I like what Mark Twain once wrote about water. “Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting over.”

Read more: Watch Newspapers

This will be a story to keep an eye on.

Off to a good straight malt scotch and water.

Tight Lines,

Marshall Estes, Publisher and Author
Gear Up, Get Out and Fly Fish Colorado
“Successful Fly Fishing for Trout”