Colorado Fishing Report – As drought continues, anglers asked to check water temperatures
ANGLERS REMINDED TO MONITOR WATER TEMPS
Aug. 15 – Drought conditions and low water flows throughout the state have Colorado Parks and Wildlife reminding anglers to monitor water temperature when they are out fishing. Several water-specific recommendations have already been released this summer; however aquatic biologists recognize that fish can be stressed due to temperatures in many different coldwater fishing locations.
“Handling fish in waters that are 68 degrees and above can put undue stress on them, causing mortalities and compromising the fishery as a whole,” said Ken Kehmeier, senior aquatic biologist for the Northeast region. “We ask that anglers keep in mind the production opportunity of a fishery and not solely the fishing opportunity. Get out and fish, but bring along a thermometer and try to fish early in the day for the best opportunities.”
LOW WATER BRINGS BOAT RAMP CHANGES AT BLUE MESA, SALVAGE AT JUMBO
The National Park Service is reporting that the Ponderosa and Stevens Creek boat ramps at Blue Mesa Reservoir (Gunnison County) have been closed due to low water levels. Other ramps are still in operation. Larger boats should use Lake Fork, Iola or Elk Creek ramps.
The boat ramp at Jumbo Reservoir (Logan and Sedgwick Counties) has been closed as the water level has dropped below the end of the ramp. Trailered watercraft, including jet skis, are unable to utilize the ramp so officials from Colorado Parks and Wildlife have closed the ramp for the season. The boat ramp will reopen next spring when water levels begin to rise. Hand-launched, non-motorized boats are still allowed. Shore anglers at the reservoir are asked to harvest any fish that are caught using legal methods. The fish salvage order currently in effect at Jumbo Reservoir means that size, bag and possession limits at the lake are currently lifted however only legal methods of take are allowed. No commercial fishing is allowed under the salvage order. The reservoir will be stocked next spring when water levels begin to rise.
Due to low water conditions, Denver Water is closing the boat ramp at Williams Fork Reservoir (Grand County) effective Aug. 16. Beginning Friday, Aug. 17, only small, hand-launched boats will be allowed.
An updated list of boat ramp closures and restrictions that have been reported to Colorado Parks and Wildlife can be found below.
WOODS LAKE NATIVE TROUT PROJECT CONTINUES
A project to restore native Colorado River cutthroat trout to Woods Lake and the surrounding high mountain streams is entering its last phase. By mid-September, if all goes as planned, cutthroat trout will be stocked in this area near Telluride as part of a long-range project in southwestern Colorado to return the only native trout species fish to its previous habitat. Last summer, the lake and streams were treated with an organic chemical to eliminate non-native trout, mainly brook trout and brown trout. The second phase of this treatment is scheduled for Aug. 15-16. Woods Lake State Wildlife Area will be closed during the treatment but the surrounding forest and U.S. Forest Service campground will remain open. The SWA is expected to be closed from August 15-21. Signs will be posted while the closure is in effect.
“Within a couple of years anglers will be able to fish for natives in this scenic lake, or hike above the lake a short distance for some great stream fishing. Catching the San Miguel’s only native fish in such a beautiful setting will be a memorable experience,” said Dan Kowalski, aquatic biologist for Colorado Parks and Wildlife in the area.
To learn more about the agency’s cutthroat trout conservation work, see: http://wildlife.state.co.us/Research/Aquatic/CutthroatTrout/Pages/CutthroatTrout.aspx
BOATING AND FISHING ADVISORIES
Fish salvages: Barr Lake State Park (Adams County, NE of Denver); Jumbo Reservoir (Logan and Sedgwick Counties, SW of Julesburg)
Voluntary fishing closures: Bear Creek (Jefferson County); Tomichi Creek (Gunnison County); White River (Rio Blanco County, Meeker);Yampa River (Routt County, Steamboat Springs)
Boat Ramp closures/restrictions that have been reported:
· Blue Mesa Reservoir (Gunnison County): Stevens Creek boat ramp closed due to low water.
· Brush Hollow Reservoir (Fremont County): unusable due to low water level
· Jackson Lake State Park (Morgan County): closed to boating due to low water level.
· Jumbo Reservoir (Logan and Sedgwick Counties) boat ramp closed due to low water level.
· Meredith Reservoir (Crowley County) boat ramp closed due to low water.
· North Sterling State Park (Logan County) Elks Boat Ramp very low water, use south boat ramp
· Prewitt Reservoir (Washington County, NE of Brush): hand-launched, small craft only
· Vega State Park (Mesa County) Use Island boat ramp. Early Settlers and Oak Point ramps closed.
· Williams Fork Reservoir (Grand County): boat ramp closing Aug. 16 due to low water level.
The following waters were recently stocked with catchable (approximately 10”) trout:
Metro Denver – None this week due to high temperatures
Northeast Region – Parvin Lake, Larimer County, Red Feather Lakes; South Platte River, Jefferson County, Strontia Springs Res to Deckers
Northwest Region – Avery Lake, Rio Blanco County, E of Meeker; Meadow Lake, Garfield County, N of New Castle; Monarch Lake, Grand County, SE of Lake Granby; Ruedi Reservoir, Eagle County, E of Basalt; Sleepy Cat Ponds, Rio Blanco County, E of Meeker
Southeast Region – Buena Vista Kids Pond, Buena Vista; Cottonwood Lake, Chaffee County, SW of Buena Vista; Hayden Meadows Reservoir, Lake County, SW of Leadville
Southwest Region – Brown Lake, Lower Hinsdale County; Dolores River, Montezuma County; headwaters to Dolores Island Lake, Gunnison County, near Marble; Mix Lake, Conejos County; Uncompahgre River, Montrose County, Highway 90 to South Canal
METRO DENVER AREA
Aurora Reservoir (City of Aurora) - Trout fishing from shore is slow to fair. Best success has been from the East end of the Dam using power bait and crawlers from a slip rig. Cast as far as possible! Boaters are reporting fair success on trout trolling with crawlers. Try anchoring in 25-35 feet of water and dropping down crawlers and power bait. Walleye action is fair to good. Most are not of legal size to possess. Most are using bottom bouncers and jigs. Perch action is good using jigs and worms. Some reports of blue gill being caught on worms in Senac Cove. Bass fishing is fair to good using soft plastics and crank baits along the weed beds in the coves. Boats are restricted to electric motors only. The park hours for August are 5:30am-9:00pm. For more information please call 303-690-1286.
Arvada Reservoir (City of Arvada) – The hot weather has meant that Arvada Reservoir has not been stocked in recent weeks. Fishing is poor but the water level remains high so boaters are still attempting some fishing with mixed results. However, we have had some good catches of large catfish and lots of crappie. Early mornings and late evenings are still the best bet. I talked about surface fishing with fly and bubble but I forgot the fly fishermen. You may want to try the “hopper dropper” system using a hopper or attractor on top and a midge pattern or copper john 12 to 18 inches below. Otherwise, relax with your coffee and fish deep and be patient.
Barr Lake State Park (Adams County) – Colorado Parks and Wildlife announced a public fish salvage at Barr Lake State Park beginning Monday, July 23. Due to high irrigation demand created by severe drought, the water level in Barr Lake will be lowered to a conservation level to meet the needs of its intended agricultural use. A valid Colorado fishing license is required in accordance with state statutes. A state parks pass is required ($7 Daily Pass or $70 Annual Pass). All legal fishing methods are allowed. Bag, possession and size limits are suspended for Barr Lake only until this emergency public salvage is lifted.
Chatfield State Park (South of Littleton, Douglas and Jefferson County) – No report this week.
Cherry Creek State Park (South of I-225 and east of I-25, Arapahoe County) – Water temperature is 74 degrees. Fishing success is slow, especially during the heat of the day. One remedy for this is to fish early in the morning and when the sun is going down. Boaters are reporting more success. They can go down deeper and are reporting small catfish, trout and crappie. Not too many Walleye that are keepers. Chartreuse frenzy has been reported to be successful, as well as night crawlers and leeches. Boaters, please remember to stay at least 60 feet away from in front of the tower structure. East and West boat ramps are open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. No launching is permitted outside those hours without previous inspection.
Quincy Reservoir (City of Aurora) – The Quincy Reservoir water level is low. Trout fishing is slow at this time. Some reports using flies. Bass fishing is slow to fair using plastics, crank baits and top water lures. Some reports of perch being caught on jigs. The park hours for August are 5:30am-9:00pm. Restricted to artificial flies and lures. Hand launched and electric motor propelled boats only. For more information please call 303-693-5463.
Standley Lake (City of Westminster, Jefferson County) – No fishing report this week from the City of Westminster. Standley Lake is open to boating and camping for the season. You must obtain a Sail/Fish boating permit ($200.00) to have access to the lake or purchase a Single-day use fishing permit ($15.00). These are available for boats with 20 horsepower or under engines only and must meet current quarantine times to access to the lake. Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) regulations are in effect. The current lake temperature is approximately 73 degrees. Fishing times are 7:00 a.m. to sunset and will be strictly enforced. Aquatic bait is not allowed at Standley Lake; this includes salamanders, leeches, crayfish, frogs and minnows. Call for more details. A $7 fee is charged for all drive-in traffic. Drive-in access is available from 7:00 a.m. to sunset. For more information, contact the Standley Lake Nature Center at (303) 425-1097.
Antero Reservoir (Park County) – Daytime fishing has been slow but anglers are reporting that evening and early morning fishing has been excellent, especially for fishermen that can access deeper water by boat. Weed growth continues to be the biggest problem anglers face. Try using gear above the weeds where fish seem to be feeding aggressively, otherwise head for the deep waters and use some kind of weight rigging to get to where the fish can be found.
Bear Creek (Jefferson County) – Voluntary closure due to high water temperatures. Anglers are asked to find alternate waters in the area.
Boyd Lake State Park (North of Loveland, Larimer County) – Reported by Type of Fish, Grade,-Lures Reported Used -Location Reported BASS, LARGEMOUTH: GOOD, Crank baits, North end; BASS, SMALLMOUTH: GOOD, Spinners, Shallow Reedy Areas; BASS, WHITE: GOOD, Jigs, Lake wide; BLUE GILL: FAIR, Worms, Marina; CARP: POOR Archery, Shallows; CATFISH: GOOD, Baits North end; CRAPPIE: FAIR Minnows, Pump House; TROUT: FAIR Spinners, Spoons, Lake wide; WALLEYE: FAIR Worms/Bottom bouncers Central Lake; YELLOW PERCH: POOR Lures/Worms Lake wide; The current water temperature is estimated to be hovering in the mid 70’s with a depth of 36.6 feet. PLEASE NOTE: Any Live fish collected for use as bait may only be used in the same body of water from which they were collected. All live baitfish from a commercial source and transported by anglers must at all times be accompanied by a receipt for the source. See the Colorado Fishing Regulation for further clarification and information.
Carter Lake (Larimer County) – Fishing continues to be difficult from the shore. Fishing from boats around dusk has been productive for both trout and Walleye with worms and other various baits. Water levels continue to drop creating less water for ski boats and fishermen to share so be careful on the water.
Eldorado Canyon State Park, South Boulder Creek (Boulder County) – Anglers are reporting some success with the recent cooler weather. The creek is running low for this time of year, but low water can bring great fishing. South Boulder Creek is currently running at 23 cfs. The creek holds some nice fish, mostly browns in the 8-to-12-inch range, and an occasional 12 plus fish. We have also seen more and more rainbows that make it down from Gross Reservoir. The water is clear, cold, and is home to an abundant number of fish. The best time to fish is 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Fish are hitting on a variety of nymphs: #16 RS-2s, and yellow CDC flashback pheasant tails, #18 midges and purple psycho princes just to name a few, but most any dry fly we have seen success with. For the younger kids and non fly fishers we have also seen some success with live worms and salmon eggs. Live bait spinning rods and fly fishing all permitted and success rate for each is high. Come early (at sunrise) and avoid the picnic crowds and please be careful on the slick rocks. We also now sell fishing and hunting licenses at the Visitor Center please come in and get yours today!
Eleven Mile State Park (Park County) – Trout (GOOD) The weeds are getting thick throughout the reservoir. Shore fishermen are having success from Suckers Cove to Rocking Chair and on the west end of North Shore. Boat fishermen are reeling them in throughout the Reservoir in 25 - 50 feet of water and reaching their limits. Fishermen are reporting that PowerBait (various), marshmallows with Nightcrawlers, DickNites, Trout HDs and Needlefish are doing well. Pike (FAIR) To catch pike stick close to the weed beds. Try large Rapalas, Husky Jerks, and large tube jigs. Salmon (FAIR) Try fishing in about 35’ to 50’ around Deer Island or straight out from the North Boat Ramp. Down Riggers are essential, try with Dick Nites, Arnies or Rapalas.
Golden Gate Canyon State Park Ponds (Jefferson and Gilpin Counties) – Golden Gate Canyon State Park offers five fishing ponds open year-round to all park visitors. The ponds are Kriley, Slough, Ranch Ponds East and West, and Dude’s Fishing Hole. Each angler is allowed four fish per day with eight being the maximum number in possession. Anglers have the best success in the early morning and the hour before dark. No live baits are allowed with the exception of worms. Please call the Visitor Center for directions at 303-582-3707.
Horsetooth Reservoir, Lory State Park (Larimer County) – Lory State Park provides access to the six northernmost bays in Horsetooth Reservoir. Reservoir levels are dropping and currently at approximately 71 percent of capacity.
Jackson Lake State Park (Morgan County) – The reservoir has dropped significantly. The boat ramp is closed due to no water at the ramp. Jackson Lake State Park will allow hand-carry vessels (canoes, belly boats, etc.) but anglers will have to carry them out to the water. Water temperature is approximately 82 degrees. Shore fishing has been good from the outlet catching walleye using nightcrawlers, rapalas, jigs, and minnows. Fishing in the lake has been fair for all species.
Jumbo Reservoir (Logan and Sedgwick Counties) – The boat ramp at Jumbo Reservoir (Logan and Sedgwick Counties) has been closed as the water level has dropped below the end of the ramp. Trailered watercraft, including jet skis, are unable to utilize the ramp so officials from Colorado Parks and Wildlife have closed the ramp for the season. The boat ramp will reopen next spring when water levels begin to rise. Hand launched boats are still allowed. Shore anglers at the reservoir are asked to harvest any fish that are caught using legal methods. The fish salvage order currently in effect at Jumbo Reservoir means that size, bag and possession limits at the lake are currently lifted however only legal methods of take are allowed. No commercial fishing is allowed under the salvage order. The reservoir will be stocked next spring when water levels begin to rise.
North Sterling State Park (Logan County) – North Sterling remains open to boating. The lake has been dropping and the Elks Boat Ramp is closed, however the South Boat Ramp currently has 16 feet of water. The folks at the park say that the wipers are currently concentrated at the top of the water column to find the abundant shad. They recommend staying in the top six or seven feet of water. Success seems to be had on lures especially pearl or white/green shad imitators.
Prewitt Reservoir (Washington County) – Prewitt water levels have dropped and the boat ramp is unusable and closed for the rest of the season. Shore anglers report extremely good fishing for large crappie off the dam using 1 1/2” tube jigs.
Spinney Mountain State Park (Park County) – Trout (GOOD) Reports of successful catches are coming in from fishermen using Caddis, Callibaetis and Damsels. Fishermen are reporting that shore fishing is good from the North Boat Ramp to the west end of the reservoir. Pike (GOOD) Fish the shallows for pike. Try Tasmanian Devils in pink and Rapalas in silver. South Platte above Spinney – 53.5 cfs on 8/5/12 at 3:45 pm. Dream Stream – (GOOD) Fishermen are reporting late morning and evening best time right now. Between Spinney & “bridge”, Tricos, Midges, BWO’s, San Juan Worms and Caddis are working well. Between “bridge” & 11Mile, try Pheasant Tails, Midges, Trico’s and tan Caddis patterns. Stream flow: 236 cfs on 8/5/12 at 3:30 pm, gage height 1.73 ft.
Adobe Creek Reservoir/Blue Lake (Kiowa and Bent Counties) – Some channel catfish are being caught but otherwise slow for all species. Boat ramps are useable. The fire ban is still in effect.
Arkansas River (Lake, Chaffee and Fremont Counties) – Here’s an updated from the Greg at ArkAnglers: “The Arkansas River has maintained late summer flows far exceeding the state park hydrologist’s projections. However, this has come as the result of rain and so water quality has varied depending on the severity of the precipitation. With the weather now moving toward a drier phase (8/14), expect Bighorn Sheep Canyon to regain full clarity and for the fish to return to a more stable pattern of feeding behavior. As has been the case for much of this season, there is no one predominant hatch but rather a mixture of different feeding events through the day. A second round of golden stoneflies coupled with daily caddis emergences have kept fish oriented toward the surface. Meanwhile, drifting red quill nymphs and midge pupae are moving fish into fast, riffly water at times too. On afternoons with bright sun, expect fish to move into deeper runs and adjust tactics and presentation accordingly.”
Brush Hollow Reservoir (Fremont County) – No fishing report this week. Keep in mind that the boat ramp is inaccessible due to low water levels.
Clear Creek Reservoir (Chaffee County) – The weather has dried out a little this past week. Shore fishing has been a little spotty with some fishermen catching about five or more trout in two hours, others getting skunked. The lucky ones are doing really well. Most fish were caught on nightcrawlers and PowerBait, but some with dry flies similar to an Elk’s hair Caddis fly on a No. 16 hook. From boats, trolling has been OK but fly fishing has still been the best. Although wet flies trolled deep have done well - just above the weed beds on the bottom. Trolling with a night crawler on a hook has worked well for both trout and salmon, if fished at the proper depth. But the big catch and release numbers have been with dry flies at noon plus or minus two hours, in shallow water at the head of the reservoir near the mouth of the creek. Afternoon winds have caused some problems for small boats, kayaks, and canoes, but have not affected larger fishing boats. Clear Creek Reservoir is open to trailered, powered boats every day of the week except Tuesday and Wednesday, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Our new dock makes launching and retrieving boats much easier.
DeWeese Reservoir (Custer County) – No report this week. Remember, there are no size restrictions for the smallmouth bass in DeWeese. The daily bag limit for bass in DeWeese is five of any size.
Henry Lake (Crowley County) – Small numbers of wiper and channel catfish are being caught. Anglers report conditions as fair to good for bullheads.
John Martin Reservoir State Park (Bent County) – The fishing on the reservoir has been at a standstill lately. White bass and carp are still being caught on the reservoir in small numbers and a few smaller catfish at night in the stilling basin.
Lake Dorothey State Wildlife Area (Las Animas County) – A fish kill occurred at Lake Dorothey in Las Animas County in early August. Wildlife managers and biologists say the fish kill is likely due to a combination of factors including ash and sediment from the Track Fire that burned in 2011. Recent warm temperatures exacerbated the situation. Anglers are advised to find alternate fishing locations. Colorado Parks and Wildlife will assess the lake soon to determine the extent of the fish kill and what steps will need to be taken.
Lake Pueblo State Park (Pueblo County) – Despite some brief, but heavy, rainstorms this week at Lake Pueblo State Park, the reservoir level continues to drop. The weather this week was not as hot as it has been but was still very warm and dry. Many shoreline fishermen are reporting that fishing for all species is slower than in years past. Patience will pay off when fishing with live bait. Try using nightcrawlers or mussels. Below the dam, the Arkansas River is also very low. Fly fishing continues to produce consistent results. Shore fishing in the area is spotty.
Martin Lake and Horseshoe Lake, Lathrop State Park (Huerfano County) – Fishing continues to be good on both lakes. We are still seeing trout being caught with the majority of the trout being in the 10-14 inch range. Trout are being caught on PowerBait. We are still getting reports of catfish on chicken liver and nightcrawlers.
Meredith Reservoir (Crowley County) – Fishing is slow for all species. Boat ramp closed.
Mueller State Park (Teller County) – Ponds were stocked in May. Dragonfly Pond is seeing a lot of use this summer. Rock Pond and Brook Ponds are very scenic but they are a 2 mile hike from the trailhead.
Thurston Reservoir (Prowers County) – Colorado Parks and Wildlife is closely monitoring water levels at Thurston Reservoir in Prowers County. Anglers are encouraged to harvest the fish they catch in the event the water levels drop below what is necessary to sustain the fishery.
Turquoise Reservoir (Lake County) – Boat fishermen catches are only fair, but better than the slow state of affairs for shore fishermen.
Trinidad Lake State Park (Las Animas County) – Trinidad Lake is approximately 452 surface acres with a surface temperature about 68 degrees. Fishing continues to be steady. Rainbows, walleyes, catfish, and yellow perch are being caught from shore. Boaters continue to hit the deep water for walleyes. Night crawlers, bright colored PowerBait and chicken liver seems to still be working the best. ANS boat inspections are taking place so be sure your boat is “CLEANED, DRAINED, and DRIED”. Boaters beware of floating debris and unmarked hazards as the water level continues to slowly fall. Anglers are reminded to check the regulations for bass and walleye and to always wear your PFD!! All camping and bath-house facilities are now open. For more information call the Visitor’s Center at 719-846-6951.
Twin Lakes Reservoirs (Lake County) – Fish are being caught but it is very slow for shore fishermen and a little better for boat fishermen.
Delaney Buttes, Cowdrey and Lake John (Jackson County) – No report this week from Lake John Resort but we did hear from one angler who said that the trout are still hitting just about anything in the water at Lake John. Delaney Butte trout were reported to be more selective but still suckers for a dry fly on top.
Dumont Lake (Grand, Routt and Jackson County) – LAKE IS CURRENTLY DRAINED FOR REPAIRS. Dumont Lake is not expected to reopen until 2013 or 2014.
Elkhead Reservoir State Park (Moffat County) – Excellent norther pike fishing - mostly between 20” and 36”. Bass and crappie fishing is good; average bass is between 2 and 3 pounds. A tournament that was held over the weekend at the reservoir was won by Scott Dennis of Denver. He caught one largemouth and three smallmouth bass each day for a total of 14.6 3/4 lbs. An 8-year old boy caught a pike measuring 47” on Saturday nearing the state record. Catfish remain elusive but several large ones were spotted over the weekend.
Harvey Gap State Park (Garfield County) – Anglers are having luck catching perch at the north end of the boat ramp.
Highline Lake State Park and Mack Mesa Reservoir (Mesa County) – Large catfish have been caught at Mack Mesa and Highline Lake. Crappie fishing is great with small jigs and bass are being taken on plastics. Nightcrawlers, ice, and fishing licenses are available at the Visitor’s Center.
James M. Robb Colorado River State Park (Mesa County) – Due to the hot temperatures fishing has slowed down quite a bit. Fishermen are encouraged to fish early in the morning or late evening. They are also encouraged to keep all trout within the catch limit as the trout are experiencing high stress due to the heat and are not as likely to survive if returned to the water. People are still catching trout at Island Acres and Fruita during the cooler part of the day on power bait and flies. There have been a few bass caught at Connected Lakes.
Lake Granby (Grand County) – Shore fishing is best early and late in the day, otherwise use a boat to access the trout in the deeper, cooler parts of the lake. Shore anglers can try the north end coves but even action there has slowed in the last few days.
Pearl Lake State Park (Routt County) – No report this week.
Rifle Gap State Park (Garfield County) - Trout fishing has slowed with the warm weather. The water levels are dropping. Boat ramps open. Did hear that some shore anglers can have success getting into the yellow perch at the reservoir right now.
Stagecoach State Park (Routt County) – Tailwater fishing has been great. Reports of anglers catching 35 fish in an hour have been common and dry flies similar to mayflies colored gray/green in size 14 seem to be doing the trick. During the busy season for the tailwaters, anglers are asked to be mindful of the resources and help avoid overcrowding. Pike fishing has been great from shore with many being caught on spinners and kastmasters. Trout have moved to cooler and deeper waters and anglers fishing from boat have had luck using power bait or trolling with lures and spoons. The reservoir is beginning to turn over and algae is noticeable.
Steamboat Lake State Park (Routt County) – The weather has been warm and fishing is slow. Watch for those afternoon thunderstorms - they can bring heavy rain and lightning to the area.
Sylvan Lake State Park (Eagle County) – Sylvan Lake was stocked with catchable-size rainbow on July 20 and 10” cutthroats on July 5. Fishing has been good with nightcrawlers. Anglers are having trouble finding a fly or lure that is working consistently. Try something small without much flash. If fishing from East & West Brush Creek fish early in the day and follow guidelines to reduce stress during these high temp and low water conditions.
Vega State Park (Mesa County) – While water levels are low, fishing remains excellent at Vega. Successful anglers are using PowerBait (pink, yellow and purple), worms, and Panther Martins. The Island boat ramp is open. Early Settlers and Oak Point boat ramps are CLOSED for the season. Please remember to stop at the entrance station and/or visitor’s center and have your boat inspected prior to launching. A Clean, Drain and Dry inspection with a seal applied can speed up your entry into the park. You can buy fishing licenses at the Visitor’s Center open daily from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sun - Thurs and 7 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
White River (Rio Blanco County) – Voluntary closure due to high water temperatures. Anglers are asked to avoid fishing during the hot part of the day and avoid handling or overplaying fish to minimize stress.
Williams Fork Reservoir – The boat ramp will close for the year this Thursday, Aug. 16. Only hand-launched, small boats will be allowed beginning Friday, Aug. 17.
Yampa River (Routt County) – Voluntary closure due to high water temperatures. Anglers are asked to find alternate waters in the area.
Blue Mesa Reservoir (Gunnison County) – The Ponderosa and Stevens Creek boat ramps have been closed due to low water. Large boats should use the Iola, Elk Creek or Lake Fork Ramps. Kokanee fishing is continuing to stay hot. Kokanee are still being reported at depths around 75 to 100 feet.
Crawford State Park (Delta County) – No update this week.
Crystal Lake (Ouray County) – The emergency salvage order at Crystal has expired. The lake has been drained by the U.S. Forest Service for dam repairs.
Gunnison Gorge, Gunnison River (Gunnison - Delta County) – No update this week.
Jackson Gulch Reservoir, Mancos State Park (Montezuma County) – The lake has dropped due to warm, dry weather and domestic demands on the water supply. Ten inch rainbow trout are being stocked monthly through the summer. In spite of the low levels fishing has been good for rainbow trout around 10-12” and 4-6” yellow perch with an occasional large brown trout. The trout enjoy various PowerBait (especially rainbow and garlic), florescent green and gold spinners and worms. Fly fishing is popular in the early mornings and evenings. Perch love nightcrawler, mealworm, or waxworm so a small jig tipped with nightcrawler works well. Perch are small, averaging about 4-6”, but anglers should keep them if they’ll eat them. There is no limit on the number of perch you can possess and they make great fish tacos! This also helps to work towards thinning the perch population in the lake. The daily limit for trout is 4. Fishing licenses can be purchased at the park entrance station.
Navajo State Park (Archuleta County) – Smallmouth bass and northern pike have been fair, and catfish have been biting. Water temperature is currently approximately 72 degrees. Call our marina at 970-883-2628 for more information. Colorado and New Mexico fishing licenses are available at the Visitor Center.
Ridgway State Park (Ouray County) – The reservoir is at 79.0% capacity and falling; fishing is falling off as well. Our most recent stocking of the reservoir, with 3,000 catchable rainbow trout, occurred on August 1st. Both shore fisherman and boaters are reporting average fishing for stocker-sized fish (8”-14”) with a few larger fish (18”-20”) also being caught. The catch is mainly rainbows, but there have also been some brown trout, splake, and a few smallmouth bass. Shore fishermen are doing best between the Dutch Charlie fishing pier and the mouth of Mears Bay, and also along the Dallas Creek day use area shoreline. Shore fisherman should to try green, orange, and pink Power Bait, or worms off the bottom; Kastmasters and Mepps are the favored lures. Boat fishermen are having luck with Rapalas and Kastmasters near the dam, along the west shoreline and around the opening to Mears Bay. Fishing in the Uncompahgre River at Pa-Co-Chu-Puk is very good. The river flows are currently at around 300-330 CFS, depending on the downstream call for water. Fly fisherman are doing well on Wooly Buggers (brown), Copper Johns, and Pheasant Tails; small midges are also working. Spin fisherman are doing well with Mepps and Panther Martins. Please remember that the Uncompahgre River in Pa-Cu-Chu-Puk is restricted to flies and lures only, and all fish caught must be returned to the river immediately. The ponds at Pa-Co-Chu-Puk have a good population of rainbows and some brown trout. Fishing in the ponds has been average. There have been occasional larger fish (18”-20”) caught. Fishermen have been doing best with worms and salmon eggs near the surface in the mornings and evenings, and various colors of Power Bait off the bottom at other times. Remember that the Uncompahgre River adjacent to the ponds is restricted to flies and lures only.
Tomichi Creek (Gunnison County) - Voluntary closure due to high water temperatures. Anglers are asked to find alternate waters in the area.
Taylor Reservoir (Gunnison County) – The lake trout are at around 90 feet. Smaller ones are at a little less than 90 foot depth. Trolling with Apex Lures has been very good, and jointed Flatfish. Trolling with cowbells and nightcrawlers has been effective for rainbow trout. They are anywhere from 20’ to 30’ deep. We have seen some nice pike caught, but only occasionally. The lake level is low for this time of year, so the weed beds where the pike normally hang out are too warm. The concrete boat ramp is closed because of low water, but there is plenty of shoreline to launch from.
Keep in mind that fishing conditions change on a constant basis. We encourage anglers to explore some of the numerous private websites that offer fishing condition reports. Examples include: http://www.fishexplorer.com, http://www.coloradofisherman.com, http://www.fishhound.com and http://www.sportfishcolorado.com. Many other fly shops and marinas also offer fishing condition reports on their websites as well.