High temperatures and a lack of rain are taking their toll on the Evergreen water supply.
In addition to the water-use restrictions enacted last week, the Evergreen Metropolitan District is asking residents to delay large landscaping and gardening projects.
“I’d hate to have people spend money on landscaping and have it die,” said Metro District general manager Gerry Schulte.
With the water level in Bear Creek steadily dropping in the past week, it is best to conserve as much as possible, Schulte said. This is not the time cultivate a lawn with grass seed or sod or to begin growing a garden, he said.
Metro District customers currently are restricted to outdoor watering a maximum of three days a week. No watering is allowed from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Schulte recommends limiting outdoor watering to two days a week for a period of 20 to 30 minutes.
The district began the water-use restrictions when the rate of flow in Bear Creek dropped below 10 cubic feet per second. As of June 26, the measurement was 8.1 cubic feet per second, Evergreen Trout Unlimited reported.
If the flow keeps decreasing, there may be additional restrictions, Schulte said.
Evergreen Trout Unlimited is also asking people not to fish in Bear Creek because of low water levels and warm temperatures.
“Stay off the creek and pray for rain,” said Mike McGinnis, Evergreen Trout Unlimited president.
“When the level of water in the lakes and streams is too low, it really stresses the fish. If they don’t have enough cool, oxygenated water, they can die,” he explained.
Using the catch-and-release fishing method at this time could also kill fish, McGinnis said.
Evergreen Trout Unlimited has canceled its July 4 fishing clinic in Bear Creek near the Evergreen Lake House because of drought conditions, McGinnis said.
“This year the creek is ankle-deep,” he remarked.
Normally, the streams in this area are very healthy and the habitat is good, McGinnis said.
In addition to conserving water, the Bear Creek Watershed Association is also asking residents to wash cars at a car wash rather than at home, and to not apply fertilizers and herbicides to lawns or algaecides to ponds in dry conditions.
Working with Trout Unlimited and the Metro District, the watershed association monitors aquatic life and water quality. It is asking people to report dead fish found in quantities of six or more within the Bear Creek watershed by immediately calling Chris Schauder with the association and the Metro District. Photographing the dead fish would be helpful.
Residents also are asked to report any illegal dumping of fuel, oil, grease or construction materials such as concrete slurry into streets, ditches and creeks.
Contact reporter Sandy Barnes at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 303-350-1042.