The heat of summer

Free fishing and Junior Rangers kick off the summer

Colorado’s two Free Fishing Days are Saturday and Sunday and one of the better destinations may be Crawford State Park. Fishing, camping and great scenery, plus the North Rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is only a few miles away.



Summer, it seems, really starts the first weekend in June, no matter what the calendar (school or Gregorian) says.

It was mentioned in Wednesday’s Daily Sentinel that June 1-2 is the annual Free Fishing weekend in Colorado and its always good to remember the only days of the year when fishing licenses aren’t required.

Of course, that takes away one of your last excuses for not fishing at least one or two days this year.

All the other regulations will be enforced, including bag/possession limits and method of take where restricted.

One promising locale is Paonia State Park, where Colorado Parks and Wildlife recently stocked 5,500 rainbow trout. According to Parks and Wildlife, fishing has improved following a northern pike-elimination effort last fall.

Also, with the very real possibility the reservoir will be drawn down later this summer to meet irrigation demands, Parks and Wildlife is “encouraging” anglers to fish Paonia Reservoir soon.

Elsewhere on this page you’ll see notice that the parks component of Colorado Parks and Wildlife is offering a weekly “Junior Ranger Program” for youngsters 16 and under.

In addition to the youth ranger program, Parks and Wildlife offers a “Colorado Trivia” family night at 8 p.m. Friday at the Fruita Section of the James M. Robb/Colorado River State Park.

The program, which offers insights and little-known secrets about the Grand Valley, repeats 8 p.m. Saturday night at Island Acres State Park.

Different evening programs will be offered each Friday (Fruita) and Saturday (Island Acres) through June.

Check the park’s Facebook page or at http://on.fb.me/115uXUD.  Programs are free although each vehicle entering the park must have a $7 daily pass or $70 annual pass.

Saturday also features the sixth annual 5k Walk/Run for their Lives, a non-competitive event benefiting the Pauline S. Schneegas Wildlife Foundation.

The non-profit foundation operates a rehabilitation facility near Silt offering a place for orphaned or injured wildlife to recover before being released back into the wild.

The race/walk fee is $20 advance, $25 on race day and includes entry to the facility’s open house after the race. Information at 970-987-3593.

An all-comers 3-D archery shoot is being offered June 7-9 at the Broken Spoke Game Ranch on Reeder Mesa.

The event features 36 targets set along game trails at the foot of Grand Mesa. Free camping is available.

Cost is $25 for adults and all paid entries get free lunch and a raffle tickets for a pheasant hunt drawing.

Information at http://www.brokenspokeranch.com or 241-3949.


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