Reservoir draw-downs top spring fishing news
Colorado anglers will have their hands and their nets full this spring with the planned draining of two major fish-producing reservoirs.
The first 2013 weekly fishing report sent out last week by Colorado Parks and Wildlife reminds us the previously announced draw-down of Miramonte Reservoir near Norwood continues with no bag limits for trout and smallmouth bass.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife plans to treat the reservoir with rotenone this fall in an effort to rid the lake of smallmouth bass, which have done very well in the reservoir, but which also do well in a river setting.
This apparently poses two problems.
One, the smallmouth bass are upsetting the food balance in the reservoir by eating the crayfish the trout also depend on to thrive.
Second, should the smallmouth escape into nearby rivers, the voracious smallies might make a living off the endangered native fish, something equally unwanted by both state and federal wildlife agencies.
On the other side of the Continental Divide, the checkered history of Antero Reservoir takes another dip this summer with an announcement from Denver Water that the reservoir in South Park is being emptied.
As of May 1, the reservoir, which historically has proven capable of quickly growing very big trout in spite of frequent draw-downs, will be closed and the water sent down the South Platte River to Cheesman and Eleven Mile reservoirs.
Until that May 1 closure, the bag and possession limit on trout at Antero have been increased from two to eight fish with no minimum size restriction. As of Friday, Antero was reported as 90 percent ice covered.
What trout aren’t caught by anglers will be trapped and relocated by Colorado Parks and Wildilfe.
This deal is good only through April because all public access ends May 1.
Support sought for Cameo shooting complex: Colorado Parks and Wildlife is going full throttle to drum up support for the proposed shooting facility planned for the Cameo area.
An online survey released this week by the Northwest Region office went out to hunters, anglers and others on the CPW email list.
According the District Wildlife Manager Frank McGee of Palisade, the proposal already has received support from the Town of Palisade, Mesa County and other sources.
But the individual shooter also must step up and show support, he said.
“Citizen’s input is very important and we urge everyone to take a few minutes to fill out the survey,” McGee said.
In addition to the simple, three-minute survey, the email includes a link to a well-polished pro-complex presentation using as an example of what’s possible the Ben Avery Shooting Complex in Phoenix.
The Avery site includes 1,650 acres and is the largest public shooting facility in the U.S.
The exact site of the Cameo project has yet to be determined but plans call for public and special-use shooting and archery ranges along with indoor and outdoor educational facilities and a pro shop.
You can see the survey at bit.ly/rangesurvey and the Cameo presentation at bit.ly/shootingrangeinfo.
You might send the links to those non-resident hunters voicing plans to boycott Colorado this year.
Fishing report: It’s still a bit early to talk about general fishing conditions across Colorado, but it’s a good reminder that the state-wide report has changed its format in recent years because of budget and personnel cutbacks and now seeks input from anglers.
The weekly online and printed report relies heavily on what anglers are experiencing and willing to share.
Also, don’t forget your fishing license expired on April 1. Get a new one online at bit.ly/cpwlicensesales.