Big Cimarron Flow Restoration

The Big Cimarron River originates in Silver Jack Reservoir, flows through the tight canyons of the Cimarron Range, and eventually empties into the Gunnison River. Wild trout have traditionally thrived in the Cimarron, making it a popular destination for anglers. But in recent years, summer flows of the Cimarron have been reduced to a trickle. As much as 80% of the late summer flows can be diverted for agriculture, most of which use outside of the Cimarron watershed.

Trout Unlimited is working with stakeholders in the Bostwick Park Conservancy District and Cimarron Canal Company to restore flows to the Big Cimarron. Part of this plan involves replacing a diversion gate with a new automated gate that will make it easier to divert water more sustainably. The project will also analyze water supplies to plan for a variety of run-off scenarios to make sure water diversion do not unnecessarily impact the fishery.

By improving infrastructure, managing water demands, and implementing guidelines for smart water diversion, this project will restore flows to 14 miles of the river, ensuring that both water users and the ecosystems of the Big Cimarron have enough water year-round.

* Project supports voluntary transactions to change, reduce or stop water use – either temporarily or permanently – to protect or restore water for environmental benefit


Gunnison County, CO

Start Up Date:


Project Benefits:

Enhancing Recreation & Economic Benefits

Environmental Flow Restoration & Protection

Wildlife & Habitat Protection

Project Type:

Flow Restoration Transaction *


Funding Needed