Roaring Fork Conservancy Releases Lower Fryingpan River and Ruedi Reservoir Economic Study

Fishing on the Fryingpan River brings $3.8 million annually to local economy

July 28, 2015 (Basalt, Colo.)— Roaring Fork Conservancy partnered with Colorado State University to better understand the role angling in the Lower Fryingpan River and Ruedi Reservoir play in the local economy. Fishing in Colorado provides unique recreational opportunities and generates economic activity through the purchase of gear and clothing, guide services, and other recreation-related expenditures such as travel, food, and lodging. Fishing also generates economic activity beyond these direct expenditures because they create spin-off purchases. This study analyzed the direct and spin-off economic activity created from recreational fishing on the Lower Fryingpan River and Ruedi Reservoir. Data was obtained by surveying anglers both on Ruedi Reservoir and Lower Fryingpan River during 2014.

The study revealed the following results:

·       The economic impact of fishing on the Lower Fryingpan River is $3.8 million annually.


·       The combined impact of recreational fishing on both the Lower Fryingpan River and Ruedi Reservoir is nearly $4 million dollars.


·       Total angling expenditures for the year on the Lower Fryingpan River were $3.3 million, with almost half of the expenditures coming in June, July, and August.


·       Recreational fishing on the Lower Fryingpan River contributes 38.3 jobs to the region.


·       On average, 44% of expenditures associated with fishing on the Fryingpan River occur in downtown Basalt; corresponding to $1,692,454 in economic impact, 17 jobs, and $1,041,370 in value added in downtown Basalt.


·       The additional economic impact to the regional economy of a policy managing winter flows to mitigate anchor ice for angler recreation is estimated to be $1.5 million dollars in additional output, 15 jobs and $944,401 in value added.


·       The estimated additional economic impact from spending in the region from the increased trips due to managing late summer flows is estimated at $1.1 million dollars, 11 jobs and $708,300 in value added. (This refers to keeping late summer flows at a “wadeable” level.)


“The Fryingpan River provides a one of a kind fishing experience. We are thrilled to begin to quantify the monetary value of fishing in the Roaring Fork Valley,” said Rick Lofaro, Executive Director of Roaring Fork Conservancy. “The ecological value is apparent to the many visitors who experience the Fryingpan Valley each year. This study puts a dollar value on protecting and maintaining high water quality and quantity and the thriving Gold Medal waters in the Fryingpan. We will use the information generated from this study to help inform decision making and management going forward.”

Dr. John Loomis and Dr. Rebecca Hill, from Colorado State University Agricultural and Resource Economics Department, performed the economic analysis and are the primary authors of this report. They will be in Basalt on Wednesday, August 5 at 5:30pm to present their findings in greater detail and answer questions. Additional details about this presentation will be available on Roaring Fork Conservancy’s website by the end of the week.

Funding for this study was provided by Eagle County, Pitkin County Healthy Rivers and Streams, the Town of Basalt, and private donations.

About Roaring Fork Conservancy:

Since 1996, Roaring Fork Conservancy has inspired people to explore, value and protect the Roaring Fork Watershed. We bring people together to protect our rivers and work to keep water in local streams, monitor water quality, and preserve riparian habitat. Roaring Fork Conservancy is an independent, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. For more information call (970) 927-1290 or visit .