Category Archives: Fishing

Assessing Colorado’s Walleye

Lake and Reservoir Researcher Adam Hansen holds up a walleye from Chatfield State Park on a chilly October morning where temperatures were in the single digits.
CPW Lake and Reservoir Researcher Adam Hansen holds up a walleye from Chatfield State Park on a chilly October morning where temperatures were in the single digits. Anglers proudly display Walleye. Photo by © Jason Clay/CPW.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife aquatic research section and aquatic biologists are conducting a walleye demographic study at the three reservoirs the state utilizes in its spring spawning operation. 

CPW stocked 47 million walleye fry across the state in 2019, the most of any species, and those fry come from spawning operations at just three Colorado reservoirs – Cherry Creek, Chatfield and Lake Pueblo. CPW collected 126 million walleye eggs last spring from its spawning effort to meet the demand of its hatcheries.

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Trophy Trout of Cheesman Canyon

VIDEO: A crew of 15-20 people, including Colorado Parks and Wildlife, US Forest Service, and CPW volunteers, conducts an annual stream electrofishing survey. CPW biologists use surveys to monitor fish health and population for the scenic segment of the South Platte River just below Cheesman Reservoir dam.

Each year, Colorado Parks and Wildlife aquatic biologists conduct fishery surveys of many of our rivers and reservoirs. Periodic monitoring allows CPW to collect and record the biological data needed to guide fishery management in Colorado. CPW biologists can choose from a wide variety of techniques to survey the different types of waters across the state. For the Gold Medal stretch of the South Platte River just below Cheesman Reservoir dam, however, the survey method of choice is electrofishing.

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Raising Colorado’s Brown Trout – North Delaney Butte Lake

Despite Colorado’s abundant fish populations, most fish cannot successfully reproduce in the wild. And, of those species that are able to reproduce naturally, recruitment (the number of juvenile fish that actually survive to be added to a population) is often too low to support a fishable population. To ensure that there are enough fish to stock every year, CPW sets up spawn-collection sites at lakes and reservoirs across the state.

Each year, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) fishery biologists set up a spawn-take operation at North Delaney Butte Lake. During the operation, biologists will capture brown trout and collect more than a million eggs, which will be fertilized at the lake and then shipped to CPW fish hatcheries. Once hatched and raised, the brown trout are restocked in rivers and lakes throughout the state. And while brown trout are non-native, the hard fighting fish are some of the most popular among Colorado’s anglers.

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Tiger Muskie; the role of this silent predator in Colorado’s waters

A non-native fish, and one that is a hybrid, the Tiger Muskie plays an important role in the management of fisheries across Colorado. Photo by © Jason Clay/CPW.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife aquatic biologist Ben Swigle stocked seven-inch Tiger Muskie fish into Gross Reservoir on a sunny Tuesday at the 440-surface acre reservoir sitting at 7,282 feet in southwest Boulder County. 

A non-native fish, and one that is a hybrid, the Tiger Muskie plays a small, albeit, important role in the management of fisheries across Colorado.

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Uncovering Staunton State Park’s Impactful Track-Chair Program

Chris Luna uses Action Trackchair to explore the trails at Staunton State Park. Photo by © Mike DelliVeneri/CPW.
Chris Luna explores the trails at Staunton State Park. Photo by © Mike DelliVeneri/CPW.
Friends of Staunton State Park logo

It was a beautiful, bluebird day when I drove up to Staunton State Park on August 27th. The air was crisp and cool, atypical given the hot summer weeks we had been experiencing this year. Distinctive, too, were the reasons for my park visit. I was there to discover an inspiring program, the first of its kind in Colorado when it was founded in 2017. Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Track-Chair Program, run by more than 80 dedicated volunteers and completely funded by donations raised by the Friends of Staunton State Park, provides opportunities for people with disabilities to live life outside and to share outdoor experiences with friends and family.

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Field Notes of A Rookie Sportsperson: Walleye Fishing

Natalie shore fishing at  Lake Pueblo State Park.
Shore fishing with Natalie at Lake Pueblo State Park. Photo by © Travis Duncan/CPW.

Back in May, my daughter, Natalie, and I experienced our first hunt together and came away with great father-daughter memories, even if we didn’t bag a turkey as we hoped.

In July, Natalie and I went on our first real fishing trip together. Oh, we tried fishing before, but I was clueless about catching fish. This trip we knew what we were doing because we’d been taught by Colorado Parks and Wildlife experts on how to bait, cast and land fish. And CPW officers even accompanied us and coached us as we fished.

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2019 Colorado Outdoors Fishing Guide

2019 Fishing Guide cover

The 2019 Colorado Outdoors Fishing Guide is now available

Anglers can fish for rainbow trout in a cool Rocky Mountain stream or troll for walleye on a sunny plains reservoir. With more than 6,000 miles of rivers and some 1,300 lakes and reservoirs, Colorado is an angler’s paradise. This year’s guide features interesting and informative articles geared toward helping you make the most of your time on the water. The 2019 issue includes articles on bass-fishing rigs, perch hot spots, and backcountry adventure for brookies and cutts. From rivers to reservoirs and graylings to tigers, you’ll find all the tips and tricks you need to make the most of your Colorado fishing season.

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Rare Hayden Creek Cutthroat Trout

 Justin Krall sits on his mule Speedy
Justin Krall, a District Wildlife Manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife based in Westcliffe, sits on his mule Speedy as Jenny follows carrying saddle tanks with about 2,000 rare Hayden Creek cutthroat trout.

With his sidearm sticking out from under leather chaps, Justin Krall swung up into the saddle of his mule, Speedy, and gently nudged it up the Cottonwood Creek trail as he tugged the reins of his other mule, Jenny, following behind.

On Jenny’s back were two large saddle tanks packed with about 2,000 rare Hayden Creek cutthroat trout and pressurized steel canisters pumping oxygen into the water. Krall, a District Wildlife Manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), was helping the agency’s aquatic biologists move the fish about six miles up the steep trail to the upper reaches of the creek.

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101 Places (and Ways) to Take a Kid Fishing

Getting started is often the toughest part – learning to walk as a baby, learning to ride a bike, driving a car, and yes, even learning to fish. Beginners may think they’ll just go to a sporting goods store or a bait and tackle shop, pick up a fishing rod, and head out to a local pond or stream. But when they get to the store, they are faced with aisles filled with rods, reels, hooks, sinkers, bait and lures in every imaginable shape and color. So many choices can make it seem easier to walk away than face the nearly limitless choices. Sound familiar? If this has happened to you, or you haven’t yet made it to the store for fear that this would be your experience, don’t worry! We are ready to help you get started.

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