Anglers urged not to fish Tomichi Creek
GUNNISON – Add Tomichi Creek to the list of waters where high water temperatures and low flows are impacting trout.
Tuesday, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials asked anglers to respect a voluntary fishing closure on Tomichi Creek, particularly on the Tomichi Creek State Wildlife Area east of Gunnison.
The creek, which holds wild brown trout, is running extremely low this year. Tuesday, the stream at Gunnison was flowing at 58 cubic feet per second, less than half of the 74-year median flow for the date.
Those low flows combined with hot weather has caused the water to rise consistently above 70 degrees, a critical mark for trout.
At that temperature, say wildlife managers, even a quickly caught and released trout likely will die.
“This is a voluntary measure at this time,” said J Wenum, Parks and Wildlife area wildlife manager in Gunnison. “It’s going to continue to be a tough summer for those fish and they’ll be in a better position to survive if they’re not pursued by anglers.”
Anglers fishing anywhere in Colorado this summer are encouraged to monitor water temperatures, flows and time of day to minimize impacts to the fishery.
Wenum said most other waters in the Gunnison Basin are maintaining cooler temperatures and fishing in those won’t hurt the trout at this time.
Water in the Gunnison River main stem and the East and Taylor rivers has remained cold enough not to affect fish health.
One exception is the Lake Fork of the Gunnison, which is being closely watched for adverse impacts.