Outdoors - Hunting and Fishing

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East Portal Road closed for winter

By Dave Buchanan

MONTROSE – The East Portal Road from the South Rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison to the Gunnison River has been closed for the winter. The Curecanti Field Office of the Bureau of Reclamation announced the closure Thursday, citing icy conditions on the steep, serpentine road. The road, which takes off Colorado Highway 347 at the south entrance to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, provides access to the Gunnison River within the Curecanti National Recreation Area, ...


110211outMoose

Carelessly off target

By Dave Buchanan

With Colorado’s big-game season half over and two more weeks to go, the tally of illegally killed moose continues to grow. As of Monday, 11 moose have been reported killed unnecessarily since the start of the hunting season on Oct. 15. All but one of those moose died in the northwest region, home of most of the state’s estimated 1,700 moose. And there is still the nine-day third season Nov. 5-13 and the five-day fourth season Nov. 16-20. Call the moose deaths negligent, ...


Study shows similarities in illegal moose kills

By Dave Buchanan

A 1999 study by the then-Division of Wildlife spanning 21 years (1978–1988) and 277 reports uncovered distinct behavior patterns with hunters who accidentally killed a moose. The Moose Mistaken Identification database shows 95 percent of the hunters were licensed elk hunters who illegally shot a moose. Although the hunters were all ages, 33 was the average, which should indicate a level of expertise in hunting. Apparently the expertise didn’t go so far as to carrying ...


102111 Lake Powell Deb

Subtle changes in techniques make fishing trip a successs

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Elevation: 3,651 asl Water Temperature:  67-72 F PAGE, Ariz. – Oct. 20: The armor plating worn by most game fish this fall is finally starting to tarnish.  There are a few chinks now apparent that can be exploited by anglers willing to meet bass and stripers on their own terms. Subtle changes in techniques and timing can turn a fishing trip into a success when resorting to normally fishing logic may result in failure.  Here are some suggestions. Stripers in the ...


101911outConnection

Take a look at ‘Off the Grid’

By Dave Buchanan

Get on course and fish off the grid. Translated: Visit the Grand Valley Anglers’ meeting Thursday at Tiara Rado Golf Course and be among the first to see the fly fishing video “Off the Grid.” This breath-taking, two-hour video was produced by Beattie Outdoor Productions of Aspen. Owner and videographer RA Beattie has long been a good friend of Trout Unlimited and the Grand Valley Anglers chapter in particular. The video was released Oct. 7 and, thanks to Beattie, the ...


Elk hunting slow, but the fishing is fine

By Dave Buchanan

Various shades of orange, gold and brown color the days of autumn, and you’ll find them everywhere you turn. A lone hunter, fashionably outfitted in blaze orange from cap to ankles, was walking a spur road on the east side of Grand Mesa on Sunday when a nosy sort in a passing vehicle stopped to query about his success. “It’s been pretty slow,” the hunter said, shaking his head in dismay about the opening days of the five-day limited elk season which ends ...


101911outBridgetteElk

Scattered Success: Good news from elk camp comes in brief messages

By Dave Buchanan

With early elk hunters confronting generally mild weather, a full moon and fewer licenses available as elk herds near desired levels, the best news came in short messages. Bridgette Chadd of Grand Junction said she harvested a 5x5 bull Saturday morning, completing a family grand slam after husband Keith and son Kolton each harvested a mule deer buck during archery season. “We saw about 150 elk on this ranch on Friday but on opening morning they weren’t anywhere around,” ...


101211 Lake Powell mike

‘Angler’s moon’ delays start of fishing frenzy at Lake Powell

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Elevation: 3,652 asl Water Temperature 68-71 F PAGE, Ariz. – This is my final report about challenging fishing at Lake Powell.  All fish are poised and ready to explode in a feeding frenzy.  Really the only thing holding them back is the big, bright, beautiful “angler’s moon” hanging perfectly over the calm water.  It’s a sight to behold. But when the moon wanes fishing will improve. The water temperature has now dropped into the high ...


Gunnison flows cut as demand drops, browns start to spawn

By Dave Buchanan

Flows through the Black Canyon of the Gunnison River are dropping this week as the Bureau of Reclamation cuts releases from the Aspinall Unit dams. The lower flows are in response to reduced demand from Uncompahgre Valley irrigators using the Gunnison Tunnel and to a request from Colorado Parks and Wildlife for lower flows to aid the brown trout spawn. Flows already have dropped by 200 cubic feet per second, bring the flows through the Black Canyon to 850 cfs. A target level of 600 cfs for ...


State fishing report for Oct. 11

By Special to the Sentinel

OCT. 11 – The season might be winding down for fishermen in October, but not for Colorado Parks and Wildlife aquatic biologists. “It’s one of the busiest times of the year for us,” said John Alves, Southwest Region Senior Biologist. “We have a lot on our plate.” As anglers reflect on the past fishing year and anticipate seasons to come, biologists are checking the status of fishing waters across the state and looking ahead to the future. Two of their ...


State offers $4 million for off-road trails projects

By Staff

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is offering $4 million in grants to qualified applicants through the state’s 2012-2013 Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) State Trails Grants program. The grants are available for projects related to the use of OHVs on lands open to the public. Grant applications are available online at http://www.parks.state.co.us and are due by Dec. 1. Off-highway vehicles trail motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and four-wheel drive vehicles. The grants are funded by an annual ...


100611 Lake Powell shanes

Don’t get spoiled; trophy stripers worthy of respect

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Elevation: 3,652 asl Water Temperature 74-75 F PAGE, Ariz. – Water temperature is poised to fall now that cool weather is here.  But as this report was written it remains at 75 degrees where it has been for the past few weeks.  The warm weather through the end of September has not allowed much change in fishing conditions or results so for one more week fishing remains tough, more so in the southern lake than the north. It is evident now that more than warm weather ...


State fishing report for Oct. 4

By Staff

Oct. 4 – With the flip of a calendar page, October has arrived and for fishermen the golden days of autumn are at hand. Daytime temperatures now are pleasant, no longer hot. Nighttime temperatures are crisp, not yet cold, though frost has come to the high country. The season is invigorating, the fishing still can be good and compared to the summer months, most waters are less crowded. Rivers across Colorado are flowing low and clear, offering the best conditions of the entire year. ...


BLM releases draft resource management plan

By Staff

The Colorado River Valley Field Office for the Bureau of Land Management recently released its draft Resource Management Plan for some 505,000 acres in Eagle, Garfield, Mesa, Pitkin, Routt and Rio Blanco counties. The area involved does not include the Roan Plateau, which has a separate management plan. The draft plan analyzes four alternatives detailing a wide range of possible management direction. Final plans are scheduled to be released in 2012. The agency will host three public open ...


Budget crunch closes boat launches at Crawford, Sweitzer

By Staff

Crawford State Park and Sweitzer Lake State Park close for trailered boat launching on Friday due to budget reductions. Anglers will still be able to fish from shore and several areas of both parks are open for waterfowl hunting. The Clear Fork campground at Crawford is open year-around. Hand-launched watercraft will be welcome at both lakes through the fall. Waterfowl hunting is allowed at Sweitzer Lake on Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday, and holidays only.  ...


State fishing report for Sept. 27

By Special to the Sentinel

Sept. 27 – Fishing for spawning brown trout in the fall has a special meaning for Colorado Parks and Wildlife aquatic biologists. While anglers may be looking to October for an opportunity to catch larger-than-average brown that might be on the move from a lake, Parks and Wildlife crews will begin their annual brown-trout spawn-taking operation at North Delaney Butte Lake on Oct. 6. “We take brown-spawn at North Delaney for two primary reasons,” said Ken Kehmeier, senior ...


092211 Lake Powell Brian Shaw

Stripers, bass ‘on vacation’ at Lake Powell

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Elevation: 3,653 asl Water Temperature 74-78 F PAGE, ARIZ. – Sept. 21. The good news is that Lake Powell surface temperature dropped 3 degrees in a week and is now holding near 74 F in the mornings. The bad news: that wasn’t enough to release game fish from their thermal prison. Perhaps “prison” is the wrong term since the shad food source is locked up right with the game fish. Looking at this from a different angle, fish have found a “luxury ...


State fishing report for Sept. 20

By Special to the Sentinel

Sept. 20 – With the arrival of fall, anglers might find the stage set for a battle with a heavyweight. “In the fall, spawning mackinaw go shallow, but so do the non-spawning fish,” said Sherman Hebein, senior aquatic biologist for the Colorado Parks and Wildlife northwest region. “As the water cools down and temperature is essentially the same at all levels, the entire lake is at their disposal and they take advantage of it.” So do knowing fishermen.   ...


091811 OUT turkeys

Wildlife Commission raises mountain lion limit

By Dave Buchanan

The state Parks and Wildlife Commission on Thursday raised the limit of mountain lion harvest for the 2012 season to 618, an increase of 26 lions. Mountain lion licenses are offered in unlimited numbers but prior to hunting, a hunter must call a toll-free number or Colorado Parks and Wildlife office to learn if a particular game management unit is open for lion hunting. Harvested lions must be checked by a wildlife officer. License sales are closed in specific areas when harvest quotas ...


State fishing report for week of Sept. 13

By Dave Buchanan

Sept. 13 – Change is in the air. It might be subtle as gradually shorter days, slightly cooler nighttime temperatures in the city or the first signs that colors in the high country are about to change, but it’s unmistakable. The summer that would never end is slipping away. Fall is on the way. For anglers, mid September might bring some of the best activity of the entire year. Rivers are flowing clear, and with a few exceptions lakes and reservoirs are in good condition. Fish ...


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