WRC Blog

WRC Conserves Trophy Trout Water on Upper Yampa River

Dec 17th, 2014  |  Written by Western Rivers Conservancy

WRC Conserves Trophy Trout Water on Upper Yampa River
Western Rivers Conservancy opened new public access to an outstanding stretch of trophy trout water on the upper Yampa River. Photo by David Dietrich.

Last year, Western Rivers Conservancy set out to protect an outstanding reach of the upper Yampa River and open access to some of the finest trophy trout water in Colorado. We are thrilled to announce, “We did it!” WRC successfully conveyed a historic, 45-acre property at the confluence of the Yampa River and Sarvis Creek to the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service. The agencies will now manage the lands for the sake of fish and wildlife conservation and for low-impact public access.

WRC purchased the 45-acre parcel shortly after conserving a 920-acre ranch at the mouth of Cross Mountain Canyon on the lower Yampa River. There, in partnership with the BLM, we protected 2.5 miles of the lower river and opened access to the BLM’s vast Cross Mountain Wilderness Study Area. Our work at Sarvis Creek was the logical next step in our ongoing effort to conserve riverland along what is undoubtedly one of the West’s most remarkable rivers.

An angler casts for trout on the Yampa River
near Sarvis Creek. WRC's efforts conserved a
prime stretch of river along one of Colorado’s
classic tailwater fisheries. Photo by Russ Schnitzer.

Our work at Sarvis Creek focused on the Hubbard’s Summer Place, a stunning property located three miles below Stagecoach Reservoir and surrounded almost entirely by parks, wilderness and wildlife areas. Located only 13 miles from Steamboat Springs, this stretch of the Yampa is coveted by anglers for is behemoth rainbow and brown trout. The river is also home to native mountain whitefish.

Placing the Hubbard’s Summer Place into public ownership enhances ongoing efforts to restore fish and wildlife habitat in and along the Yampa. The project also conserves forests of lodgepole pine, Engelmann spruce, scrub oak, ponderosa pine and aspen, as well as riparian stands of alder, willow and red osier dogwood. Rocky Mountain elk, imperiled Canada lynx, black bear, cougar and dusky grouse are among the many wildlife species that inhabit the area. 

The Hubbard family’s former cabin, which the family built in 1956, remains on the land and will be managed as a historic structure by the USFS and BLM. And for the first time in memory, this stretch of the Yampa will soon be open to everyone.

 

Critical support for our work on Sarvis Creek has been provided by the L.P. Brown Foundation, The Conservation Alliance, Laura Jane Musser Fund and Kenney Brothers Foundation.