Outdoors - Hunting and Fishing

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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 ...

SPT 8D OUT 040410

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 ...


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 ...

031710 Lake Powell 1

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 ...


Let your Irish eyes smile on fish in Green, Gunnison rivers

By Dave Buchanan

It’s St. Patrick’s Day but instead of wearing the green, why not try fishing it? We’re not referring specifically to Utah’s lovely Green River where it courses through the sun-burnt cliffs of Flaming Gorge, although that is never a bad bet for an early spring getaway. “It’s really fishing great this time of year,” said guide Curtis Brown from Trout Creek Flies in Dutch John, Utah. “The flows are right at 900 (cubic feet per second), which ...

DOW looking for information about illegally killed pronghorn

By Dave Buchanan

The Colorado Division of Wildlife is looking for information in the recent illegal killing of a pronghorn antelope. DOW spokesman Randy Hampton said the pronghorn carcass was discovered March 4 by utility workers along a ditch road northwest of 24 and F ½ Roads in Grand Junction. Because of the location where the carcass was found, evidence indicates the pronghorn likely was shot in another location and later dumped along the canal road, Hampton said. According to the DOW report, ...


Biologist predicts good fishing as Lake Powell warms up

By Dave Buchanan

It’s never too early to get excited about fishing Lake Powell, says the one man who probably knows more about fishing that lake than anyone. Utah fisheries biologist Wayne Gustaveson has made a career of the 186-mile long lake and popular fishery that attract more than 3 million visitors a year. His weekly fishing report is a must-read among Lake Powell regulars and his personal Web site, http://www.wayneswords.com, attracts hundreds of readers every week and generates some lively ...

Construction to close Buckeye Res.

By Dave Buchanan

Buckeye Reservoir and Recreation Area, a popular camping and fishing destination west of Paradox, will be closed this summer as the area undergoes major improvements. A spokesperson for the Manti-LaSal National Forest said campsites will be reconstructed, a boat ramp built, new toilet facilities installed, and roads improved. Also, ponderosa pines in the area will be thinned to reduce the threat of wildfire. “While the closure will be an inconvenience this summer, the work being ...


Biologist: ‘Fish are grinning at Lake Powell’

By Dave Buchanan

Most of us still have snow piled in the shady spots on our lawns and that has Wayne Gustaveson smiling. The veteran Lake Powell fisheries biologist is eager to spread the word that fishing conditions at the reservoir this summer likely will be some of the best in recent years. Water levels in the reservoir, which dropped substantially during the long drought starting in 2000, are expected to rebounded a bit thanks to plenty of snow in the upper Colorado River basin. “A modest ...

Festivals celebrate sandhill crane migration

By Dave Buchanan

Craniacs, get ready. The sandhill cranes are on their way. The spring migration of thousands of sandhill cranes is under way and avid birders have plenty of opportunity to view these magnificent birds. Enjoy seminars, early morning wake-up calls and plenty of binocular time with birds winging their way to nesting grounds in northern Colorado and beyond. The 27th annual Monte Vista Crane Festival is March 12–14 and the Eckert Crane Days celebration is March 20 and 27. It’s ...

Black Canyon featured at Thursday’s TU meeting

By Dave Buchanan

Three seasons of fishing in the Gunnison Gorge will be featured Thursday at the February meeting of the Grand Valley Anglers Chapter of Trout Unlimited. The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Pinyon Grill at Tiara Rado Golf Club, 2057 So. Broadway. Ben Olson, manager of Black Canyon Anglers, will talk about fishing the 14 miles of the Black Canyon from Chukar Trail to the Pleasure Park at the North Fork confluence. A former fly shop owner, Olson spends his summers and falls guiding one- ...

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