After years of fundraising, hard work and negotiation, there is actually something to celebrate about our rivers! On May 21, the local Colorado River Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited completed a project to cut, sprout and plant 3,000 willows along the Fraser River.

Trout Unlimited was thrilled to have about 150 volunteers over three days to complete our first “on the ground and in the river” project in the Fraser River Valley. Our volunteers planted willows on nearly a mile of the most severely degraded portion of the Fraser, the “Fraser Flats”.

The willows will help the river in several ways. The overall goal is to recreate a more natural, fish-friendly, self-sustaining, healthy ecosystem. This was the first phase of our 20-30 year project to begin restoring the Fraser and is part of the Learning By Doing process.

On behalf of the TU board and our project leader, Anna Drexler-Dreis, we sincerely thank all our wonderful volunteers. We also thank Devil’s Thumb Ranch and the Winter Park Flyfisher for loaning us waders, as well as O’Dell Brewing for providing beer for our volunteers, Subway, Lions Head Coffee, Good to Go Portables, Fraser Valley Ace Hardware and Mike Turner at Grand CountyTV18 for video and drone filming.

TU will organize future projects to enhance other parts of our local rivers and environment. For more information on this and upcoming projects, go the the local TU website at

Thanks again!

Jerry Nissen, TU Board member