Outdoors - Hunting and Fishing

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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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Casting about: Writer, angler to speak of his fishing adventures

By Dave Buchanan

Fishing author Kirk Deeter’s personal flybox most likely is titled “writers who fish.” Which, the Pine resident is quick to point out, is way different than the much larger (and not nearly as interesting) over-stuffed box of “fishermen who write.” That fragment of Deeter’s autobiography was gleaned from one of the columns he writes for the online fly-fishing magazine MidCurrent, in which he was trying to explain how this one-time struggling fishing ...


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Forecaster: When Lake Powell warms, fishing will be fine

By Dave Buchanan

That Sunday afternoon snow-and-rain squall sending early season gardeners scurrying into the house also was setting back the Lake Powell fishing season a few days. Prior to the weekend, fishermen plying the 186-mile-long impoundment a few hours west of the Grand Valley had been enjoying an early spring, with sunny skies and temperatures reaching into the 70s during the past week or so. It seemed the fishing was just about to break out of the winter doldrums when the weekend cold front ...


Gunnison flows to be cut below tunnel diversion

By Dave Buchanan

Officials from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation recently announced flows in the Gunnison River below the Gunnison tunnel diversion dam will be cutback Monday morning through late Tuesday. Dan Crabtree, lead hydrologist for Reclamation in Grand Junction, said the Uncompahgre Valley Water Users Association will be doing repairs on the dam apron and there can be no water across the dam during the work. This will require flows in the Gunnison River be reduced to approximately 400 cubic feet per ...


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2012 forecast as Year of Big Fish at Lake Powell

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Elevation: 3,634 asl   Water Temperature 50-57 F PAGE, Ariz. – Spring weather has arrived with air temps in the 70s and water warming to 60 degrees in the shallow muddy floodplains. But as always happens in the spring, cold fronts erase the warming as water returns to the base temperature after windy conditions or a cold night. Base temperature is now near 50 degrees and will remain there during the coming cold weather front expected next week. The general pattern for ...


Arkansas River featured Thursday at TU meeting

By Special to the Sentinel

If you have never witnessed the caddis hatch on the Arkansas River, you need to put the event on your calendar. It is an amazing sight to see huge clouds of caddis swarming, not just on the river, but all over the Arkansas Valley. Greg Felt, co-owner and guide-service manager for ArkAnglers in Salida, has worked as a guide and outfitter on the Arkansas River since 1985. He will be sharing his knowledge and experience on the Arkansas River at Thursday’s meeting of the Grand Valley ...


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Online hunting license application: timely, fewer errors

By Dave Buchanan

The return of spring means different things to different people, but for big-game hunters it is the signal to send in that big-game license application. Send it in, that is, through the Internet. The April 3 deadline for big-game applications always comes sooner than most hunters realize, whether they are newcomers to the state, old-timers looking for a new area to hunt or simply experienced procrastinators caught in a time lag. By applying online, hunters can ensure their applications ...


030712outLedeYouthHunts

Trouble shooting: Youth late-season hunt changes limit pressure on elk

By Dave Buchanan

A late-season elk hunting program for young hunters has proven almost too successful. For the past 11 years, Colorado Parks and Wildlife has made it possible for hunters between 12 and 17 who didn’t fill their cow or either-sex elk tags during the regular season to hunt cow elk anywhere in the state where a late season is scheduled. Hunters holding an unfilled bull elk license are not eligible. The program was designed to encourage youth participation in big-game hunting and to ...


030612 Lake Powell

Spring changes coming to Lake Powell

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Powell report March 7 Lake Elevation: 3,635 feet asl Water Temperature 49-54 F PAGE, Ariz. – Lake Powell water temperature still hovers between 49 and 54. Not much change will occur in fishing conditions until significant warming of air and water comes toward the end of March. The good news is that stripers, walleye, largemouth and crappie can be caught now with specific effort directed in the small areas of vulnerability these species exhibit. Here is the pattern for success. ...


Highline Lake opens Friday for boating

By Dave Buchanan

It must be spring: Highline Lake State Park opens Friday to all types of boating. Only the west ramp will open for launching watercraft and for aquatic nuisance species (ANS) inspections, which are required for all boats entering and leaving the lake. The east ramp will remain closed until water levels rise. Park officials caution the water still is very cold. The campground and its 31 campsites also is open. Reservations are urged for weekend camping. Call 800-678-2267 or online at ...


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Opening lines: Fish biting at Lake Powell

By Dave Buchanan

Like the swallows returning to Capistrano, the sight of Wayne Gustaveson’s first Lake Powell fishing report of the season is a sure sign of spring. Gray, snow-laden clouds drag themselves across the Book Cliffs, but even the gloomiest late-winter mood is brightened by Gustaveson’s news that fish are biting at Lake Powell. All you cabin-fever anglers can’t expect to make the drive to Bullfrog or Hite and have stripers jumping into your boat. But there are enough fish ...


022912outConnectBear

Make bear hunting more bearable with seminar

By Dave Buchanan

Never expect bear hunting to be easy, but Tony Bonacquista can make it easier. Bonacquista, a district wildlife manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife and an experienced bear hunter, will reveal his secrets during a bear hunting seminar March 10 in Montrose. He is expected to discuss bear biology, hunting tactics, field dressing, rules and regulations and human bear conflict issues. “Bears are very challenging to hunt, but hunters who know where to look and how to hunt them can ...


022212outBrushCreek

No trespassing: Hunter keeps property boundaries in his sights

By Dave Buchanan

It happens to every hunter and angler: A trip is ruined when an illegal gate, fence or “No Trespassing” sign prevents access to public land. In most cases, the hunter or angler gives up and goes elsewhere, which is just what the landowner wants and expects. But sometimes a hunter refuses to back down. Brandon Siegfried decided not to back down after being harassed by landowners illegally posting public land along Roan Creek near De Beque. “My buddy and I were turkey ...


021212_OUT_Sun_second_deer_antlers

Cactus bucks increasing in Hotchkiss area

By Dave Buchanan

A curious condition that leaves mule deer bucks carrying velvet covered antlers year-round apparently has cropped up in the Hotchkiss/Crawford area. State wildlife officials say reports about what are known as “cactus bucks” have increased over the past decade in parts of the North Fork Valley. It isn’t known why so many reports of cactus bucks have surfaced in the past few years in this one area since the condition, while infrequent, isn’t entirely unknown in ...


020112outUtahDeerRegs

Utah adds units, decreases licenses for 2012 deer hunting season

By Dave Buchanan

The application period for 2012 Utah deer hunting season begins today and prospective hunters have several new regulations to consider. Instead of the traditional five hunting regions, Utah now has 30 deer hunting units. A hunter familiar with a former hunting region should consult a map to see which units are in that region. According to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, the change was made after hunters expressed concern about the few bucks seen during the 2010 hunt ...


Ice, fish grand at Vega Reservoir

By Dave Buchanan

More cold means more ice means more room to fish. Anglers know ice fishing is the Great Equalizer, no matter what Horace Mann said about education. Winter allows you to fish places you can’t reach in summer without a boat. And you get to catch all those big fish that spend the summer hanging out just beyond your ability to cast. There are a lot of fish like that at Vega Reservoir. Revenge is sweet. WHAT: Vega Reservoir Ice Fishing Tournament, sponsored by Collbran Lions Club ...


011812outRifleGapIce

Icy greeting: Eager anglers head for fresh ice at Rifle Gap

By Dave Buchanan

RIFLE GAP STATE PARK — A scar of raw ice slashing across the mostly frozen surface of Rifle Gap Reservoir splits the new from the old. The scar is a pressure ridge, formed as the lake gradually froze and indicative of the plate tectonics movement of ice caps on this and other frozen lakes. Such ridges often are considered weak spots in the ice cap, a place anglers and skiers would do well to avoid. But ironically, this particular ice ridge, snaking from the west end of the dam to ...


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Frozen in place: Perfect, safe spot key to ice fishing at area reservoirs

By Dave Buchanan

VEGA STATE PARK — It’s true in real estate and it’s true if you’re going fishing: success depends on location, location, location. That’s particularly apt in this winter of vagaries, if you’re an ice angler seeking out some ice through which to angle. The best advice for now is to stay high. “We’re pretty thankful to have the ice we have now,” said Vega State Park ranger Kedrick Robinson during a brief stop on his rounds Friday. ...


010412outCrawfordHailey

Slow fishing follows New Year’s Eve crowd on Crawford Reservoir

By Dave Buchanan

CRAWFORD STATE PARK — The ice cap Sunday morning on Crawford Reservoir creaked and groaned — perhaps it, too, was recovering from a New Year’s Eve surfeit of too many people and too much noise. It couldn’t have been Sunday’s anglers, since for most of the day there weren’t enough people on the ice for a rugby scrum. Those who were there, however, weren’t enjoying much action. “Man, it’s slow,” lamented one angler as he and his ...


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