The Arikaree River is located on the plains of Eastern Colorado and is a tributary to the Republican River. It is a designated area within the Colorado Natural Areas Program to protect native and uncommon species that may be endangered or threatened.
Despite the large watershed size (2,875 kilometers2), the Arikaree is a small, wadeable stream that drains tall-grass prairie and flows through a sand-alluvial basin. The stream is largely fed by surface precipitation and is subject to flooding when large, localized storms occur in the watershed. The Arikaree flows primarily during the winter, and often dries completely during summer due to dry conditions and groundwater withdrawals for irrigation.
The Arikaree site is located on Nature Conservancy land that is maintained as an active cattle ranch but is also managed to ensure a diverse tall-grass prairie and bird community persists.
Site Specific Topics
NEON collects a standard suite of aquatic data at Arikaree; however, data collected at this site captures regional hydrological change and may lead to a better understanding of climate change trends in the area.
Land cover at the Arikaree site is dominated by grasslands with a few trees located near the stream edge. Cottonwood trees cover 30% of the ground in the surrounding area; willow trees cover 10% at the stream bank. During mid-summer, the stream channel is dominated by cattails (Typha sp.).