Tag Archives: gold medal waters

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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Browns Canyon’s Monumental Fishing Opportunity

Floating a scenic slice of the Arkansas River through Browns Canyon
Floating a scenic slice of the Arkansas River through Browns Canyon. Photo by © Scott Willoughby.

When it comes to their favorite places to wet a line, fishermen are pretty tight-lipped by nature. So it comes as no surprise that the one-year anniversary of the designation of Browns Canyon National Monument came and went last February with little fanfare among Colorado’s angling community.

Besides, nothing has really changed along the scenic slice of the Arkansas River that qualifies among the nation’s premier public trout fisheries. And that’s precisely the point.

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Colorado Gold

Article & Photos By Scott Willoughby


Jon Becker mans the oars of a drift boat. Photo by © Scott Willoughby

Just on the outskirts of the self-proclaimed “Center of the Universe” at the riverside community known as Rancho Del Rio, the light grows dim and the bats begin their evening swirl. In a moment, the Colorado River begins to boil like a bubbling cauldron of fish. Then the big bang hits. m  “There he is,” oarsman Jon Becker booms from the cockpit of his Hyde drift boat. “Nice fish!”

The hardy brown trout turns out to be the nicest among a steady string of “nice fish,” it’s girth amplified by the cloak of twilight yet easily overshadowing others landed and released throughout the afternoon. There’s no measuring tape to verify the size, yet no reason to suspect the fish is anything less than the 18-inch guesstimate of an optimistic angler’s imagination. Read more

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

 cutthroat trout
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.

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