Funny but when I was fishing the South Platte near Deckers, CO Saturday 3/24/2012, I didn’t know that I should have had my radiation proof shorts and acid proof waders on. According to an environmental group Environment Colorado, quoting from EPA statistics, industrial facilities dumped more than 700,000 pounds of toxic chemicals into Colorado rivers in 2010. About one third of that amount ended up in the South Platte River. Now remember this is the same EPA that has forced us to use high percentage ethanol gasoline during the winter months for more than twenty years. No matter that 30% ethanol gasoline does not deliver as good mileage as the summer blends. The reasoning was to reduce air pollution in the Metro Denver Area. Several years ago, some folks got hold of the results of 20 years of forced ethanol gasoline use. The air in Denver had indeed improved; about 1/10 of 1 percent improvement as I remember. The EPA promptly buried their report.
As for the So Platte being polluted, I would agree that certain parts thru Denver known as brown liner water where the shopping carts and discarded tires reside is polluted. But therein reside enormous carp with some reaching over 30 pounds. Apparently all the chemicals have not killed them.
And Theo Anest and guides at Colorado Skies Outfitters consistently prove there are some respectable trout in the South Platt below Chatfield Reservoir so all hope is not lost for the venerable South Platte River.
But here is the real agenda of the Environment Colorado group. They want more federal control over Colorado Rivers through the Clean Water Act.
Since Denver and Aurora get a lot of their drinking water through the South Platte drainage system, I think they would be very concerned about the kind of chemicals, the EPA alleges have been dumped into the South Platte in 2010. And of course the Denver Post and Environment Colorado have conveniently neglected to mention stretches of the South Platte where the discharges occurred.
Since the chemicals mentioned are not radioactive, I guess we won’t need to purchase haz-mat wading suits and wear our radiation proof shorts.
If you catch any fish in the South Platte that are glowing, make sure to use your forceps to remove the hooks and don’t handle the fish.
Everything You Need for Fly Fishing
- Montrose County Water War
- Colorado Fly Fishing Conditions – South Platte River 3/24/12