Outdoors - Hunting and Fishing

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070311 OUT Sunday column el

Don’t be surprised to see elk calves thanks to lingering winter snowpack

By Dave Buchanan

The lingering winter snowpack has had an interesting side effect: Elk calves are showing up in rancher’s yards. “We’ve had some ranchers say the elk are calving in their pastures this spring,” said Bill de Vergie, Meeker area manager for the Colorado Division of Wildlife. “The snow was too deep for the elk to make it up to their calving grounds. Rancher often report seeing a calf or two but this year there are more than ever.” It shouldn’t ...

063111 Lake Powell art

Fishing for slurpers is hot action at Lake Powell

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Elevation: 3,647 asl Water Temperature: 74-78 F PAGE, Ariz. – From this point forward many of the reports will be about surface feeding by striped bass. Here are some terms that will make it easier for you to understand my reports. “Slurps” are defined as surface feeding by stripers of all sizes on very small larval shad. Tiny shad are poor swimmers. There is not much chance of them eluding stripers that line up with open mouths and skim the surface sucking in ...

062911 OUT Grand Mesa fish

Despite drifts, low-country heat drives folks to higher elevations

By Dave Buchanan

GRAND MESA — If your latest wish is to roll in the snow on the Fourth of July, this year you’re in luck. There is plenty of snow for the rolling on Grand Mesa, along with most of the higher mountains across Colorado. So much snow, you still won’t find many campgrounds open for your holiday romp. “If the list says Jumbo and Ward Lake, then it’s up-to-date,” said John Smith at the Grand Valley Ranger District of the Grand Mesa National Forest. ...

CDOW weekly fishing report — June 28, 2011

By Special to the Sentinel

Summer finally has arrived, and mountain basins that might have had exceptionally heavy snow last winter now are calling out. All but the highest lakes have at least some open water, though melting snow banks remain around many, and snow drifts still might hinder access to some. If in doubt, the U.S. Forest Service district office nearest the lake can be a good source of information about trail and back-road conditions. Fishing may be good, it may be so-so, but the high country is ...

Group tasked to minimize wildlife conflict plans area projects

By Dave Buchanan

The age-old story of conflicts between wild game and private landowners doesn’t always have a happy ending, for either animals or landowners. However, the conflicts and the problems have been much alleviated since 1990 when the Colorado Division of Wildlife’s Habitat Partnership Program was initiated. The goal of the HPP is to address and reduce wildlife conflicts through widespread cooperation between landowners, sportsmen, land managers, the DOW and others. This year, the ...

062211 OUT fish season Milo

Weird weather, high flows make for challenging early-season fishing

By Dave Buchanan

MARBLE — Maybe it was the brittle-looking slate-gray waters of the Crystal River carving past chokecherries laden with yellow-white flowers, or maybe it was the tracks of the black bear and her cubs crossing the dirty snowdrift near the top of McClure Pass, but something finally convinced me Sunday that summer hasn’t yet arrived in the high country. It was but two days off from the summer equinox, and a curious outdoorsperson (or a curious person outdoors) can find numerous ...

062211 Lake Powell art

Conditions changing but fishing still excellent for those in the know at Lake Powell

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Elevation: 3,642 asl                 Water Temperature: 70-75 F PAGE, Ariz. – It’s now summer and big changes are happening. The lake level is increasing about one foot per day. Water temperature is climbing with an early morning base of 70 degrees which is the warmest water of the year. Not surprisingly fishing is changing right along with the other elements. The biggest news is about striped bass. Bait fishing has taken ...

061511 LAKE Powell fish art

There are always fish to catch at Lake Powell

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Elevation: 3,634 asl                 Water Temperature 67-73 F PAGE, Ariz. – My weekly fishing report trip was extremely informative. It began by trying to duplicate some great fishing reports for striper schools in the Rock Creek area. The dawn trip from Wahweap to Rock Creek was magical with ultra calm water, clear warm water and glowing red rocks basking in the suns first light. Turned out that was the only redeeming factor as ...

CDOW weekly fishing report — June 14, 2011

By Special to the Sentinel

For a certain segment of Colorado anglers, mid June means the start of the gator-hunting season, or at least a time for some big-game fishing. Northern pike, toothy top-of-the-line predators anywhere, have finished spawning in most of the mid-elevation lakes where they are found.  They’re hungry.  They’re prowling the shallows in search of a mouthful, and they provide fishermen with a good opportunity to bring in larger-than-average fish that some have dubbed ...

061112 Lake Powell art

Rising lake level makes fishing harder at Lake Powell

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Elevation: 3,628 asl                 Water Temperature 64-70 F PAGE,, Ariz. – Lake Powell has risen 6 feet since last weeks report. Water temperature has gone up 5 degrees. These massive changes really impact fishing success. Its not that fish quit biting but rather the changing lake makes fish more difficult to locate each day. They change position daily to find the right combination of temperature, light and depth. The good ...

Grants will advance elk habitat conservation

By Dave Buchanan

Elk and other wildlife in Mesa County and 11 more Colorado counties are going to benefit from $144,150 in grants this year from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. The grants will be spent on improving wildlife habitat and funding elk and deer research by state biologists. The 12 counties receiving funds include Mesa, Dolores, Eagle, Fremont, Grand, Gunnison, La Plata, Mesa, Mineral, Montezuma, Park and Saguache. “Across Colorado, the native grasslands that elk use for forage are ...

060811 OUT Harvey Gap Vince

Word gets out about the fishing at Harvey Gap, Rifle Gap reservoirs

By Dave Buchanan

SILT — The photo on the cell phone screen showed a large brown trout, bright orange fins and mustard-yellow belly, long enough to extend well past Vincent Castorena’s wide-spaced hands. “Man, that was last week at Sweetwater Lake, and he took a long time to land,” said Castorena on Sunday, holding the phone as carefully as he once held what he said was a 21-inch brown. “I let him go, but wanted to get these photos — otherwise no one would have believed ...

060111 Lake Powell report

It’s striper time at Lake Powell

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Elevation: 3,622 asl                 Water Temperature: 60-65 degrees F PAGE, Ariz. – The big news this week is that stripers are now being caught in big numbers at the mouth of Lake Canyon. Stripers have been slow to start this spring in the mid-lake area but now it appears that has changed. It is likely that the mouth of other canyons including Annies, Slick Rock and Iceberg would have similar concentrations of large stripers ...

CDOW weekly fishing report — May 24, 2011

By Special to the Sentinel

Memorial Day weekend signals the unofficial start of the summer outdoor-recreation season, and in Colorado it just might be the most popular fishing weekend of the entire year. For many winter-weary Colorado fishermen, Memorial Day is both the first chance to get away for an extended weekend and the final holiday before the “tourist season.”  Whether as a quick escape or a mini vacation, the upcoming holiday offers some good fishing opportunities. With some exceptions, ...


Advice: Stay out of water

By Dave Buchanan

AUSTIN — The late Denny Breer, long considered the premier guide on the Green River below Flaming Gorge, enjoyed positioning his boat so clients could fish the margins behind wading anglers. “It’s sort of to make the point that fishermen often forget where the fish go in high water,” Breer would say. The advice goes for many rivers, from the Green River at Flaming Gorge to the Gunnison River just about anyplace. And it’s a truism to remember when runoff ...

DOW offers women-only Cast and Blast weekend

By Dave Buchanan

Is the divorce rate higher among couples where the man tries to teach the woman how to (pick one, all or make it up) ski, hunt, fish, shoot or drive? The Colorado Division of Wildlife has an offer that might keep one-half of a relationship from sharing the couch with the dog. A women’s weekend of Cast and Blast (it’s not the best title but it rhymes and I didn’t make it up) is being offered June 24–26 at the Jim Olterman/Lone Cone State Wildlife Area south of ...


High water keeping anglers away from Gunnison River

By Dave Buchanan

AUSTIN — On a recent weekend morning, a visitor to the Gunnison River could hear the river’s voice chatting busily as its waters rolled past the slope-shouldered hills of Gunnison Gorge. Standing in what is referred to as the west parking lot, just above the confluence of the Gunnison and North Fork rivers across from the Pleasure Park, one could hear other notable sounds, such as the intermittent trill of meadowlarks and the laughter of four rafters floating placidly by, ...

CDOW weekly fishing report — May 17, 2011

By Special to the Sentinel

SEASONAL REPORT Anglers love to talk about the weather - and for good reason. The elements often play a key role in fishing success, not to mention an angler’s comfort while on the water, and the current season has provided much to talk about. Many popular reservoirs had a relatively early ice-out, but with a pattern of high winds and weather front after weather front moving through, water temperatures have remained on the cool side. Fishing success has been erratic. Between the ...

That one fish might mean $1 million

By Dave Buchanan

You always dreamed there would be some way to make a million dollars fishing. Yeah, and Lady Gaga is going to be your fishing partner. Instead of standing around, waiting for the blonde (at least at this writing) songstress, you could try fishing Blue Mesa Reservoir, Lake Pueblo or any one of 65 other waters across the United States where catching the right fish might net you that cool million. It’s all part of Cabela’s “Wanna Go Fishing for Millions,” a contest ...

051711 Lake Powell Brian Barsness

Fishing reaches its spring peak at Lake Powell

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Elevation: 3,616 asl                 Water Temperature: 59 – 68 degrees F PAGE, Ariz. — Water level at Lake Powell is rising 2 feet per week now but that will soon grow to 4-5 feet per week. Runoff is coming at high levels and will continue to run strong from now though July. Expect to see the lake rise to the highest level in this decade by mid summer. The Castle Rock Cut is now open to all boats. This short cut on the ...

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