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3 missing in Poudre Canyon still missing; CPW assessing fish kill in river

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Posted at 6:19 PM, Jul 23, 2021

UPDATE | Sunday, 7:37 p.m. — A second body has been found following Tuesday evening’s mudslide and flash flooding in Poudre Canyon. The man was found in the area of mile marker 92. He has not been identified.

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DENVER – Another day of searching did not turn up the three adults missing since Tuesday evening’s mudslide and flash flooding in Poudre Canyon, the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office said Friday afternoon.

The sheriff’s office’s Damage Assessment Team found that six residential structures on Black Hollow Road were destroyed in the mudslide as well as a detached garage. One other residential structure was damaged.

The search efforts will continue again Saturday morning with fewer resources. Search efforts were halted at 2:30 p.m. Friday because of weather.

The sheriff’s office said the owners of all the destroyed or damaged structures had been notified.

The Poudre River will stay closed from the fish hatchery to Rustic while the removal of the mudslide debris continues.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife continue to monitor the impacts on the river from the mudslide, including documenting the fish kill that occurred. CPW senior aquatic biologist Jeff Spohn said the agency would not be commenting on impacts to the fish population until standardized data was collected.

Fish surveys will be conducted sometime in October. The heavy sediment is believed to have killed some of the fish in the river, however.

“That can basically suffocate the fish because that amount of sediment and debris prevents the fish from pulling oxygen out of the water,” said CPW aquatic biologist Kyle Battige. “It is too early to say the true extend, but we saw impacts stretching from Black Hollow Creek all the way down to College Avenue in Fort Collins.”

The Poudre River’s brown trout population is self-sustaining, though CPW can stock the fish if it is warranted. Rainbow trout are stocked annually, but the brown trout is the dominant species in Poudre Canyon.

CPW advises people not to handle any dead fish they find along the river.

There were flash flood watches in effect again Friday for the area, as a monsoon pattern continues to bring heavy rain to Colorado’s burn scars.

“Please be cautious, have means to receive emergency alerts about dangerous conditions, and seek higher ground immediately if flooding occurs,” the sheriff’s office said.

The county has yet to formally identify the woman killed in Tuesday’s flooding or the three people missing, but the sheriff said they all are associated with the same residence on Black Hollow Drive.