Outdoors - Hunting and Fishing

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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 ...

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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- ...

Fly-tying seminar Saturday at Western Anglers

By Dave Buchanan

A free fly-tying seminar at 10 a.m. Saturday at Western Anglers Fly Shop, 413 Main, features Ben Olson, manager of Black Canyon Anglers. Olson will be demonstrating new techniques he uses for tying some patterns he has developed for high mountain streams and the Uncompahgre River. Olson spends from May through November floating the Gunnison Gorge guiding clients in search of large brown trout. His fly collection also includes “guide patterns” he uses on the Gunnison ...

Tie my fly: Dennis to teach patterns in session

By Staff

Fly fishing author Jack Dennis of Jackson, Wyo., is hosting two days of fly-tying lessons this week in Grand Junction. Dennis will be offering classes from 6 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at Western Anglers Fly Shop, 413 Main. Each session costs $75 and includes video-enhanced, personal instruction for 11 different fly patterns and five fly-tying DVDs produced by Dennis. Class size is limited and pre-registration is required. Participants should have a basic knowledge of ...

Tiny worm carries big burden

By Staff

By DAVE BUCHANAN Blame it on a worm. The mystery of why Colorado was so hard-hit by the scourge of whirling disease may be solved by a small aquatic worm known as tubifex tubifex. Whirling disease is caused by a microscopic parasite that attacks the soft cartilage in young salmon and trout, including rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout. The water-borne parasite (myxobolus cerebralis) may not directly kill trout, but highly infested fish can become deformed or exhibit the erratic ...

012010 out befus tree

Try your hand at fly-tying

By Dave Buchanan

When snow returns to the Grand Valley, inside activities take precedence over snow shoveling. Add fly-tying to that list of preferred activities, and add the free Saturday morning flying seminars at Western Anglers Fly Shop as the place to learn. This week’s featured tier is Tim Jacobs of New Castle, a specialist in deer hair and warmwater fly patterns. (You know, just in case you really get it together and take that mid-winter trip to Mexico or the islands.) WHAT: Free Saturday ...

Look for modifications to hunting regs for western Colorado

By Dave Buchanan

Big-game hunters have some studying ahead of them before submitting that license application for the 2010 hunting season. In addition to the changes to the state’s hunting regulations noted Sunday in this space, several other notable modifications were undertaken last week by the Colorado Wildlife Commission. Here is a short list of the changes significant to western Colorado hunters. A complete list can be found at the wildlife commission Web site (wildlife.state.co.us) and in ...

Wildlife feeding program not forgotten despite mild winter in Gunnison

By Dave Buchanan

The memories are still fresh of the massive emergency feeding program the Division of Wildlife undertook two years ago this month as winter clamped an iron fist around the Gunnison high country. Record snows and accompanying cold forced deer and elk into the Gunnison Basin, where an immense, four-month effort by the DOW and scores of volunteers prevented what surely could have been a terrible die-off of wildlife. At one time, the DOW was feeding about 9,500 deer, an estimated half of all ...

Hunter bags lion that may have mauled dog

By Paul Shockley

A Lake City hunter on Friday shot a young mountain lion believed to have mauled a family dog last week on the outskirts of the small town. The licensed hunter, Jim Higgins, said he took aim Friday afternoon after stumbling across the lion as it fed on an elk’s carcass following a kill. The lion was bagged roughly four miles north of the home of Schuyler Denham, whose dog, Jane Doe, was attacked the evening of Jan. 11, near the Denham’s front porch. Higgins said the lion, ...

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