Snow and ice covers Eleven Mile Reservoir in South Park. Video capture by Jerry Neal/CPW.
On a brisk morning in early February, three hatchery trucks from the Mt. Shavano State Fish Hatchery arrive at Eleven Mile State Park. Snow crunches beneath tires as the rigs creep down the North Shore Boat Ramp and prepare to unload their cargo of 16,000 cutbow trout. After spending nearly 15 months confined to hatchery raceways and traveling more than an hour over snow-packed roads, the cutbows face just one final obstacle before their release into Eleven Mile Reservoir: 12-inches of rock-hard ice.
For most states, frozen lakes and freezing temperatures would put hatchery operations and fish-stocking plans “on ice.” Yet, this unique and ambitious effort is all part of Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Winter Fish-Stocking Program. Read more
Images from the Colorado Outdoors annual photography issue. All images are copyrighted. Colorado Outdoors is published six times a year by Colorado Parks and Wildlife. To order Colorado Outdoors call 1-800-417-8986.
My brother and I camping with our parents.
From as early as I can remember, my summers were spent in campgrounds. I would hike with my parents, swim in the lake with my brothers and ride bikes with kids I hardly knew. My parents gifted me an incredible series of summers but, as I grew older, life stepped in. I took summer jobs, moved to a city, got a full time job and the lazy days of hanging out by campfires slipped into the past.
A few months ago, I was visiting one of Colorado’s state parks for a work project, and someone mentioned the Camp Hosts. Camp Hosts? This had my attention. Apparently there are people whose job it is to live at our state park and state wildlife area campgrounds for the summer season, greeting arriving campers, promoting interpretive/educational activities and performing minor maintenance tasks. In return, they get to live there. Amazing. I needed to know more, so I headed down to Cherry Creek State Park to do a ride-along with a few of these lucky folks. Read more
Daybreak on the Rusty Spurr Ranch.
It is 3 a.m., and my dad is ready to head out. After weeks of anticipation, the time had finally come. Finally, I was going on my first hunting trip for a mule deer. After jumping out of bed, stuffing my face with whatever breakfast was available, I boarded our van. We had started packing the evening before for a weekend of hunting and camping under the stars, and now it was finally time for the adventure to begin.
A distance of 105 miles from my home in Highlands Ranch awaited our hunting spot; Kremmling, Colorado . It was still dark at 6 a.m. when we reached our youth hunt coordinator, Ted Zagone’s, quiet residential subdivision. Mr. and Mrs. Zagone were very welcoming. Mrs. Shelly Zagone offered us hot chocolate, coffee and sandwiches. Mrs. Zagone showed me the pictures of her son who serves in the United States Navy. She was so proud of him and missed him so much. I felt so happy for her and hoped that I would make my parents feel proud someday of my accomplishments.
The Colorado Sportsmen’s License Plate. Design by Wayne Lewis/CPW.
Let’s face it: Few people like going to the Department of Motor Vehicles. In fact, the DMV ranks among the top places I try to avoid—right up there with Justin Bieber concerts and dental offices. However, when my license plate renewal notice arrived in the mail last week, I was actually happy (you might even say I was excited) to know that I’d be visiting the DMV soon.
Earlier this year, Colorado Parks and Wildlife released a new specialty sportsmen’s license plate. As an avid hunter and angler, I knew this plate would grace my bumper as soon as my old plates and registration expired. So, on Thursday morning I marched into the DMV, took a number (I had lucky # P209) and waited patiently for my turn to hand over my credit card. I’m proud to say that my new plates will arrive in my mailbox in a couple weeks and become a permanent fixture on my Toyota FJ Cruiser.
If you’re a hunter or angler and you still haven’t seen or heard about the new Colorado Sportsmen’s Plate, here are five reasons why you, too, should be excited to visit your local DMV office this year: Read more
Urad Lake. Photo by © Wayne D. Lewis/CPW.
If you are looking to either fish, hike, see the aspens change, wildlife watch or all of the above, you can do far worse than a trip to Urad Lake.
Urad Lake is in the Urad Lake State Wildlife Area, the newest SWA in Colorado. Located off of Jones Pass and Berthoud Pass in Clear Creek County, it is the result of a cooperative effort between the Climax Molybdenum Company (Henderson Mine), the City of Golden and Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW).
The property was historically open to the public for several decades, even though privately owned by the mine. In 2011, the property closed to the public as Henderson Mine did a massive, multimillion dollar mitigation project in the Woods Creek Valley.
During the closure, the mine, City of Golden (which owns the water and reservoir) and CPW were able to work out a long-term lease to turn over the management of the property to Colorado Parks and Wildlife which reopened the area in 2014. During that time, CPW stocked the lake with 6,000 10- to 12-inch cutbow trout. The lake is full of small brook trout, recently stocked rainbow trout and plenty of the cutbows. Read more
A father and son hunting GMU 37. Photo by © Wayne D. Lewis
If Colorado’s big-game seasons were a football game, we’d be halfway through the first quarter. Muzzleloader season just ended (but keep your muzzleloader out for rifle seasons, if you choose) and bowhunting continues until Sept. 25. If you haven’t ventured afield yet, there are still over-the-counter licenses available. Time to get in the game.
Wayne D. Lewis is the editor and art director of Colorado Outdoors magazine.
Article & Photos By Scott Willoughby
Jason Lieverst. Photo by © Scott Willoughby
Jason Lieverst is performing a magic trick. Or so it would seem. With just a few flicks of his 11-foot wand, the former captain of the British national fly-fishing team plucks trout after trout from a seemingly shallow pool in the Eagle River like some overgrown Harry Potter pulling a litter of rabbits out of a hat.
“What was that, about 14?” Lieverst estimates in a proper English accent as we hike back up the bank toward the truck before the engine had time to completely cool. “Not bad for an hour or so of fishing.”
Unlike most modern magic, Lieverst’s wizardry is no illusion. Rather, it’s a systematic technique originating in Europe and honed over nearly 30 years before making its way to the banks of the Eagle River near Avon, where it’s now being put on display on an increasingly routine basis. Read more
DID YOU KNOW? Fishing in Colorado contributes roughly $1.9 billion to the economy. Become an angler today and be an active participant in wildlife management and help our local economies. Photo by © Wayne D. Lewis/CPW
Why Learn to Fly Fish?
Fly fisherman by © Howard Horton/CPW
When most people think of fishing in Colorado, fly fishing is one of the first techniques that come to mind. Like all types of fishing, it can be a fun group or family activity or it can be your way to find peace and tranquility — an escape from our busy lives.
Learning to fly fish does not have to be intimidating, difficult or expensive. There are lots of opportunites for classes with Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), local fly shops and fly-fishing organizations around Colorado.
People in Colorado love to fish. Colorado sells more than 900,000 fishing licenses each year! There are so many fishing choices in Colorado with 9,500 miles of streams 2,000 natural lakes and 800 reservoirs. Your new favorite fishing spot may be just around the corner. Read more
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.
However, 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