State fishing report – Fish kill reported at North Sterling State Park
Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012
Information for Anglers
LOW WATER LEADS TO FISH KILL AT NORTH STERLING STATE PARK
– Due to low water levels and oxygen deprivation, North Sterling State Park has suffered a nearly complete fish kill. North Sterling State Park employees began seeing a few dead fish on top of the water on Saturday, Sept. 15. By Tuesday, Sept. 18 dead fish littered the entire south and east shorelines of the reservoir. Due to the species and the number of fish found, this appears to be a complete fish kill, meaning all of the fish that used to inhabit the reservoir are likely dead. CPW employees found dead wiper, walleye, saugeye, channel catfish, crappie, bluegill, green sunfish, freshwater drum, common carp, and gizzard shad.
“Based on the fish that I and park staff observed at the reservoir, the fish kill is due to low oxygen levels in the reservoir,” said Mandi Brandt, aquatic biologist. “Colorado Parks and Wildlife will begin work
to rebuild the fishery as soon as better conditions are available, hopefully next spring.”
As the primary function of North Sterling Reservoir is to store irrigation water, the water level has been severely drawn down during 2012, leaving a relatively small pool of water for fish to inhabit. Recent winds across the shallow pool resulted in a turnover, where water near the surface of the pool was forced to the bottom of the pool and water near the bottom of the pool is forced to the top, effectively mixing the whole pool. Water at the bottom of the pool is low in oxygen due to decaying organic matter. When this water is mixed throughout the pool the oxygen level throughout the entire pool is driven down, leaving little oxygen for fish to survive.
Due to severely low water levels in Jumbo Reservoir, Prewitt Reservoir, and Jackson Reservoir, anglers who would like to fish in the upper northeast corner of the state are encouraged to fish at Jumbo Annex Reservoir or Stalker Lake.
SEASONAL FISHING REPORT ENDS FOR SEASON ON OCT. 2
BOATING AND FISHING ADVISORIES
· Barr Lake State Park (Adams County, NE of Denver);
· Jumbo Reservoir (Logan and Sedgwick Counties, SW of Julesburg)
Boat Ramp closures/restrictions that have been reported to us:
· Adobe Creek/Blue Lake (Kiowa and Bent Counties): only one of the low-water ramps is usable
· Antero Reservoir (Park County): Use north ramp. South boat ramp is closed for construction of a larger ramp.
· Blue Mesa Reservoir (Gunnison County): Ponderosa and Stevens Creek boat ramps closed
· Brush Hollow Reservoir (Fremont County): unusable due to low water level
· Crawford State Park (Delta County): all ramps closed for the season
· Harvey Gap State Park (Garfield County): boat ramp is out of the water
· Holbrook Reservoir (Otero County): ramp is out of the water
· Horsetooth Reservoir (Larimer County): call ahead for status of south ramp, other ramps closed
· Jackson Lake State Park (Morgan County): boat ramp closed, hand launch only
· Jackson Gulch Reservoir, Mancos State Park (Montezuma County) concrete ramp is out of the water, hand-launch only
· John Martin Reservoir State Park: Use east ramp. Very large, deep-draft boats may have trouble launching
· Jumbo Reservoir (Logan and Sedgwick Counties): boat ramp closed due to low water level
· Meredith Reservoir (Crowley County): main ramp closed due to low water, gravel ramp is “use at your own risk” due to shallow, muddy conditions
· Mountain Home Reservoir (Costilla County) ramp is out of the water
· Nee Gronda Reservoir (Kiowa County): ramps closed.
· North Sterling State Park (Logan County): Elks Boat Ramp very low water, use south boat ramp
· Paonia Reservoir (Delta County): Boat ramp is closed
· Platoro Reservoir (Conejos County): Boat ramp is out of the water, hand launch only.
· Prewitt Reservoir (Washington County, NE of Brush): ramp closed, hand launch only
· Taylor Park Reservoir (Gunnison County): ramp is out of the water, shore launch only
· Thurston Reservoir (Prowers County): ramp is out of the water
· Turks Pond (Baca County): ramp is out of the water
· Two Buttes Reservoir (Baca County): ramp is out of the water
· Vega State Park (Mesa County): All ramps closing after Sept. 30. Currently boats can use Island boat ramp. Early Settlers and Oak Point ramps closed due to low water.
· Williams Fork Reservoir (Grand County): boat ramp closed due to low water level
The following waters were recently stocked with catchable (approximately 10”) trout:
Metro Denver – None this week
Northeast Region – Evergreen Reservoir, Town of Evergreen; Poudre River, Larimer County, Tunnel to Rustic
Northwest Region – Walden Lions Park Pond, Jackson County, Town of Walden; Yampa River, Routt County, Elk to Catamount
Southeast Region – Green Mountain Falls Lake, El Paso County, Town of Green Mountain Falls; Horseshoe Reservoir, Huerfano County, Lathrop State Park; Martin Lake, Huerfano County, Lathrop State Park; Mount Elbert Forbay, Lake County, N of Twin Lakes; Quail Lake, Colorado Springs; San Isabel Lake, Pueblo County, NW of Rye; Turquoise Lake, Lake County, W of Leadville
Southwest Region – Ridgway Reservoir, Ouray County, Ridgway State Park; Road Canyon Reservoir, Hinsdale County, W of Creede; Vallecito Reservoir, La Plata County, N of Bayfield.
METRO DENVER AREA
Aurora Reservoir (City of Aurora) – Water temp is 66 degrees. Trout fishing from shore is slow to fair. Best success has been from the East and West end of the Dam using PowerBait and crawlers from a slip rig. 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 using jigs, spoons and bottom bouncers. Most are not of legal size to possess. Perch action is good using jigs and worms. Most are on the small size. We should start to see most species pick up as the water starts to cool off in the next couple of weeks. Boats are restricted to electric motors only. The park hours for September hours are 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information please call 303-690-1286.
Arvada Reservoir (City of Arvada) – Holding steady… slow fishing and no new stocking activity. The water level has dropped considerably but it has not hampered boat launching. The good news about the lower water level is that shore fishermen can walk out further and cast further into the deeper water. Our new hours for September and October are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Barr Lake State Park (Adams County) - The reservoir will not be drained! Water clarity is good; temperature is 74 degrees. The public fish salvage is still in effect. Best times are early morning and late in the evening. Anglers are catching trout on both sides close to the dam; they are also hooking perch, smallmouth bass and carp from shore. Worms are still your best bet for bait. Corn for carp and chicken livers for catfish also doing well. The water is 6 1/2 feet deep at the yellow corrals, go 20feet west and the lake is 10 feet deep. Also try all around the west outlet. A state parks pass is required ($7 Daily Pass or $70 Annual Pass).
Chatfield State Park (South of Littleton, Douglas and Jefferson County) - The walleye fishing has picked up the past few days. Bluegill and perch are good from shore. Bass fishing has been slowing down. Rainbows are slow but cooler weather in the next few days is likely to recharge the trout for the weekend. Try targeting trout on cloudy days when feeding activity can spike early and late. Large catfish are being caught from Gravel Ponds and King Fisher off egg sacks, as well as worms.
Cherry Creek State Park (South of I-225 and east of I-25, Arapahoe County) - The water temperature is currently at 64 degrees. There is construction at Mountain Loop and Lake Loop. Be aware of periodic closures due to that construction. Walleye have been caught at Tower Loop, the Point at the Marina and on the east shore. The East Shades has produced bass and Lake Loop trout. All of this has been accomplished using lures. Boaters, please remember to stay at least 60 feet away from in front of the tower structure. The east and west boat ramps are open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Starting Oct. 1, the inspection hours will change from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. No launching is permitted outside those hours without previous inspection.
Quincy Reservoir (City of Aurora) - The water level is low and shoreline conditions are muddy. Trout fishing is slow at this time. Some reports using flies. Bass fishing is slow to fair using plastics, jigs, crank baits and top water lures. The park hours for September hours are 6 a.m. to 8 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) – 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. Fishing times are 7 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 70 a.m. to sunset. For more information, contact the Standley Lake Nature Center at (303) 425-1097.
Antero Reservoir (Park County) – Not much in the way of changes this week. The fishing is good for trout above the weedlines and along the south end. The weather is turning cold, especially at night. Morning fishing activity is hot with a mid-day lull if the sun comes out through the more frequent cloud cover.
Boyd Lake State Park (North of Loveland, Larimer County) – Trout fishing has been good lakewide this past week with a variety of lures being successful. Bass fishing has picked up in the past few days with largemouth bass hitting Rattle Traps in the north end. Smallies are biting a bit slower. For smallmouth, try plastics on the south near the Pump House. No changes on bluegill, carp and yellow perch - slow for all. Catfish are fair on crank baits at the north end of the lake. Crappie are reported to be taking minnows on the south end and near the Marina. Walleye fishing has been good on the north end with bottom bouncers in deep water. The current water temperature is estimated to be hovering in the mid 70’s with a depth of 30.87 feet (approximately 540 Surface Acres, 32% from fullest capacity). 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) – All boat ramps are still open. Walleye activity is fair. Trout fishing is picking up with cooler weather. The forecasted rains may improve fishing this coming weekend, especially for the early morning hours. Inspections for invasive mussels are required before entering any Larimer County waters so please check times for inspections.
Eldorado Canyon State Park, South Boulder Creek (Boulder County) – Fishing in South Boulder Creek is picking up as the weather cools down. The creek is running low for this time of year, but low water can bring great fishing. The water level is currently running at 18 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, one recent report of a 14 inch rainbow. 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 TO VERY GOOD) Boaters are having the best success throughout in 10-20’ of water. Shore fishermen are reporting the best bite from sunrise to late afternoon along the south side from Witcher’s Cove to Lazy Boy. Rainbow and chartreuse PowerBait are hot, Nightcrawlers w/PopGear or floated with a marshmallow. If using lures try Tazmanian Devils, Kastmasters or Trout HDs for the best success. Pike (GOOD - VERY GOOD) Reports are in of big pike being caught along the west end of the reservoir. Try using large spoons, tube jigs or spinner & stick baits. Salmon (FAIR) Last reports of success were in the main channel out from North Boat Ramp and around Deer Island. Try Arnies Dynamic, Needlefish or Pop Gear with wedding rings.
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. Currently, water levels are low in many of our ponds. Kriley and Slough Ponds are recommended. Each angler is allowed four fish per day with eight being the maximum number in position. 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) – No report this week from Larimer County. Shore anglers can access the northernmost bays of Horsetooth Reservoir through Lory State Park. A valid fishing license and state parks pass are required.
Jackson Lake State Park (Morgan County) – Some of the water edges are muddy. Water temperature is approximately 70 degrees. Shore fishing in the lake has been good for channel catfish and fair for all other species. The reservoir is very low. Our boat ramp is closed due to no water at the ramp. We will allow hand carry vessels (canoes, belly boats, etc.) but one will have to carry them out to the water.
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. 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) – Due to low water levels and oxygen deprivation, North Sterling State Park has suffered a nearly complete fish kill. As the primary function of North Sterling Reservoir is to store irrigation water, the water level has been severely drawn down during 2012, leaving a relatively small pool of water for fish to inhabit. Recent winds across the shallow pool resulted in a turnover, where water near the surface of the pool was forced to the bottom of the pool and water near the bottom of the pool is forced to the top, effectively mixing the whole pool. Water at the bottom of the pool is low in oxygen due to decaying organic matter. When this water is mixed throughout the pool the oxygen level throughout the entire pool is driven down, leaving little oxygen for fish to survive. CPW staff will work to aggressively restock the fish in the reservoir beginning next spring if water levels improve. Due to severely low water levels in Jumbo Reservoir, Prewitt Reservoir, and Jackson Reservoir, anglers who would like to fish in the upper northeast corner of the state are encouraged to fish at Jumbo Annex Reservoir or Stalker Lake.
Prewitt Reservoir (Washington County) – Prewitt water levels have dropped and the boat ramp is unusable and closed for the rest of the season.
Spinney Mountain State Park (Park County)– Spinney – Trout (GOOD - VERY GOOD) Reports are showing successful catches from the east shoreline. Callibaetis, Wooly Buggers and Damsels are the most productive flies. Rapalas in silver and blue and Tazmanian Devils in red are all doing well. Pike (GOOD) Pike action is picking up throughout the reservoir. Try crank or jerk baits, large tube jigs, & Tazmanian Devils. South Platte above Spinney – Streamflow is at 67.6 cfs on 9/12/12 at 3:45 pm. Dream Stream – (GOOD) Large fish are being caught with Pheasant Tails, Midges, Baetis and Barr’s emergers. Also try Wooly Buggers, San Juan worms, BWO’s and PMD’s. Stream flow is at 90.2 cfs on 9/12/12 at 3:30 pm.
St. Vrain State Park ponds (Weld County) – Fishing for trout is slow but warmwater species are biting well. Bass, sunfish and catfish have been biting well in the mornings and evenings and catfish are active, especially at night. Bass are being caught on a variety of soft plastics, flies, crank baits, and spoons. Sunfish have been active on worms and flies with casting bubbles. Catfish have been caught on worms and stink baits. Please note that Bald Eagle Pond has the following restrictions: 1. Fish with flies and lures only. 2. All bass must be returned to the water immediately.
Adobe Creek Reservoir/Blue Lake (Kiowa and Bent Counties) – Fishing is slow for all species. Some channel catfish being caught, primarily on jug and trot lines. One lower boat ramp is still usable. The fire ban is still in effect.
Arkansas River (Lake, Chaffee and Fremont Counties) – On the upper Ark between Two Bit Gulch and Hayden Meadows has been fair. During the morning, fly fishermen had some success by employing a blue winged olive below Kobe Bridge. Brown trout were taking prince nymphs and RS2 flies in the afternoon at Hayden Meadows. Midday water temperatures have been between 48 and 51 degrees. For the Balltown to Granite reach of the Arkansas River, fishing has been fair to good. Anglers reported catching several brown trout near Granite on Sept. 17. However, three anglers fishing near Granite on Sept. 23 did not catch any fish. Midday water temperatures have been in the low 50’s. Between Otero and Railroad Bridges, fishing has been fair. Anglers reported success with trout taking blue winged olives and two bit hookers.
Here’s an update from Greg at ArkAnglers: “Fishing on the Arkansas River has been stellar over the last week as brown trout feed hard in preparation for the spawn and the (hopefully) long hard winter. Blue wing olive mayflies continue to hold center stage with daily nymphal drifts and strong hatches on those days with some cloud cover. The nymph activity from noon to 4 p.m. drives fish into the fast, broken water where many mayfly nymphs reside and where trout can snatch them as they come off the bottom. Despite the quantity of mayflies available, this phenomenon does not lead to selective feeding – anything plausible drifted in this water will take fish during these times. If clouds lead to a significant mayfly hatch, fish will then key onto the adults on the surface and a proper imitation becomes more critical. Outside of the afternoon, look for fish to be working midge larvae and pupae early in the morning and to take up ambush positions along the edges in the evenings.”
Brush Hollow Reservoir (Fremont County) – Fishing is slow. Boat ramp is inaccessible due to low water levels
Clear Creek Reservoir (Chaffee County)– The end of summer has now become the beginning of fall and fishing has generally slowed down. Weather has become milder with both temperature and winds more moderate, and the number of fishermen on both shore and from boats has decreased. Small spinner lures, spoons, and flies fished two or three feet below the surface have been producing the best results. Most fish caught have been smaller trout, but with increasing numbers of Kokanee salmon. The latter have the beginning of the “hooked beak” upper jaw characteristic to spawning, and a few are also beginning to show the red spawning coloration, too. Quarter-ounce Kastmaster spoons with a color pattern similar to a rainbow trout have done well, either trolled or cast while drift fishing. Wooly Bugger flies about an inch long (either a green or black pattern) trolled or fished with a bubble and spinning tackle have also had decent results; two or three people have used an Elk Hair Caddis pattern and done reasonably well. One fly fisherman had the biggest number of fish caught this past week but declined to share the fly pattern he used - who has not done the same sometime? Or at least thought of doing it. PowerBait fished from shore has produced limit catches in an hour or so, with some of the trout in the 14 inch range. No more Tiger Muskies have been reported caught or hooked. Please note the last day of the season the lake is open to trailered boats is Sept. 30, after which it remains open to shore and ice fishing, and to water craft that can be carried by hand to the water such as canoes, kayaks, and belly boats. This final week, Clear Creek Reservoir is open to trailered, powered boats Thursday, Sept. 27 through Sunday, Sept. 30 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
DeWeese Reservoir (Custer County) – Fishing has been slow. 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) – Water levels have dropped and the boat ramp at Henry is now unusable. Fishing for catfish has been good. Anglers are catching catfish using a variety of baits. Small numbers of bullhead and carp are being caught.
John Martin Reservoir State Park (Bent County) - Trotlines in the main lake are producing some catfish and a few catfish are coming out of the spillway. Fishing for other species on the reservoir is gradually getting better as the weather cools off, although it could still be considered only fair. The white bass are still biting and the crappie bite should start to pick up. Current water temperature is 63 degrees.
Lake Pueblo State Park (Pueblo County) – Cooler temperatures but not enough moisture to raise the low water levels. Boaters are still being advised to avoid newly exposed hazards that are appearing as the water drops. Live baits are doing well for catfish from shore, especially at night. Morning is the best time for other species. Try a dull-colored lure or PowerBait (garlic and rainbow are local favorites). Below the dam, fly fisherman are having success catching trout. With low water levels, large fish are confined to riffles and deeper areas of the river.
Martin Lake and Horseshoe Lake, Lathrop State Park (Huerfano County) – Horseshoe Lake and Martin Lake were stocked this past week. The fishing and the fall weather are great at Lathrop State Park.
Meredith Reservoir (Crowley County) - Boat ramps at Meredith are now both unusable. Fishing for catfish has been fair at Meredith. Fishing for wipers is fair. Fishing for other species is slow.
Turquoise Reservoir (Lake County) – Fishing from a boat has been very productive. All boaters interviewed caught trout. On Sept. 21, three out of the four boaters caught eight or more trout that day. Boaters experienced success trolling a cowbell rig near the shoreline of Abe Lee. On the other hand, fishing from shore remains very lethargic. Only two out of the six interviewed anglers caught trout from shore with one angler catching multiple trout. The angler who caught multiple trout from shore was using a golden kastmaster at the corner of Sugarloaf Dam. No lake trout were reported being caught, although boat anglers did report landing a plethora of rainbow trout. The final day for motorized boating is Sept. 30. Boating hours this week are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Without the aid of a dock at Matchless boat ramp, boat launching might be a more onerous task. The reservoir is approximately 20 ft below maximum capacity with surface water temperatures in the low 60’s.
Trinidad Lake State Park (Las Animas County) – Trinidad Lake is approximately 435 surface acres with the surface temp about 68 degrees. Fishing has picked up tremendously the last couple of weeks. We are seeing lots of nice rainbow trout and some walleye being caught. Night crawlers, bright colored PowerBait, and chicken liver seems to still be working the best. Remember as the cooler weather sets in the bigger fish start to show up!!! 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. For more information call the Visitor’s Center at 719-846-6951.
Twin Lakes Reservoirs (Lake County) – Fishing is slow but should start picking up now that the calendar and the temperatures are turning to fall.
Delaney Buttes, Cowdrey and Lake John (Jackson County) - Here’s this week’s updated from the folks at Lake John Resort: “Lately we’ve had some subtle changes. Although warmer temperatures are still hugging the Front Range, the North Park area has been experiencing its normal climate variance for this time of year. Seeing your breath and scraping your windshield are now normal morning occurrences. No snow yet, and daytime temps are still very pleasant, but don’t forget to fill up the propane if spending the night. Unlike a few of the other lakes, Lake John’s water level is within a foot of the full mark and continuing to rise. Water temp in John is currently below 60 degrees and crystal clear, and with the shorter daylight hours and cooler nights, weeds are beginning to recede. The actual catching of fish here on LJ has been consistently good throughout the summer and now into the fall. The landing of big brood fish planted a year ago has been less frequent, but the action on 12 to 16 inch rainbows and cutts is great. To make things even more appealing, the fish don’t care about your manner of angling — they’re being cooperative with everyone.
Earlier, I mentioned that the water level in John was good and improving daily, however, that isn’t the case all over. South and East Delaney Butte Lakes, despite receiving a little water recently, are significantly low, although fishing quite well. North Delaney has good water and a decent bite, however, the parking areas around North are packed and resemble a Broncos tailgate party, of course coinciding with the beginning of the brown trout spawn. If fishing the Delaneys be sure to familiarize yourself with all rules, regs, and area closures posted both in the regulations brochure and around the lakes. I’ve also been informed that both Seymour and Slackweiss Reservoirs have very low water levels, but haven’t received any information about Cowdrey Lake lately.”
Elkhead Reservoir State Park (Moffat County) - Fishing at Elkhead Reservoir continues to be excellent in its last full week with crappie and bluegills in the north end and small and largemouth bass hitting deeper in the lake. One angler caught a smallmouth and largemouth that were “good sized” and a pair of 38” northern pike.
Harvey Gap State Park (Garfield County) – Anglers are having luck catching perch and pike throughout the lake. Several channel catfish have also been caught recently.
Highline Lake State Park and Mack Mesa Reservoir (Mesa County) – Fishing is improving at Mack Mesa as the weather is beginning to cool down. Seventy 10-pound-plus catfish were stocked in Highline and Mack Mesa on Sept. 12. Bluegill, bass, and crappie are still out there waiting to be caught in Highline and Mack Mesa. As things cool off keep checking back as we will be stocking fall trout soon.
James M. Robb Colorado River State Park (Mesa County) - Catfish are really biting at Fruita. Liver seems to be working best. Trout are being caught at Island Acres and Fruita early in the morning and late evening. Most fish are small in size. Popular forms of bait have been worms, PowerBait and flies. Bass fishing at Connected Lakes has really picked up over the last few days with reports of bass up to 6 pounds.
Lake Granby (Grand County) – Action has really picked up, especially on the east shoreline and around the islands. Cooler temperatures are here and the fall scenery is hard to beat but take a good jacket for the early morning fishing, it seems to be the best time of day for trout action.
Pearl Lake State Park (Routt County) – Fish early for best results. The willows near the spillway have been a good location using flies and lures.
Rifle Gap State Park (Garfield County) – Recent stockings have the trout anglers seeing an increase in action on the reservoir. Stream action is also going well as fall temperatures have arrived. Rainbow and brown trout are found in East Rifle Creek which flows through Rifle Falls. Fish up to 19 inches long have been taken, with six to nine inch fish being the average size. Brown and Black flies or spinners work the best.
Stagecoach State Park (Routt County) – The fall colors have peaked and the views can’t be beat. Trout fishing has been slower but anglers fishing from shore are catching 4-pound trout on salmon eggs. Pike are moving into the shallows and fishing has been great from shore with many being caught on spinners and kastmasters. In order to assure the trout resource at Stagecoach, wildlife managers are trying to balance the pike population. Anglers are encouraged to keep any pike caught. Some pike are tagged with orange tags at the base of the dorsal fin for study, please report catch information to number on tag. Tailwaters fishing has been great. Reports of anglers catching 35 fish in an hour have been common and blue winged olives, elk hair caddis and san juan worms seem to be doing the trick. Small sections of shoreline have been roped off to help prevent erosion. During the busy season for the Tailwaters, anglers are asked to be mindful of the resources and help avoid overcrowding.
Steamboat Lake State Park (Routt County) – Fishing from shore has been pretty good in the morning but tapers off as the day warms up. Shore fishing in the morning has been best at Rainbow Ridge and Meadow Point. Fishermen have been successful using night crawlers or power bait as well as spinners and various flies. Later in the day, fish the deep water by the dam. Boaters have been doing well using minnow lures and spinners in the lake.
Sylvan Lake State Park (Eagle County) - Last stocked with catchable-size rainbow on Aug. 21, fishing has been good with worms and PowerBait. Anglers are also doing well with a variety of small, drab-looking flies and spinners.
Vega State Park (Mesa County) - Water levels have dropped at Vega and officials say all boat ramps will be closed in the park effective Monday, Oct. 1. This is a month earlier than usual. For this last weekend, boaters can still use the Island boat ramp. Early Settlers and Oak Point ramps are already closed for the season. After Oct. 1, Vega will remain open to shore fishing and ice fishing until next spring when boat ramps will reopen. Anglers are having a great time with the cooler temperatures. In general, try PowerBait (pink, yellow and purple), worms, and Panther Martins. 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.
Williams Fork Reservoir (Grand County) - Boat ramp is closed for the year. Hand-launched boats only.
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 slowed a bit this week but trout fishing responded with a bit of a mid-week bounce.
Crawford State Park (Delta County) – Catfish, crappie and pike have reportedly been caught in the last week. A large 30 lb. 44” pike was recently landed. Crappie as large as 12-13” have also been reported, as well as numerous smaller ones. There have been reports of a few bass as well.
Gunnison Gorge, Gunnison River (Gunnison - Delta County) - Gunnison River Expeditions provided the following information this week: “Currently the Black Canyon of the Gunnison Gorge is flowing at 483 CFS. We are expecting the river flows to start dropping into October. We have had some stone fly action in the gorge. It appears the bugs are molting their shells. Hopper droppers, Tricos, and streamers are also working well right now in the Gorge and on the lower Gunnison. For more information please call the Gunnison River Pleasure Park. “
Jackson Gulch Reservoir, Mancos State Park (Montezuma County) - Fishing has picked up with cooler temperatures. Concrete boat ramp is out of the water. Hand launch only.
Navajo State Park (Archuleta County) – Fishing has slowed some. Water temperature is currently approximately 65 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) – Ridgway Reservoir was stocked this past week. The fall colors are amazing and the fishing has really picked up with the cooler weather. The reservoir is at 61 percent capacity and holding. Both shore fishermen 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 fishermen should try green, orange, and pink PowerBait, 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 103 CFS, depending on the downstream call for water. Fly fisherman are doing well on Wooly Buggers (brown), Copper Johns, and Pheasant Tails (red is doing well); 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 PowerBait off the bottom at other times. Remember that the Uncompahgre River adjacent to the ponds is restricted to flies and lures only.
Taylor Reservoir (Gunnison County) - Here’s an update from the folks at Taylor Park Marina: “Fishing is fantastic for rainbows and northern pike. We have had two 20 lb. pike and several smaller ones caught in the last week. Rainbow fishing is great with trolling cowbells and nightcrawlers. Lake trout are starting to bite again, but small ones. The larger lake trout seem to be spawning and uninterested in any activity. We will be open here at the marina until Sept. 30 and then will close until next season!”
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.