Outdoors - Hunting and Fishing

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Wild rainbow trout thrive in Gunnison as water managers forecast dry summer

By Dave Buchanan

The best and unexpected news coming from Thursday’s Aspinall Operations meeting, as compared to the challenging and not-unexpected news of continued drought, was notice of the return of wild rainbow trout to the Gunnison Gorge. That news, conveyed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife aquatics biologist Dan Kowalski of Montrose, refutes fears that generations would be needed to recover the Gunnison’s once world-class rainbow trout fishery. It’s accurate to say the fishery was ...


Fishing report, May 5 – Arkansas River work to begin

By Special to the Sentinel

HIGH COUNTRY LAKES OPENING EARLY – Colorado Parks and Wildlife crews are working hard to get inspection stations open at popular lakes and reservoirs in the Colorado high country as ice has come off up to a month early in some spots. Boat inspections will begin this week at popular Park County waters like Antero and Tarryall. Spinney Mountain State Park and Eleven Mile State Park are also open for boating ahead of schedule. A complete boat inspection schedule is available online at ...


050212 Lake Powell Ray Young

Water levels are stable and Lake Powell bass fishing is hot

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Elevation: 3,635 feet msl Water Temperature 64-66 F PAGE, Ariz. – On Hold! Lake Powell is stable and holding at elevation 3,635 (MSL) where it has been for over a month. Water flowing in equals water flowing out with no sign of increased runoff. This means that bass and crappie nests are still visible. Water temperature is holding in the low 60’s which is ideal for excellent bass, walleye and crappie fishing. The end result is ideal fishing conditions that will continue ...


Colorado fishing report for April 24

By Special to the Sentinel

Ready to fish for a million? Colorado Parks and Wildlife is once again joining with Cabelas to offer a few lucky anglers the chance to win up to $2 million in cash and more than $225,000 in additional prizes by catching tagged fish at select lakes across the United States. Colorado is one of 19 states participating in this year’s “Wanna Go Fishing for Millions?” event, which is designed to give anglers a little extra incentive to get outdoors and on the water between May ...


042412 Lake Powell

Bass fishing at its peak at Lake Powell

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Elevation: 3,635 asl   Water Temperature 64-66 F PAGE, Ariz, April 24 – Bass fishing does not get any better than the success seen in the last week. Spawning large and smallmouth bass are in the shallow rocks and brush. Nests are readily seen in favored coves. Some coves are preferred over others so spend some time looking for nesting bass. Big largemouth up to 7 pounds and smallmouth to 4.5 pounds have been caught recently. Big bass are being caught at an unprecedented ...


041812_OUT_HartlandBypass

Dam rebuilt to be fish and boater friendly

By Dave Buchanan

Anglers and recreational boaters headed down the Gunnison River from Paonia or the Pleasure Park have one less obstacle in their way. Thanks to a multiple partnership among private and public interests, the once-formidable Hartland Diversion Dam just downstream of Colorado Highway 65 near Austin has been rebuilt and made native fish and boater friendly. “We’re really excited about this,” said Kelli Hepler of the Delta County Tourism Board. “This gives boaters the ...


041812 Lake Powell McQuitty

Bass are spawning; it’s a good time to fish Lake Powell

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Elevation: 3635 asl Water Temperature 55-65 F PAGE, Ariz., April 18 –  It is the third week of April and true to form bass are returning to the shallows to spawn. There was some early nest building during the first week of April which happens only occasionally, but the actual spawn will occur during the coming week. Male bass build the nest, guard the eggs, and protect the young during the first two weeks after hatching. The males are amazingly aggressive and will attack ...


Outdoors Heritage Day coming April 28 in Palisade

By Special to the Sentinel

Kids and their parents are invited to attend the fifth annual Outdoor Heritage Day celebration 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 28 at Riverbend Park in Palisade. The day-long celebration introduces families to the various outdoor opportunities Colorado has to offer, and the event’s many sponsors will help provide them the information they need to pursue those activities on their own. “Many families want to spend more time outdoors, and may just not know where to go or what to ...


Fishing report; Parks and Wildife says walleye spawn successful

By Special to the Sentinel

Colorado fishing report April 17 – Walleye spawning wrap-up for 2012: Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologists say this year’s walleye spawning effort at Chatfield, Cherry Creek and Pueblo Reservoirs ensured another year class of walleye and saugeye for the anglers of Colorado. Thanks to staff and a whole bunch of volunteers, we were able to take 119 million (119,205,031) walleye eggs in late March. The eggs have since hatched and many of them have already been stocked (as ...


041112 Lake Powell Mark and Wayne

Lake Powell: Bass fishing is fantastic but stripers are MIA

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Elevation: 3,635 asl Water Temperature 54-64 F PAGE, Ariz, April 11 – Fishing is fantastic as long as you are fishing for bass in the afternoon. Bass spawning is imminent. It may take another week due to unsettled weather but fishing will remain very good for bass for the rest of the month. Water temperature still declines into the mid 50s overnight but by afternoon water in the backs of the canyons and coves warms to the mid 60s. This warming and cooling cycle produces the ...


Colorado sets crackdown on ‘bucket biologists.’

By Special to the Sentinel

April 10, 2012 – Colorado is cracking down on bucket biologists. Colorado Wildlife officers and State Park rangers are on the lookout for people who illegally move fish in the state. Fish such as smallmouth bass, walleye and northern pike have been illegally introduced in several Colorado reservoirs. These predator fish can out-compete traditional sport fish such as trout and kokanee, and ruin recreational fishing for other anglers. They also threaten populations of native fish ...


Vega, Sweitzer to open for boating

By Dave Buchanan

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has announced the opening of Vega Reservoir and Sweitzer lake for the 2012 boating season. Vega Reservoir at Vega State Park, 20 miles east of Collbran, will open for boating Friday. Sweitzer Lake, one mile south of Delta on U.S. Highway 50, is open for weekends-only boating through April and will open full-time on May 1. Parks officials are warning boat operators that due to early season conditions, boaters should watch for floating debris and be aware that ...


East Portal Road to Gunnison River open for summer

By Dave Buchanan

The serpentine East Portal Road, which offers access to Crystal Dam, the Gunnison River within the Curecanti National Recreation Area and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is open for the summer, according to the Bureau of Reclamation. Motorists can reach the East Portal Road by taking Colorado Highway 347 about eight miles east of Montrose on U.S. Highway 50. The East Portal Road takes off Highway 347 near the entrance to the South Rim of the Black Canyon. National park ...


First of year fishing report eyes slow start to season

By Special to the Sentinel

April 3, 2012 Anglers should remember to purchase have a 2012 fishing license before heading out. Licenses are valid April 1 through March 31. AQUATIC NUISANCE SPECIES REMINDER: Boaters are reminded that mandatory inspections are in place at many of the lakes and reservoirs around the state again this year. Boaters are reminded to clean, drain and dry their boats and equipment to prevent the spread of invasive species. Information about inspection requirements, hours and procedures can ...


032812outExpoOwens

Fly-fishing expo not to be missed

By Dave Buchanan

The Western Colorado Fly Fishing Exposition returns Friday and Saturday to the DoubleTree Hotel. And as they allegedly said in the newsreels, “Movie at 7.” It’s a movie, and an expo, you really shouldn’t miss. The movie is the 2012 Fly Fishing Film Tour (or f3t, for short) and consists of many movies in one, a series of action-packed short films by some of the world’s most-talented angling filmmakers, including RA Beatty of Basalt. The film tour visits 120 ...


032112outDeeter3

Expo’s behind-the-scene support runs deep, steady

By Dave Buchanan

It bears noting that the Western Colorado Fly Fishing Exposition set for Friday and Saturday at the DoubleTree Hotel is sponsored and run by the Grand Valley Anglers Chapter of Trout Unlimited and Federation of Fly Fishers. This hard-working committee of volunteers, led by Pat and Carol Oglesby, Steve McCall and numerous others, has steered the expo into its 14th year and has seen it become the largest fly-fishing show between Denver and Salt Lake City. In 14 years, expo watchers have ...


Last-minute big-game applications still accepted until midnight Tuesday

By Dave Buchanan

It’s not too late to file that application for a Colorado 2012 big-game hunting license. The application deadline is Tuesday April 3 and Colorado Parks and Wildlife reminds hunters of the wealth of information and planning resources the agency offers to hunters in their license quest. Parks and Wildlife director Rick Cables said hunters have all the resources they need right at their fingertips, including online resources, a secure license application protal and hunt planners at ...


032912 Lake Powell Debi

Lake Powell bass moving up toward spawn

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Elevation: 3,635 asl Water Temperature 52-60 F March 29 – PAGE, ARiz. – Bass are moving up to spawn. Water temperature is still a cool 52 F in the early morning. But on calm sunny days water temperature escalates to over 60 degrees in the shallows by late afternoon. Weather is expected to be calm and sunny for the weekend. Expect both large and smallmouth bass to move into the shallows and begin building nests. Wind and cold will then return early next week so spawning ...


Local lakes to begin boating season

By Staff

Spring means boating in western Colorado and Harvey Gap and Rifle Gap state parks will open Sunday for boating. Crawford State Park will follow, opening April 6. Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials caution boaters to make sure all required safety equipment is aboard and keep watch for possible floating debris. Always be aware that unmarked hazards may exist and if any is discovered, notify the park staff. Also, all trailered vessels must go through an aquatic nuisance species (ANS) ...


032212 Lake Powell Brian H.

Early Lake Powell bass are larger, more willing in March

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Elevation: 3,635 asl   Water Temperature 50-57 F PAGE, Ariz. – Imagine my surprise when checking the water level to find out that Lake Powell has risen since the last report.  Normally lake level does not climb until April.  The recent wet storm front has already had an impact on the lake.  Now lake level will likely continue the normal slow decline expected in March but that was really fun to see the little bump in elevation. The big storm also slowed ...


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