Reeling in the Waste at Boulder Creek

Fishing for Change

Local anglers are fishing for change by cleaning up the trash and other contaminants along Boulder Creek. Water quality has been a concern in recent years as human-caused and natural factors continue to contaminate the area.

Boulder County is categorized as a semi-desert which makes it more susceptible to drought and water need. With a dry winter season this year, the creek has seen low flows through urban areas, but trash and other waste continues to negatively impact the creek.

Randy Hicks, Rocky Mountain Angler Store Owner, initiated the stream clean up after noticing large amounts of trash and contaminants at Boulder Creek.

Randy Hicks, Rocky Mountain Angler Store Owner, initiated the stream clean up after noticing large amounts of trash and contaminants at Boulder Creek.

“For me, the Boulder that I want to realize is not one where there’s a stream running through it with poor water quality, no fish, and lots of trash,” says Randy Hicks.

The Stream Clean Up is a service project sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Anglers shop that invites fisherman and Boulder locals to join together and clean up the creek. Volunteers are provided the traditional gloves, tongs, and trash bags, but to really ‘clean the stream’ they can suit up in boots and waders for a truly immersive experience.

John Dungan, local fisherman, laughs while collecting trash along Boulder Creek.

John Dungan, local Boulder fisherman, collects trash along Boulder Creek on Saturday, April 15th.

“There’s a price to it and the price is to keep things clean,” says John Dungan, a local fisherman and clean-up volunteer.

Removing visible trash restores the natural beauty of the creek, but the deeper trouble is what goes unseen. Geology and climate play a significant role in the creeks water quality, but urban contaminants such as runoff from roads and human waste are currently the greatest offenders. Community service projects, like Stream Clean-Up, offer an aesthetic solution to the trash, but to there is another level of cleanup that needs to happen.

“Before you dump something think about where it’s going and what impacts it may have,” says Randy Hicks.

Boulder Creek is a vital resource for the county’s drinking water, agriculture, recreation, and power generation. Its quality can not only impact human health, but the sustainability of our wildlife and environment.

You don’t have to be a fisherman to make a splash in the community. Just get hooked on removing the waste.

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