IN today’s Daily Report you’ll find information on the Colorado Master Irrigator program open to Valley farmers, an understanding of how brown trout spawn in Colorado, how to apply for money for your event from the City of Alamosa, and the launch of the Rural Journalism Institute of the San Luis Valley. Read on. At the end you’ll see a short video on city and state road crews beginning to make adjustments to Main Street Alamosa.

Colorado Master Irrigator program taking applications

Here’s a great opportunity for San Luis Valley farmers and farm managers to gain a better understanding of the history of water development, and how to improve water and energy use, soil health, and improve profitability of operations.

The Colorado Master Irrigator offers farmers and farm managers advanced training on conservation- and efficiency-oriented irrigation management practices and tools. This program is the product of efforts led by several local producers, district management representatives, and others. Colorado Master Irrigator is modeled on the award-winning Master Irrigator program created and run since 2016 by the North Plains Groundwater Conservation District in the Texas panhandle and now customized to fit the educational needs of the SLV.

Over four sessions, this 32-hour program reviews water law and administration, history of water development, and gives participants the tools and strategies to improve water and energy use efficiency and conservation, soil health, and profitability on their operations. Those who complete the course will also receive a $2,000 stipend. To be eligible for this course you must farm in either Rio Grande, Alamosa, Costilla, Conejos, Saguache or Mineral County.

To learn more please contact Marisa Fricke, Master Irrigator SLV Program Coordinator,, or call 719-589-6301. Farmers can sign up at:

Brown trout spawning operation collects 1.1 million brown trout eggs

Colorado Parks and Wildlife put out this intriguing statistic this week: 1.1 million brown trout eggs. Each fall, brown trout spawn in the mountain creeks and rivers across Colorado. It is also when aquatic biologists, hatchery staff, wildlife officers and volunteers for Colorado Parks and Wildlife come together to conduct its annual brown trout spawning operation at North Delaney Butte Lake and Antero Reservoir.

A quota is set to collect the number of eggs necessary to meet the needs for hatchery production, which CPW uses to augment natural reproduction across Colorado’s creeks, rivers and reservoirs. This year, that quota was 1.1 million brown trout eggs. It took just three working days at those two brood stock bodies of water to meet the quota of fertilized eggs that get sent to CPW’s Mt. Shavano Hatchery in Salida and its Poudre Rearing Hatchery in Larimer County.

The hatcheries will rear the fish to a fingerling size, around three inches, before being stocked out across Colorado in 2022. Those brown trout fingerlings will get stocked back into both Antero Reservoir and North Delaney Butte Lake to ensure a strong brood stock population, but also across many other reservoirs and rivers.

“Some of them will come back and be stocked into Antero and some will go to North Delaney as well, so we can come back in three or four years and still will have fish,” said Tyler Swarr, aquatic biologist leading the brown trout spawning operation at Antero Reservoir. “The rest of them will get stocked out across the state.” 

CPW stocks more than 700,000 brown trout annually to provide exceptional fishing opportunities.

Crews at Antero Reservoir were able to collect and fertilize 227,026 brown trout eggs from 117 females during its lone spawning day on Wednesday, Oct. 6.

At North Delaney Butte Lake in North Park, CPW’s team needed just three days (Oct. 5-7) to gather 888,574 eggs to surpass the quota of 1.1 million fertilized brown trout eggs for the year.

“2021 was another good brown trout spawn year at North Delaney,” said Kyle Battige, aquatic biologist leading the brown trout spawning operation there. “We saw many year classes present, handled over 1,500 brown trout in three days and I’m happy overall with the current condition of the brood lake” 

Brown trout spawn in the wild occurs over the months of October and November. It is temperature dependent. “River fish spawn a little bit later since it is colder,” Swarr said. “Since reservoirs absorb a lot more solar radiation, they are warmer, so they’ll actually spawn earlier here than they will in rivers.”

In the reservoirs, the silt from the wave action can cover the eggs and prevent them from getting the fresh oxygen they need to grow and hatch. In a river setting, brown trout will lay eggs in the gravel on the river bottom. Those eggs typically get laid in places of upwelling where there is a crest of a riffle and you have a plunge that causes the water to travel through the gravel, slowly turning the eggs and delivering oxygen to them.

“Our spawning operation helps to sustain some of our brown trout fisheries in the state and provides a little bit more fishing diversity for anglers,” Swarr said.

Brown trout are a hard-fighting fish and have beautiful coloration that matches the autumn season. Brown trout are golden brown with vibrant black, red and orange spots.

“The cool thing about them in the state of Colorado is they are resistant to whirling disease since they evolved with that in Europe,” Swarr said. “So, they’ve become kind of the bread and butter of our wild trout fisheries, at least in our northeast region, because really most of the brown trout in the state of Colorado are naturally reproducing wild populations and we don’t have to stock them to the numbers we do with rainbows. Rainbow trout are still impacted heavily by whirling disease.”

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Rural Journalism Institute of the San Luis Valley launches

Another exciting development in the evolution of was Tuesday’s publishing of the first story by a student working with the Rural Journalism Institute of the San Luis Valley.

The Rural Journalism Institute of the SLV is a private non-profit formed by Zepol Media Partners, LLC, that will work with students and early-stage journalists in small, rural communities like the San Luis Valley. We believe the Rural Journalism Institute is critical to building a sustainable business model for We have to find and train new people who want to go into local journalism and who want to live and work in small towns.

Please take a moment to read the story by Natalie Montecino, a senior at Colorado State University. Natalie is one of three students we are currently working with through the Rural Journalism Institute of the San Luis Valley.

Brianna Robles, a senior at Adams State, is another student we are working with. You will read some of her work in the coming weeks.

City of Alamosa opens event grant application

If you are hosting an event in the City of Alamosa that will be held January through June of 2022, you can apply for the City’s Sponsorship Program. Knowing the ever-changing guidelines surrounding COVID-19, the City realizes that events are challenging to plan and that adjustments might be needed as the status with COVID changes. Applications will be accepted until Wednesday, November 17, 2021. Please visit to find a copy of the application or contact Jasmine Husmann at 719-587-2024 or

En Español: Si está organizando un evento en la ciudad de Alamosa que se llevará a cabo de enero a junio de 2022, ¡puede solicitar el Programa de Patrocinio de la Ciudad! Al conocer las pautas en constante cambio que rodean a COVID-19, la Ciudad se da cuenta de que los eventos son difíciles de planificar y que podrían ser necesarios ajustes a medida que cambia el estado con COVID.

Por favor visita o contactar Jasmine Husmann at 719-587-2024 or

Main Street Undergoes Tweaks to Road Design

And last but certainly not least, city and state road crews began Tuesday to make the design adjustments to Main Street Alamosa that the city council signed off on at its meeting a week ago. The wet, windy weather didn’t help matters early Tuesday but the good news is the weather gets better as the week progresses, even reaching back into the 60s by Saturday. The Main Street work is scheduled to get done in time for Adams State’s Homecoming parade which begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday. A bonus to the work is the city is able to repair an underground storm drainage pipe leak that has caused puddling near the Purple Pig Pizzeria & Pub any time Alamosa gets rain or snow.

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