Category Archives: Ice Fishing

Fish Facts: 11 Things You Didn’t Know About Colorado’s Fisheries


A cutthroat trout. Photo by Kevin Rogers/CPW.

Colorado is truly an angler’s paradise. Home to more than 9,000 miles of rivers, 2,000 natural lakes and hundreds of gin-clear streams, it’s as if Mother Nature had fishing in mind when she created this beautiful state. And with waters generously dispersed from the high mountains all the way to the Eastern Plains, Colorado’s fishing opportunities are as diverse as the Rocky Mountain landscape.

Yet, in spite of the variety of fishable waters and abundance of natural habitat, it’s only because of the dedicated conservation work of Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s (CPW) aquatic biologists and hatchery technicians that Colorado boasts some of the best fishing in the nation.

Whether you’re an avid angler or just someone who enjoys the occasional weekend fishing trip, here are 11 “Fish Facts” that you should know about Colorado’s fisheries:  Read more

Ice Fishing at Mancos State Park

Located in remote southwest Colorado, Mancos State Park provides camping, fishing and connector trails for hiking, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling into the vast San Juan National Forest. It’s also just a 20-minute drive to world famous Mesa Verde National Park. This video provides a glimpse of one of the more popular winter activities at Mancos: ice fishing. Video produced by Joe Lewandowski/CPW.


Gearing Up for Ice Fishing Season

Brian Marsh poses with a brown trout.

Brian Marsh poses with a brown trout.

With these warm fall days lingering well into early winter, it’s hard to think about drilling holes through frozen lakes, much less through ice more than 30 inches thick at some of our high-elevation reservoirs. The good news, however, is ice fishing season is just around the corner. While many of the larger Front Range reservoirs are still several weeks away from getting a solid lid, some of the mountain lakes are starting to develop fishable ice. If you’re itching like me to go ice fishing, there are a few things you can do now to prepare for a successful hard-water fishing season. Read more

Blue Mesa Yellow Perch


Ice fishers find yellow perch near a steep cliff at Blue Mesa Reservoir

Blue Mesa Reservoir – The pile of yellow perch in front of Cally Westcoat grew larger during the day. Although she and her fishing partner Colt Emich saw periods of slow action, there were times when she could not get her lure to the bottom before another perch was on her line. When the catch was tallied at the end of the day, Cally, Colt and Dan Emich had reduced the perch population by 72. Read more

Ice Fishing – Yellow Perch

Strange thing … the power that fish averaging only 8-inches long can have over humans. Yet, despite their size, yellow perch have a following of devotees in Colorado, especially among ice fishers, where the devotion can approach the cult level.

Perch loyalists tend to be narrow in their focus, interested in seeing nothing but perch coming through the ice. Trout caught incidentally are fun to play and release but are otherwise considered a nuisance, a diversion from the mission, which is putting as many perch on the ice as possible. Read more

Ice Fishing – Getting Started

Ice is the great equalizer. The frozen surface of a lake is an open court, a level playing field that allows otherwise shore-bound anglers to delve into a lake’s sweet spots, which were accessible only by boat in open water. Anglers that waited on the sidelines for the playing field to solidify, now march into the game waving ice augers, dragging sleds and toting plastic buckets bristling with short fishing rods. Read more

Colorado Fishing Atlas is Ultimate Tool for Anglers

Colorado Fishing Atlas.

Colorado Fishing Atlas.

Every so often a product comes along that truly enhances your outdoor experience.  A product offering the perfect blend of technology, innovation and useful information that you wonder how you ever managed without it. For anglers, the Colorado Fishing Atlas is precisely this type of product.

Earlier this year, Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s GIS department developed the Colorado Fishing Atlas, a user-friendly and interactive online mapping system that provides anglers with the ultimate where-to resource for thousands of fishing locations throughout the state. Since its debut this spring, the Atlas has received rave reviews from anglers and CPW staff alike.   Read more

Ice Fishing – Where to go for trout

Ice fishers heading out at Crawford Reservoir

Finding a place to ice fish for trout is easy, no matter where you live in Colorado. From the mountains to the foothills, nearly all public reservoirs and lakes on both sides of the Continental Divide are open to ice fishing.

Some of the more popular destinations include the mountain park reservoirs, where the trout grow large and ice fishing begins earlier than at lower elevations. Ice fishing may get underway up here by mid-December. However, in some years, reservoirs and lakes may ice over later than usual, depending on the weather.  For information on ice-safety, visit

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