June 11, 2010--Money flows to study of Lightner Creek (Durango Herald)

The Southwestern Water Conservation District has contributed $3,600 to help fund the second phase of a study to determine the source of periodic sediment in Lightner Creek. Initial results of the study point to the Perins Canyon watershed and a stormwater retention basin as possible sources. For years, water-protection groups and Trout Unlimited have been concerned about the chalky-colored water that from time to time enters the Animas River from Lightner Creek immediately south of the DoubleTree Hotel. In February 2009, Buck Skillen, a board member of Trout Unlimited, tested water turbidity at the confluence of the waterways. When he poured 60 cubic centimeters of water (the equivalent of two shot glasses or a medical syringe) in a filter, it became clogged by the time 45 centimeters had passed through. Overall water quality and the effects of sediment on the Animas' gold-medal trout fishery are the major concerns of the coalition of concerned groups that initiated the study last October.

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