You never know what might be on the other end of your line — phone line, that is. At Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s (CPW) call center, we receive a diverse group of questions about fishing in Colorado and how one can be part of this great angler’s state. Not only can the call center help get you set up with a license, but they can also clarify regulations and even let you know some great fishing spots.
One of the most common questions Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s call center receives is, “Do I need a license?” Yes! Residents and nonresidents do need to buy a fishing license. Fishing licenses can be purchased online on the CPW website, over the phone and in person at any CPW location. You can even buy your license at sporting goods stores, license agencies and locations such as Walmart and Cabela’s. If you aren’t planning on fishing all year long, CPW offers one-day licenses and five-day licenses.
A fishing license may be the first step, but it is not the only step. Be sure to check out the CPW Fishing brochure. This will let you know all the important regulations, daily bag limits, special regulations for specific bodies of water and it even has an identification chart in the back of the brochure to help novice anglers identify their fish. However, if you happen to leave your brochure at home, be sure to call CPW with any questions. CPW also provides the brochure online at their homepage cpw.state.co.us.
Once you have all your basics, you will need some go-to fishing spots. The CPW call center can let you know current conditions of a specific body of water you wish to fish and will give you all the information you need to help make choosing a spot easier. With 2,000 natural lakes, 800 reservoirs and more than 9,500 miles of trout streams in Colorado, the perfect fishing spots are endless.
“A great tool Colorado Parks and Wildlife offers is the Colorado Fishing Atlas. It is an online map that won’t only show you all the bodies of water within Colorado, but will also tell you what species of fish you can expect to see within a specific body of water,” Fish Reporter Josh Bauer said.
Another great benefit of the CPW Fishing Atlas is when you click on a specific body of water, you will get driving directions and locations of the nearest license retailer.
After narrowing down your spot selections, you can call CPW to find out the latest stocking information. The call center can let you know what fish have been stocked and the planned stock dates. The stocking schedule is set at the beginning of the year, so you can find out information for any time during the year, but keep in mind a variety of conditions like low water, water quality and other related issues may require revisions to the stock dates.
If you are the type of person who would rather read information than call in, the call center has you covered. CPW completes the weekly Fishing Report within the call center, and it gets uploaded to the website at cpw.state.co.us. The report lets you know upcoming fishing tournaments and events, an updated stocking report and will also let you know conditions of favorite fishing spots around Colorado. Conditions are a very important factor to take into consideration. If you are looking to do open-water fishing, the Fishing Report can let you know if there is still ice on the water or if it is clear.
Of course the Fishing Report wouldn’t be complete without showing a picture of the Catch of the Week and Tip of the Week. With all the work that can go into fishing, CPW loves being able to show off your great catches. If you have a great catch you want to show off, call the call center to find out how you can get your photo submitted.
The CPW call center is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m Mountain Time. As much as you can prepare for a day by the water, you can never prepare for everything. Our employees are here to assist you with any questions so that you can have the best day out in the sun. Please give Colorado Parks and Wildlife a call at 303-297- 1192 with any questions or concerns you may have.
Written by Emily Hooper. Emily is a customer service representative for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.