At a Glance

Stable, natural trout habitat is restored to a beloved but degraded urban stream reach.

Project Description

Originating at the Continental Divide and flowing through the heart of Boulder, Colorado, Boulder Creek is a significant outdoor amenity that still supports a diverse community of sport and native fish. Past channelization and decades of urban runoff had taken a toll on the creek, but the 2013 flood was the last straw. Members of Boulder Flycasters, the local chapter of Trout Unlimited, noticed an immediate loss of trout in one reach of the creek due to habitat degradation. The impacted reach flowed through Flatiron Park, which is maintained by the City of Boulder's Open Space & Mountain Parks Department (OSMP).

Boulder Flycasters members raised money for their first major restoration project and put their trust in Biohabitats and Left Hand Excavating to improve habitat in the impacted reach.

Working closely with Boulder Flycasters and OSMP to fully understand their goals and vision for the creek, Biohabitats developed a restoration design to increase deep pools for summer and winter refugia, large wood for cover, and structures for concentrating low flows. The design needed to work within the confines of the budget and the constraints of an urban stream channel. All of the large wood and cobble material were harvested on site. Only boulders were brought in. Biohabitats developed customized boulder/cobble structures that narrowed riffles during low flow conditions and flushed pools during high flows. These innovative approaches provided the habitat improvements sought by Boulder Flycasters and the natural feel and minimal disturbance sought by OSMP.



Southern Rocky Mountain

Physiographic Province

Southern Rocky Mountains


South Platte River

Expertise Areas

Design & Build, Ecological Restoration


Boulder Flycasters Chapter of Trout Unlimited


Boulder, Colorado, United States

Project Team
  • Left Hand Excavating
  • Prime Contractor