Fishing report: Sediment kills Colorado River trout
Colorado Fishing Report – July 31
Information for Anglers
SEDIMENT ISSUE ABOVE DOTSERO LIKELY KILLED SOME FISH IN COLORADO RIVER
Heavy rain last week flushed a large amount of debris and sediment into the Colorado River above Dotsero, likely contributing to a large fish kill. Workers at the Shoshone Hydroelectric Power plant first reported seeing dead fish near the plant on Wednesday. By early Friday morning, Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials estimate that thousands of dead fish had appeared along the river, all likely succumbing to the large amount of mud, silt and debris that washed into the water. This summer, many fish in western Colorado have been stressed by low flows and high temperatures brought on by drought-like conditions. Wildlife managers believe the additional stress from debris and sediment swept into the rivers proved excessive for these fish. Most of the fish that were killed were both native and non-native suckers, along with a few trout. According to biologists, suckers are more susceptible to heavy debris and sediment in the water because they are bottom dwellers.
JACKSON LAKE STATE PARK BOAT RAMPS CLOSED DUE TO LOW WATER
Jackson Lake State Park has shut down the boat ramps as water demand has dropped levels below the bottom of the boat ramp. The lake will begin to fill again on Nov. 1and will be full in the spring. The lake will re-open to boating in the spring as soon as the ice has thawed and hazards are removed. The rest of Jackson Lake State Park remains open all year for camping, wildlife viewing, OHV track use and many other activities. The annual chili and Dutch oven cook-off will still take place on Sept. 8.
BOATING AND FISHING ADVISORIES
· Barr Lake State Park (Adams County, NE of Denver) see press release for details
· ENDS JULY 31 - Crystal Lake (Ouray County, S of Ouray) see press release for details
· Jumbo Reservoir (Logan and Sedgwick Counties, SW of Julesburg) see press release for details
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 to us:
· Brush Hollow Reservoir (Fremont County): unusable due to low water levels
· Jackson Lake State Park (Morgan County): closed to boating due to low water levels.
· Jumbo Reservoir (Logan and Sedgwick Counties) water levels low. This will probably be the last weekend (July 28/29) for trailered boating at Jumbo.
· Meredith Reservoir (Crowley County) boat ramps 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.
LAKE AVERY WATER RELEASE TO WHITE RIVER
Due to low flows, high water temperatures, and reduced dissolved oxygen in the White River, Colorado Parks and Wildlife asked for permission from the state engineer to release water from Lake Avery to supplement flows in the river. Enhanced flows will serve to conserve the valuable aquatic resources of White River. The drawdown of Lake Avery will not exceed fifteen feet, and is not expected to affect the Lake Avery fishery. Sportsmen and recreationists will still be able to launch watercraft from the boat ramp at Lake Avery. Shore anglers and campers should be advised that water releases will result in lower water levels and increased areas of exposed shoreline.
TERRACE RESERVOIR RE-OPENS TO FISHING
Terrace Reservoir in Conejos County is open again for fishing after a long-term study showed that fish are not contaminated by heavy metals and are fit for human consumption. Failure of a dam structure in 1992 at the Summitville mine about 20 miles above the reservoir raised concerns that heavy metals contained in the water had contaminated fish. After the spill, a treatment facility was built near the mine site to remove contaminants from the water before being released downstream into the Alamosa River. A new treatment plant was opened in 2011. While the water is not pristine, the quality has been gradually improving over the years. A three-year study by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) from 2008 to 2011 found that trout from the reservoir are fit for human consumption. The study results were evaluated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Since 2007, Colorado Parks and Wildlife has stocked about 35,000 rainbow trout in the reservoir. Terrace Reservoir is located on U.S. Forest Service Road 250 in northern Conejos County south of Monte Vista.
UPPER URAD RESERVOIR ACCESS CLOSED FOR PROJECT
Colorado Parks and Wildlife has been advised that access to the Upper Urad Reservoir in Clear Creek County will be closed through the spring of 2013. The Climax Molybdenum Company has a construction project occurring along the Urad/ Woods Creek road throughout the summer of 2012. Because of this construction project, there will be no public access to Upper Urad Reservoir through the Urad Valley until project completion. Access will be restricted to authorized personnel only beginning June 4, 2012. No camping is allowed on Climax lands or rights of way, and any vehicles preventing gate access will be towed at owner’s expense.
The following waters were recently stocked with catchable (approximately 10”) trout:
None this week due to high temperatures
Columbia Reservoir, Park County, N of Alma
Fairplay Kids Pond, Town of Fairplay
Jefferson Lake, Park County
Cottonwood Lake #1 and #4, Mesa County, S of Collbran
Cowdrey Lake, Jackson County
Green Mountain Reservoir, Summit County
Rifle Gap Reservoir, Garfield County
Ruedi Reservoir, Pitkin County
Williams Fork Reservoir, Grand County
Wolford Mountain Reservoir, Grand County, N of Kremmling
Chalk Creek Lake, Chaffee County, SW of Mt. Princeton Hot Springs
Cottonwood Lake, Chaffee County, SW of Buena Vista
DeWeese Reservoir, Custer County, N of Westcliffe
San Isabel Lake, Pueblo County, NW of Rye
Sands Lake, Chaffee County, below Mt. Shavano Fish Hatchery
Turquoise Reservoir, Lake County
Wrights Lake, Chaffee County
Bailey Reservoir, Delta County, N of Hotchkiss
Millions Lake, Rio Grande County SW of South Fork
Pass Creek Pond, Mineral County, NE of Wolf Creek Pass
Ridgway Reservoir, Ouray County
Roaring Judy Ponds, Gunnison County, Roaring Judy State Fish Unit
San Cristobal Lake, Lake City
Tucker Park Ponds, Mineral County, NE of Wolf Creek Pass
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 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. Boats are restricted to electric motors only. Park hours for August are 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information please call 303-690-1633.
Arvada Reservoir (City of Arvada)
Water level remains high so boating is good. Water temperature is also high. Remember trout like water between 50 and 55 degrees and as temps rise above 60 degrees the oxygen is depleted and the fish go deep. Come early mornings for some top water fishing. Try using a fly and bubble with leech or wolly bugger patterns. Afterwards go deep using bait such as worms or garlic flavored yellow power bait. No recent stockings because of the high water temperature.
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 drained 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)
Blue gill are still hitting worms in the King Fisher and Gravel Ponds. Bass are great close to the shoreline off worms and jigs. Rainbows are slow. Walleye of keep-able size (>18inches) are being caught from boats off bottom-bouncers. Catfish are being caught from King Fisher off egg sacks.
Cherry Creek State Park (South of I-225 and east of I-25, Arapahoe County)
There is still little action from shore. Anglers in boats are having most of the success with walleyes and crappie. Jigs with crawlers, worms and leeches have proven to be successful bait. Catfish are spawning now and we have not received any reports of anyone catching them. Walleye action is being reported at Mountain Loop and along the east shoreline along the rocks by the dam. The bait for the shore includes night crawlers on the bottom and lipless shad crank baits. 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 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. 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)
Anglers report that walleye action remains slow to fair. Shoreline fishing continues to be slow, especially during the heat of the day. Early morning fishing is the recommendation from the staff out there. 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)
Fish Reporter Brian was back out at Antero this past weekend and sent us the following report: “Shortly after launching from the South ramp (about 3:30 p.m.) a storm blew through and it rained for about an hour. We waited this out in the truck and then headed back on the lake for the evening. Fishing was excellent from the boat using Kastmasters. Another group later told us they had good success stripping Brown Bear streamers quickly above the weeds. Weed growth continued to be the biggest problem but the fish were aggressive and attacked the lures with vengeance. We caught several rainbows in the 18-20” range and a cutthroat just shy of 20”. Sunday morning the clouds had cleared after rain fell three different times in the night while camping. Early Sunday to noon was top notch, fishing along the south and west ends of the lake in the deeper and less weeded areas. We caught and released a rainbow over 20” and plenty of cutbows and rainbows again in the 18-20” range. Bank fishing seemed less productive but there were plenty of boaters and tubers on the lake doing OK. With the weather and wind unpredictable the weekend was still well worth fishing. The fish are healthy and fighters and getting fat. It was a great time and fishing remains very steady even though there was a noticeable decline in insect activity, I think mostly because of the rains. Plan on some sore arms and plenty of casts and keep an eye on the surface feeders. They were good indicators of where to fish! ” Thanks to Brian for the update.
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 FAIR Spinners Shallow Reedy Areas; BASS, SMALLMOUTH FAIR Spinners Shallow Reedy Areas; BASS, WHITE POOR Jigs Lake wide; BLUE GILL POOR Unreported Lake wide; CARP FAIR Archery Shallows; CATFISH FAIR Baits Inlets; CRAPPIE FAIR Minnows Pump House; TROUT FAIR Lures Lake wide; WALLEYE POOR Worms/harness 16’-20’ depth; YELLOW PERCH POOR lures Lake wide. The current water temperature is estimated to be hovering in the mid 70’s with a depth of 39.6 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)
Walleye fishing has finally started to pick up again. Several good fish have been taken on the west end of the lake. Water levels have begun to drop. Reports of bass being caught from shore have also come in this week. With falling water levels boaters are urged to use extra caution and watch for other lake users.
Eldorado Canyon State Park, South Boulder Creek (Boulder County)
The creek continues to benefit from the recent rain and currently is running at 65 cfs. South Boulder Creek holds some nice fish, mostly browns in the 8 to 12 inch range, and an occasional 12 plus inch 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. 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. Please be careful on the slick rocks. We also now sell fishing and hunting licenses at the Visitor Center.
Eleven Mile State Park (Park County)
Trout fishing is hit and miss. The bite will be really strong one day and then slower the next. Shore fishermen are having success near Coyote Ridge and the west end of North Shore on the North side and Howbert Point to Rodgers Mountain on the South side. Boat fishermen are reeling them in throughout the Reservoir in 15 - 20 feet of water. Fishermen are reporting that to keep bringing in the fish you need to switch up your lures and baits. Pike (FAIR TO GOOD) Reports are coming in of pike being brought in from the west end of the reservoir near the weed beds. Try Rapalas, jerk baits, large tube jigs, and large spinners. Salmon (FAIR) Reports of success are coming in from the channel straight out from the North Boat Ramp in 30’ to 40’. You can also try in about 35’ to 50’ around Deer Island. Down Riggers are essential, try with Dick Nites, Arnies or pink Rapalas.
Golden Gate Canyon State Park Ponds (Jefferson and Gilpin Counties)
Kriley and Slough Ponds were stocked with catchable trout week before last and the trout are hitting. Bring the kids.
Horsetooth Reservoir, Lory State Park (Larimer County)
Lory State Park has reopened and provides access to the six northernmost bays in Horsetooth Reservoir.
Jackson Lake State Park (Morgan County)
The reservoir has dropped significantly due to the water release. The boat ramp is closed for the season and will re-open next spring. The park will allow hand carry vessels (canoes, belly boats, etc.) but visitors will have to carry them out to the water. Water temperature is approximately 82 degrees. Shorefishing has been good from the outlet catching walleye using nightcrawlers, rapalas, jigs, and minnows. Shorefishing in the lake has been fair for all species.
Jumbo Reservoir (Logan and Sedgwick Counties)
An emergency fish salvage order has been issued for Jumbo Reservoir. Due to high irrigation demand created by severe drought, the water level in Jumbo (Julesburg) Reservoir is expected to decline to a point that will likely result in a loss of the entire fishery resource. Recent rains bought the boat ramp a little time but boaters should be prepared that the ramp will close soon for trailered boats. All anglers must have a valid Colorado fishing license and no commercial angling will be allowed. Only angling methods that are currently legal at the reservoir will be allowed. Current size, bag, and possession limits for all species have been lifted until the public salvage is terminated.
North Sterling State Park (Logan County)
The wiper fishing still good with a lot of fish over 20” coming out around Darby Point. Green mussel bait or shad imitation lures are working the best. Rattle traps and soft plastic shad lures in black and silver or white and green are working by casting or trolling. Crappie are still along the dam but have slowed some with the heat. Smallmouth bass up to 15” are coming out along the rocks of the dam on small minnow imitation lures. Some catfish are being caught along the flats on the south end of the reservoir using cut shad. Best times to fish have been early morning before the heat of the day and some action in the evenings as it cools.
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 continued slow fishing as water levels drop and water temperatures remain high.
Spinney Mountain State Park (Park County)
Spinney – Trout (GOOD TO EXCELLENT) Reports of successful catches are coming in from fishermen using Caddis and Damsels. Reports coming in that red and gold lures are doing well at the moment. Pike (GOOD) Fish the shallows for pike. Try Tasmanian Devils in pink and Rapalas in silver. South Platte above Spinney - 24.5 cfs on 7/22/12 at 6:30 am. Dream Stream – (GOOD) We are seeing higher than normal flows. Between Spinney & “bridge”, Callibaetis, Midges, BWO’s and Caddis are working well. Between “bridge” & 11Mile, try Barr’s emergers, Woolly Buggers, Trico’s and Caddis patterns. Stream flow: 245 cfs on 7/22/12 at 6:45 am, gage height 1.56 ft.
St. Vrain State Park ponds (Weld County)
No report this week.
Adobe Creek Reservoir/Blue Lake (Kiowa and Bent Counties)
Fishing is slow for all species, small numbers of catfish being caught, especially at night. Boat ramps are useable.
Arkansas River (Lake, Chaffee and Fremont Counties)
Greg at ArkAnglers says: “Anglers continue to find consistent fishing on the Arkansas River as light afternoon rains in the high country and cooler weather overall support actively feeding trout throughout the day. The further upstream one ventures, the cooler the water one finds. On that upper end, yellow sallies, pale morning duns, caddis and terrestrials are keeping fish looking to the surface. Lower down, Bighorn Sheep Canyon continues to fish very well with higher than predicted flows keeping things cool. Look for fish on the edges early and late; work the fast riffles and deeper green runs in the heat of the day.”
Here’s what Tim from Colorado Fly Fishing Guides says about the Upper Ark (Leadville to Buena Vista): “Although diminishing, there are still smatterings of mayfly and caddis in Hayden meadows, and dry fly action has remained good especially in the mornings. Hopper/dropper rigs are turning good numbers of fish throughout the upper river. When top action is slow try nymphing the deeper seams and riffles. Fish are not keyed in on specific hatches, but will take a variety of stonefly and mayfly nymph patterns.”
Brush Hollow Reservoir (Fremont County)
The boat ramp is inaccessible due to low water levels. Shore anglers report some success fishing at night for catfish.
Clear Creek Reservoir (Chaffee County)
Rainstorms most afternoons limit many results from shore, but some fishermen still reach trout limits after a couple of hours. Other shore fishermen and some boaters are catching small Kokanee salmon. Besides the one tiger muskie caught two weeks ago, and one hooked, no other productive results on tiger muskie have been reported. From boats, trolling has been OK but fly fishing has been the best. Although wet flies trolled deep have done well (just above the weed beds on the bottom) “any dry fly” is still preferred by trout. Trolling with a nightcrawler on a hook has worked well for both trout and salmon, if fished at the proper depth. This week nightcrawler worms have had a slight edge on PowerBait from the shore. However, two families caught nice-sized rainbows in Clear Creek from just below the campgrounds upstream to the Ranch, both fishing with PowerBait. 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)
Fishing is holding steady for trout with some nice 16-18 inch fish being landed using marshmallows and salmon eggs. Trolling from boats has also been effective. Smallmouth bass anglers can try Rapalas, tube jigs and worms. 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)
Fishing is slow for all species. Some bullheads being caught. The boat ramp is usable.
John Martin Reservoir State Park (Bent County)
The white bass bite has slowed leaving fishing very slow on the reservoir. White bass can still be caught in small numbers on the south side off the rocky coves. Drum and carp are also being caught in a few spots on the lake, but overall the fishing has really slowed down.
Lake Pueblo State Park (Pueblo County)
Weather has been steady in the high 90s, hot and dry with spotty rain showers at night. The reservoir level continues to drop because more water has been released into the river. While talking with people at the reservoir they seem to do well at south fishing using chopped up shad and live worms while fishing for catfish. Juniper Breaks has also been good for catfish. For warm water sun fish wacky rigs have also produced well when fishing off shore in areas that have cover for fish. If you are fishing in areas that have a lot of cover for fish also try artificial plastic baits, with no weight on a Texas rig. Large mouths have been biting off of crawfish and worms towards the north marina. We are still having success with fly fishing on the river, and shore fisherman on the river have been catching trout using night crawlers.
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. Some bullheads being caught. Boat ramps are 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.
Turquoise Reservoir (Lake County)
Still quiet at Turquoise. Afternoon rains have sent folks for cover but anglers are having success early and late, especially if they can get to the deeper water where the fish are holding.
Trinidad Lake State Park (Las Animas County)
Trinidad Lake is approximately 468 surface acres with the surface temp about 71 degrees. Fishing seemed to slow down some this past week. Although the quality of fish being caught was still excellent. Trout, bass, walleye, and catfish are the main fish being caught. Using night crawlers, bright colored power bait, 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)
Fishing is slow but angler reports indicate that the trout can be found if you get into the deeper parts of the lake.
Delaney Buttes, Cowdrey and Lake John (Jackson County)
Not much has changed since last week. Trout are hitting just about anything tossed at them. Contact the Lake John Resort for latest conditions and to check the weather - those summer storms can pop up in the afternoon.
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 Pike fishing right now with most between 20” and 36”. Bass and crappie fishing is good. The average bass being caught is between 2 and 3 lbs. A tournament, that was held over the weekend at the reservoir, was won by Scott Dennis of Denver catching one largemouth and 3 smallmouth bass each day for a total of 14.6 3/4 lbs. An 8-year old boy caught a pike measuring 47” recently. That’s close to the state record. Catfish remain elusive. The variety of species in the lake is small mouth bass, crappie, northern pike, catfish and trout. The water temperature has reached 72 degrees.
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. Carp are falling to bow-fisherman near the closed East boat ramp. Nightcrawlers, ice, and fishing licenses are available at the Visitor’s Center. Get ready to be “Gone Fishin” at Highline or Mack Mesa Lake! As always, “. . . the worst day fishing is better than any day at work!”
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)
Trout are active on jigs. Shore anglers are seeing best action on the north end coves.
Pearl Lake State Park (Routt County)
Belly boaters still doing well around the willows, bank fishing has been OK. The dam area has been producing pretty well also. Please remember Pearl Lake is regulated to flies and lures only, with a bag limit of two 18”+ trout.
Rifle Gap State Park (Garfield County)
Trout fishing is good across the lake. Pike fishing is also good and anglers are encouraged to keep any pike they catch (no limit) to help balance the fishery. Perch fishing and walleye have slowed with warmer temperatures.
Stagecoach State Park (Routt County)
Pike fishing has been good, with many being caught from the shore on spinners and kastmasters. Trout have moved to cooler and deeper waters and anglers fishing from boat have had luck using PowerBait or trolling with lures and spoons. Fishing at the tailwaters has picked up as a result of higher flows being released from the dam. Tailwater anglers are using San Juan worms, RS2’s and zebra midges. During the busy season for the Tailwater, anglers are asked to be mindful of the resources and help avoid overcrowding.
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)
Stocked with Catchable sized Rainbow on 07/20/12 Stocked with 10” Cutthroat 07/05/12. Stocked with catchable Rainbow 05/23/12 and 06/06/12. Fishing has been good. Small dark flies are working. Or try bright colored power baits or worms off the bottom. 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)
Fishing is 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
Fishing has been slow but some anglers are seeing action on northern pike.
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)
Kokanee fishing is still hot in the Cebolla and Sapinero basins. Kokanee remain in the 50 to 100 foot depth. Jigs and spoons are drawing lake trout in the deep parts of the lake. Andy told us last week that the rainbow and brown trout fishing is good in the inlet areas of the lake. He also reported some trout success in the Iola basin using trolling gear or bait near the bottom.
Crawford State Park (Delta County)
North Shore anglers have reported catching bass, catfish, pike and crawfish. Reports at Fisherman’s Loop have been perch, pike and carp. Clear Fork fishermen have been catching catfish, pike and perch, while over on the west side fishermen have been reporting catfish, crappie, pike, perch and carp.
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)
Gunnison River Expeditions says, “The Black Canyon of the Gunnison Gorge is running around 560 cfs. Hopper droppers, small bead heads and terrestrials are working well right now. It is fishing best early in the morning and late in the evening when the weather cools down. The lower Gunnison is running around 660 cfs at the Gunnison River Pleasure Park and is slightly cloudy. Hopper droppers, small bead heads and terrestrials are working right now as well as some yellow sallies. For more information on fishing conditions and river conditions call the Gunnison River Pleasure Park.”
Jackson Gulch Reservoir, Mancos State Park (Montezuma County)
Lake levels continue to drop as domestic demands increase. Ten inch rainbow trout are being stocked monthly through the summer. Fishing has been excellent 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 83.0% full and falling; fishing is falling off as well. Our most recent stocking of the reservoir, with 2,500 catchable rainbow trout, occurred on June 14th; 2,500 fingerlings were added to Dallas Creek on July 13th. 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 browns, 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, yellow, 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 230-270 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)
Dee Dee at Taylor Park Marina sent the following report: “Fishing hasn’t changed much. 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; as that is where we always launched from before the concrete boat ramp was installed.”
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.