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Stream Enhancement Project Volunteer Support Opportunity at Wildcat Creek


What the project is about

Pour-over scour pockets or plunge pools, as described, are where trout can retreat in low streamflows. Five locations for new plunge pools are planned. The Forest Service will install across-stream logs for creating the habitat pockets. The task of volunteers will be to fill behind the logs with rocks and cobble. That will minimize opportunity for the logs to be dislodged by high flows. It also will help maximize the velocity of high flow over the logs, which does the work of developing and maintaining the pools.

The photograph shows a naturally occurring pour-over and plunge pool resulting from a fallen log at Wildcat Creek. The image is from August, low-flow conditions.

Getting to the project site

  • Drive to the Wildcat Creek Trailhead (coordinates: 37.621643, -108.068487), about one mile above Green Oasis Cottages on highway 145 (roughly 35 minutes above the Speedway gas station in Dolores).

  • Park in the designated area off the side of the road. See the aerial view below.

  • Check in with the DRA member in the parking area and sign the TU waiver.

  • Enter the trailhead at the trail gate, follow the trail markers across the private property easement, wade the stream to the other side, and continue up the trail (crossing the muddy, wet area). Enter the Forest at the boundary gate and continue following the trail signs to the first work site.

  • Check in with the DRA coordinator there for assignment suggestions.

What to take with you, what to consider

  • Take a five-gallon bucket if you have one or more. Add an old towel to the bottom as cushion so that rocks you put in won't damage the bottom. Buckets will be used to carry rocks and cobble.

  • Dress for the weather. It is likely to be cool and possibly wet. It can rain in the mountains even if the sky is clear at lower elevations.

  • Expect to wade and get wet hands and feet. Consider bringing waders and a change of clothes and shoes.

  • Water, sunscreen, lunch, and snacks are suggested.

  • Carpooling from Dolores would reduce parking space needs.

  • Food, gas, and restroom facilities are available nearby at Rico, approximately 10 minutes further up highway 145 from the project site.

Please sign up so we can know and plan for the number of folks that will be participating. Also, this enables us to contact you should site conditions develop that prevent working.


This is a description of the basis for the project, which is designed to develop and maintain pour-over plunge pools that create refuge to which trout can retreat in low-flow conditions. The pools will be distributed along the stream reach so trout will have ready access to shelter. So long as there is streamflow, the pools will stay full and not need replenishing. That is, there will be no reduction in flow leaving the tributary and entering the main stem. As well, the new refuge space will slightly increase the overall, year-around stream habitat volume.

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