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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
Harvey Shade poses with his state-record striped bass. Shade caught the 29-pound fish below John Martin Reservoir on May 6.
Harvey Shade has fished John Martin Reservoir for years. In that time, Shade has caught plenty of fish, but none measured up to the one he caught on May 6, 2017.
Shade, 64, who resides in Eads, now holds the state record for the biggest striped bass in Colorado: The fish tipped the scales at 29 pounds, 5 ounces and measured 39 inches long. The football-shaped bass also boasted an impressive 25.5-inch girth.
Shade’s striped bass, commonly known as a striper, bested the previous record by a whopping 13 pounds. The last record striper, caught in 2016 from Prewitt Reservoir, weighed 16 pounds, 14 ounces and measured 35 3/8 inches long. Read more