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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Summer’s first big holiday weekend is rapidly approaching. In Colorado, that means ice out at many mountain lakes, boat ramps opening for the season and people all around the state preparing to head to local waters for everything from fishing, kayaking and rafting to stand up paddleboarding (SUP). And while enjoying the outdoors is part of our way of life, it’s important to remember a couple of safety tips that will keep you, your friends and your family safe on the water this season.
While most anglers are excited by the idyllic fly fishing scenes in “A River Runs Through It,” few of us learn our first lessons by fishing big rivers with a fly rod. For many of us, a love of angling is cultivated on ponds catching bluegills and bass, and approachable rivers and lakes catching trout – often stocked trout. Story and memory are built by the fish we’ve landed and more so by the ones that got away. We learned from family members and friends, mentors who knew that the secret to building a long and successful fishing career was rooted in a simple approach.
While the biblical Garden of Eden is said to have been located in modern day Iraq, between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, in my mind, western Colorado’s piscine paradise is undoubtedly the Lake Fork of the Gunnison River. The Lake Fork, which is located south of Gunnison along Highway 149 near Lake City, is the least known of the Gunnison River’s major tributaries. This comparatively uncrowded trout stream is surrounded by stunning scenery, has big fish potential, and angles particularly well in the springtime. It is a local favorite and where many area guides prefer to fish on their infrequent days off; I’m not sure a trout stream can receive a more glowing endorsement than that.
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