Thanks to Conservation Programs, Colorado’s Fish and Wildlife Are Thriving

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A lynx surveys its new home in the San Juan Mountains. Photo by CPW.

Colorado boasts one of the most diverse and abundant wildlife populations in North America. Home to an astonishing 960 wildlife species, it might be easy to assume that Colorado’s fish and wildlife have always flourished. However, many of the state’s most cherished and iconic species prosper today only because of Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s (CPW) species conservation and wildlife reintroduction programs.

From the majestic Rocky Mountain elk and bighorn sheep, to the esteemed cutthroat trout and the renowned Canada lynx, here’s a summary of some of the species that are benefiting from ongoing conservation efforts, as well as the fish and wildlife that are thriving today because of CPW’s long and distinguished history of past achievements.

Colorado Outdoors Online thanks CPW employees, both past and present, who have dedicated their careers to protecting and perpetuating Colorado’s fish and wildlife resources, and graciously acknowledges Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), sportsmen and the many conservation organizations who have generously supported these efforts. Read more

What Every Coloradan Should Know About Wildlife

 

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CPW wildlife managers prepare to relocate a moose from a yard in Arvada. Photo by CPW.

Colorado boasts one of the most diverse and abundant wildlife populations in the world. The enormous variety of wildlife is one of the primary reasons Colorado is such a great place to live and recreate. However, with the state’s burgeoning population, managing wildlife and mitigating human-wildlife conflicts is an ever-growing challenge for Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s (CPW) state wildlife managers.

CPW’s wildlife managers have a diverse, demanding and difficult job. When they’re not enforcing fish and game laws, patrolling remote state lands or conducting fish and wildlife research, wildlife managers are active in their local neighborhoods and communities, educating residents on how to safely coexist with wild animals. And, if something goes wrong, they must act quickly and decisively to ensure public safety in dangerous situations.

In this Colorado Outdoors Online blog post, CPW’s wildlife managers offer a unique insight into managing wildlife and share tips and information that all Coloradans should know.
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Summertime Bass Fishing With Frogs

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The author with a Master Angler largemouth caught with a frog lure.

Picture this: You cast out into the small opening in the weeds. The plastic frog barely hits the water when a 5-pound bass crushes it, throwing water everywhere.  You pause a second then set the hook with all your might, sending the hooks solidly into the fish’s mouth.  You crank as fast as you can, skipping the bass across the mat of thick weeds.  As the bass comes closer it fights harder trying to get away.  The bass comes up to the side of the boat and slides right up on your thumb.  You take a couple of quick photos of the Master Angler lunker and then you release the bass safely to the water where he returns to his weedy haunts. If this sounds fun to you it’s time to give summertime frog fishing a try.
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Use This Fly To Catch Fish Anywhere in Colorado

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Chironomids work well for large trout. Photo by Jerry Neal/CPW.

The cliché holds there are only two things in life that you can count on: death and taxes. Yet, if you’re an angler in Colorado, there are actually three. The third is that you can catch a lot of fish on chironomids.

What is a chironomid you ask? While it sounds like an evil character from a science-fiction movie, chironomids (pronounced “KYRO-nomids”) are actually members of the Chironomidae midge family. Midges are tiny flies that resemble gnats or mosquitos. They are the most prevalent aquatic insects in Colorado, making up more than 50 percent of a fish’s diet in some waters. While tricky to pronounce, fishing with chironomids is quite easy. Read more

Colorado Needs Hunter Education Instructors

Are you an experienced hunter who likes sharing your knowledge and passion of the outdoors with others? If so, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is looking for qualified instructors to help train the next generation of safe and ethical hunters. For more information about becoming a volunteer instructor, visit CPW’s Hunter Education webpage, or call (303) 291-SAFE.

The testimonial video provides a glimpse into some of the benefits of participating in this rewarding, hunters-teaching-hunters program.

The Argument for Conventional Tackle

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Photo by Chad LaChance.

I love to fly fish. Been doing it since I was 12 years old, am decent at it  and I have about 15 fly rods in my collection. I’ve tied flies (for money even), own all the assorted fly gadgets and have caught everything from snook and redfish, to bass and walleyes, to trout and grayling, all on feathers and fur. Geez, I even live in Colorado…how much more fly is there than that?

But this is my argument for conventional tackle…yep, even the fly fishing community needs spin-polers. Read more

5 Tips To Catch More Fish This Summer

brown trout final for blogWhen I was a kid and didn’t catch fish on a particular trip, my father used to say, “There’s a reason it’s called ‘fishing’ and not ‘catching.’” As an adult, I still recognize the wisdom in these words. After all, some days the fish just won’t bite no matter what you throw at them, and even the most experienced anglers can get skunked.

Over the years, however, I’ve learned there are a few things that can dramatically improve your chances for success every time you’re on the water.

Whether you’re a novice angler who’s just getting started or a more experienced fisherman who’s simply facing a summer slump, here are five tips to help you catch more fish and have more fun on your next outing.

1. Fish Early or Fish Late
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2017 Fishing Guide Available Now!

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The 2017 Colorado Outdoors Fishing Guide is now available! With more that 9,000 miles of rivers and some 2000 lakes and reservoirs, Colorado is truly an angler’s paradise. Get the most out of your time on the water this year by purchasing the 2017 Colorado Outdoors Fishing Guide.

Learn techniques for catching mountain whitefish. Discover the monumental fly fishing opportunities of Fossil Ridge Wilderness Area. Read about catching South Park’s trophy northern pike and see a complete guide to fishing Denver metro waters. You’ll find all this and more in the 2017 Fishing Guide. Get your copy today
 
The 2017 Fishing Guide is a special edition of Colorado Outdoors magazine. You can receive it free with an annual subscription!

Fishing the ‘Burbs: Small Suburban Ponds Offer Big Fun for Anglers

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Most suburban ponds have good populations of small bluegills, sunfish and other warm-water species.

Although Colorado’s big lakes and reservoirs get most of the angling attention and accolades, small suburban lakes and ponds often boast great fishing and provide hours of close-to-home fun.

Conveniently located in neighborhood parks and greenbelts, these easy-to-access waters are great places to unwind after a long day of work or to simply find a little solitude without venturing too far off the beaten path.

They are also the perfect locations to take kids fishing. In fact, some of my earliest (and fondest) memories of fishing with my dad took place at ponds in the Lakewood, Golden and Wheat Ridge areas.

At a particular pond near my dad’s apartment home, I remember catching fish nearly every cast on my little Zebco rod/reel combo. As a 5-year-old boy, there was nothing more thrilling than seeing a bluegill or bass pull my red and white bobber under the surface. I also remember the fun of catching my own grasshoppers and worms to use as bait. In addition to providing an enjoyable father/son activity, it was these early experiences that played an important role in developing my lifelong passion for fishing and the outdoors. Read more

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