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Colorado biologists tackle Lake Granby kokanee salmon decline

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Kokanee salmon caught at Green Mountain Reservoir, Summit County, Colorado. bberwyn photo.

Public meetings on Lake Granby fishery set for early spring

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologists say they’re considering changes to fishing regulations in Lake Granby to try and recover the population of kokanee salmon in the popular lake.

The number of salmon eggs collected by biologists in Lake Granby has dropped from 4 million in 2006 down to just 350,000 this year, not enough to maintain the existing population, let alone stock any other Colorado lakes with kokanee.

Kokanee are land-locked Pacific sockeye salmon found in several high-elevation reservoirs in Colorado. The fish feed primarily on zooplankton. But a booming population of mysis shrimp and predation by lake trout are probably the main factors in the Lake Granby kokanee decline. Continue reading

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Colorado: Free fishing this weekend

Relatively low river flows make for good angling this year

Trent Park, Silverthorne, Colorado.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — After the earliest snow-melt on record, many Colorado rivers and streams are already running clear and warming up. And with flows projected to drop off quickly going into summer, the upcoming free fishing weekend might be the perfect time to get into the groove of the season.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife traditionally sets aside the first full weekend in June to promote sport fishing. For this weekend only, anglers do not need a valid fishing license in order to wet a line. The state fishing report is online here.

“Fishing is one of Colorado’s most important outdoor traditions and a great way to hook kids on healthy outdoor recreation,” said Greg Gerlich, aquatic section manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “Free fishing weekend also gives anglers who haven’t fished for a while a chance to reconnect with the simple pleasure of being on the water.” Continue reading

Colorado: Lake John reclamation complete

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has completed a restoration project at a popular fishing hole.

Thousands of rainbows and cutthroats stocked

By Summit Voice

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has completed a reclamation project at Lake John, setting the stage for a rejuvenated fishery that will be open for angling in early September. Lake John is located northwest of Walden along CO Road 7A.

“The success we have had with the reclamation is like a reset button for Lake John,” said Kurt Davies, aquatic biologist for the northeast region. “The lake will be back online by the first week of September and back to growing fish at its maximum potential. The fish we are planting now will see tremendous growth before the lake is even iced up and with the large brood fish we are putting in there, there’s the possibility someone will hook into a real trophy.” Continue reading

Colorado: More aquatic invaders found in state waters

State biologists urging anglers to help prevent spread of destructive mussels

Quagga mussels coating a flip-flop in Lake Mead. PHOTO COURTESY NATIONAL PARK SERVICE.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Biologists with  Colorado Parks and Wildlife say they continue to find new signs of aquatic invaders in Colorado waters, including  New Zealand mudsnails, which showed up in East Delaney Butte Reservoir this summer.

They also found Eurasian watermilfoil, an invasive aquatic week in the reservoir at Eleven Mile State Park, and rusty crayfish, discovered in 2009 in the headwaters of the Yampa River, have been recently confirmed in the reservoir at Stagecoach State Park, near Steamboat Springs.

“We have had success with our boat inspection programs to prevent invasive species, but there are a few aquatic nuisance species that can spread via methods other than boats,” said Elizabeth Brown, an invasive species coordinator with parks and wildlife. “The fact that we’re finding new populations means we have to work harder to engage the public to do their part to clean and dry all their gear and equipment as well as their boats to protect our waters.” Continue reading

Colorado: Discarded fishing line deadly to wildlife

Tangled fishing line left behind by careless anglers is a common sight at popular fishing spots, and dozens of animals die as a result of this problem.

Tangled remnants of monofilament can be recycled with Berkley

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — It’s been great fun the last couple of years watching my son’s growing enthusiasm for fishing. In the warm part of the year, it’s become an important part of our father and son time. Along with the occasional thrill of catching a fish, we explore new spots and we have time to just sit and talk.

But one thing that’s always bothered me is the tremendous amount of garbage left behind at popular angling spots, especially the easily accessible shoreline venues along Dillon Reservoir. I’ve been harping on this to my son since he could walk and talk, and I’m proud to say he’s become quite the anti-litterbug — to the point that I’ve heard him call out people on the chairlift at A-Basin when he sees them drop a candy wrapper.

Included in that shoreline debris I often find tangled wads of fishing line. In a few areas, it’s become ubiquitous. This is a big problem. Of course, the line doesn’t biodegrade, but even worse, dozens of birds and small mammals get tangled in the line and die every year in Colorado. There’s really no excuse for this. Continue reading

Colorado: Time for a new fishing license

Revamped online CDOW fishing brochure features video clips

Fishing for cutthroat trout at Clinton Gulch Reservoir, Summit County, Colorado.

Fishing for cutthroat trout at Clinton Gulch Reservoir, Summit County, Colorado.

The online version of this year's CDOW fishing brochure features video clips. Click to visit the online brochure.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — While some Coloradans are still reveling in the spring powder, others are ready for warm-weather pastimes like fishing. The new license season starts April 1, so it’s time for eager anglers to renew their licenses.

A Colorado fishing license is required for anyone 16 and older who fishes in Colorado. An annual fishing license is $26 for Colorado residents and $56 for nonresidents. Seniors 64 and older who are residents of Colorado can purchase an annual fishing license for $1. The Division also offers five-day and one-day fishing licenses for shorter outings. Continue reading

Colorado: Ice fishing for cash and glory

Robby Richardson and Seth Firestone of Gunnison took home $918 for their 17-pound trophy pike in the first leg of a Colorado State Parks ice fishing tourney.

Second leg of ice-fishing tourney set for Feb. 5 at Eleven Mile State Park

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Hearty Colorado anglers are invited to take to the ice of Eleven Mile Reservoir this weekend for the second leg of an ice-fishing trifecta that includes some nice cash prizes and big-fish bragging rights for the rest of the winter.

The trout-only South Park Ice Masters is presented by the Sports Column and produced by the 11 Mile Marina and draws teams from Colorado, New Mexico and Nebraska.

Cash awards will go to 20 percent of the field. If a team wins the “Big Fish Pot” and first place total weight for only two fish, they could take home more than $3,000. The team event for two anglers begins at 7 a.m. and ends at 2:30 p.m. For entry forms for the South Park Ice Masters, visit www.11milesports.com. Continue reading

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