Outdoors - Hunting and Fishing

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Sweitzer Lake level limits boat-ramp use

By Staff

An inadequate spillway on Garnet Mesa Dam at Sweitzer Lake State Park has caused the Colorado Division of Water Resources to limit water levels in the lake. A hydrology study found the existing spillway is inadequate and could pose a threat to the safety of the dam, so the state is limiting water in the lake to a level not to exceed 1-foot below the crest of the spillway. Lowering the lake level a vertical foot has decreased the length of the boat ramp to 17.5 feet and launching is not ...


Ridgway State Park open for boating

By Dave Buchanan

Ridgway State Park is open for the 2010 boating season. To prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species, all trailered vessels entering and leaving the park are required to be inspected. The inspection station is open from 8 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. seven days a week through May 3. After then to May 15, hours will be 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. After May 15, the summer inspection hours will go into effect: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays ...


Angler roundtable set for April 28 in Grand Junction

By Dave Buchanan

The Colorado Division of Wildlife will host a series of Angler Roundtables this month in Grand Junction and around the Western Slope. All will run from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Roundtables are set for Meeker, April 22; Granby, April 26; Glenwood Springs, April 27; Grand Junction, April 28 and Steamboat Springs, April 29. The Grand Junction roundtable will be at the Ramada Inn, 752 Horizon Dr. Angler Roundtables are open to the public and anyone interested in fishing is encouraged to ...


Cabela’s to open GJ store on May 20

By Staff

The much-awaited opening of the Grand Junction Cabela’s outdoors store is set for 4 p.m., May 20. The 70,000-square-foot, next-generation store is located in Mesa Mall and will be stocked with products specifically selected for Colorado outdoor enthusiasts and for people traveling to the region, said Cabela’s officials. Plus, the in-store Cabelas.Com Lodge will give customers access to virtually every product in Cabela’s inventory. Store hours will be Monday through ...


Expo free for anglers, wannabe anglers alike

By Dave Buchanan

This week’s Outside Connection is — what else — the 12th annual Western Colorado Fly Fishing Exposition. If you’re interested in fly fishing, or interested in getting interested in fly fishing, this is the event for you. You don’t have to be a fly tier, although there will be plenty of those around to teach you a thing or maybe 100. It’s all free, except for the Saturday evening meal, so this is one time you’ll get much more than your ...


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Local groups tend to wild turkey habitat

By Dave Buchanan

Two Grand Junction Boy Scout troops and a handful of adult volunteers recently braved a early spring storm for a fast-paced winter habitat project benefitting wild turkeys along the Dolores River near Gateway. Boy Scout Troops 318 and 353 joined members of the Western Slope Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation for the two-day project along the Dolores. The days were spent planting shrubs and cottonwood trees on private ranches. The plantings are aimed at ensuring wild turkeys ...


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Befus family bonds over fishing, outdoors

By Dave Buchanan

When the 12th annual Western Colorado Fly Fishing Exposition opens Friday night at the DoubleTree Hotel, don’t be surprised to see a lot of folks who wear double-extra-small waders. While the expo always has been attentive to its audience of younger anglers and fly tiers, this year there is an extra push to show the role of families in the sport. “We’ve always had children’s and women’s programs and this year we wanted to emphasize the participation of ...


040610 OUT Lake Powell

Lake Powell fishing: Expect largemouth excitement to break soon

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Elevation: 3,619 msl Water Temperature 52-56 F The first largemouth bass has been seen tidying up a nest site.  That heralds the beginning of spring fishing excitement. The largemouth bass spawn during the next 4 weeks will create indelible fishing memories for those lucky enough to be fishing on those magic days when bass are visible in shallow clear water, and eager to chase anything that comes near the nest. Bass spawn every year, but this year the average size of bass ...


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Take a trip to San Juan River below Navajo Reservoir, but don’t come up empty-hand

By Bill Haggerty

“Hey,” said the skoal-chewing state employee from Aztec, New Mexico, “this place is like fishing in an aquarium.” After standing in the famous Texas Hole on the San Juan River below Navajo Dam in northern New Mexico with about a dozen other anglers, all of whom were catching fish around me, I decided I didn’t like the idea of fishing in an aquarium. Besides, of all the people in that hole, me and a six-year-old kid were the only ones who couldn’t catch ...


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Elk foundation’s GJ chapter leads in fundraising

By Dave Buchanan

While western Colorado is world-renowned for its elk hunting, the local chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is almost as well-known for its fundraising. According to the elk foundation, the Grand Junction chapter is the most-successful of its chapters in terms of fundraising, which includes memberships and net proceeds from the annual banquet. The local chapter has raised more than $2.167 million since its inception in 1989, said Steve Decker, foundation vice-president of ...


032910 Terry Sweet

It’s still Sweet for foundation chairman

By Dave Buchanan

After 21 years of heading up what’s possibly the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s most-active chapter, Terry Sweet has no intentions, thank you, of stepping aside. “Oh, hey, I’m still having fun and enjoying myself immensely,” said the outgoing Grand Junction chiropractor and life-long elk enthusiast. “Sometimes it’s lots of long hours of hard work, but it’s exciting and the people are what makes it all worthwhile.” Sweet has watched ...


Sweitzer Lake postpones opening day for boaters

By Dave Buchanan

A lingering winter and accompanying cold weather has forced Colorado State Parks to postpone the opening of Sweitzer Lake State Park near Delta until April 9. Officials caution boat operators to make sure their vessels are inspected for aquatic nuisance species (ANS), including zebra and quagga mussels, prior to launch. Vessels planning to launch outside of posted inspection times will require a pre-inspection seal which can be obtained during normal inspection hours. Pre-inspection seals ...


033110 Lake Powell Ron Colby

Lake Powell fishing improves with longer days, warmer weather

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Elevation: 3,619 msl Water Temperature 51-56 F PAGE, Ariz. – Days are longer and weather warmer. Base water temperature taken in the morning has finally begun to increase. There is still some work to do but warm spring days are on the way. It is time to start planning spring fishing trips. If current weather conditions continue, expect largemouth bass spawning to begin sometime near the 2nd week of April, followed by crappie and smallmouth during the 3rd week. Striped bass and ...


Elk Foundation to fund wildlife projects in 14 counties

By Dave Buchanan

Elk herds and other wildlife in Mesa County and 13 other western Colorado counties are expected to benefit from a variety of conservation projects funded for this year by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. The Foundation has announced it will spend $146,250 on projects ranging from prescribed burns in over-mature forests, restoring riparian habitat and research into the reasons behind Sudden Aspen Decline. The projects will be done in Archuleta, Chaffee, Delta, Fremont, Garfield, Grand, ...


Pistol range to close for maintenance

By Dave Buchanan

The public pistol range on 27 ¼ Road north of the airport will close for two weeks starting Monday to allow the Bureau of Land Management to complete upgrades to the road and facilities at the range. The project includes resurfacing the road to the pistol range and the parking lot at the range. Plans also call for construction of a shade structure and shooting benches at the range. The project is being funded through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds. “These ...


Highline Lake now open to boating

By Dave Buchanan

After a weather delay, Highline Lake State Park is now open to all boaters, jet skiers, water skiers, and wake boarders. As part of the statewide fight to curb the spread of aquatic nuisance species, including zebra and quagga mussels, all vessels entering and leaving Highline Lake will be inspected for nuisance species. If any are detected on any watercraft, decontamination is required. Boaters are encouraged to clean, drain and dry their vessel, including removing the plug to drain ...


032310 Lake Powwell crappie

Lake Powell fishing awaiting change in weather

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Elevation: 3,619 msl Water Temperature 49-54 F PAGE,Ariz. – Lake level has been stable for two weeks.  Water temperature has risen briefly but wind today puts it right back at 51 degrees Tuesday morning.  With these important variables unchanged there is no reason for fish behavior to change.  That means successful fishing methods during the past two weeks will continue to work until a significant change occurs. Here is what to expect.  Larger stripers are ...


Fishing regs meeting March 31 in Montrose

By Dave Buchanan

As part of its 5-year review of statewide fishing regulations, the Colorado Division of Wildife will host an anglers’ roundtable from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. March 31 at the Holiday Inn Express in Montrose. DOW aquatic biologists and managers will present to answer questions and discuss plans for various waters. Topics to be discussed may include methods of take, season dates, size requirements and bag limits. “We appreciate public participation in this process,” said John ...


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Lake Powell Fishing Report: The season has started

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Elevation: 3,619 msl Water Temperature 49-53 F PAGE, Ariz. – My fishing season started yesterday. The cold blustery weather the past two weeks has kept me close to the fireplace but that has all changed now.  Fair skies and warmer temperatures arrived so it was time to go fishing.  Stripers did not disappoint.  It looks like my high expectations for 2010 are now even higher.  We found another year class of fish to add to the mix. Here is the pattern:  ...


Observe these rules for late-season ice

By Dave Buchanan

You might consider this the two-minute warning for a winter’s ice-fishing season. Most low-elevation ponds are clear of ice or nearly so, while lakes such as Rifle Gap and Blue Mesa reservoirs might have another month or more of decent ice. In some cases, the hardest part is getting past the open water along the margins and reaching the thick ice. Avoid ice that looks cloudy, shows large cracks or is filled with bubbles and always punch holes as you go to monitor ice ...


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