Morning fishing can resume on Eagle River above fairgrounds as state modifies numerous voluntary fishing restrictions

John LaConte
Vail Daily
Colorado Parks and Wildlife on Tuesday said the Eagle River above the Eagle Fairgrounds should be safe for fish once again as long as anglers are off the water by 12 p.m. Temperatures in excess of 70 degrees Fahrenheit continue to be recorded downstream in Dotsero.
Connor Koenig/Courtesy photo

The all-day fishing closures besetting Eagle County over the past two weeks were reduced to afternoon closures Wednesday as local water temperatures have begun to cool off slightly.

The Eagle River closure was revised from a full-day, voluntary fishing closure to an after noon voluntary fishing closure from the Highway 131 bridge at Wolcott downstream to the Eagle County Fairgrounds at Eagle.

Further downstream, a full-day closure remains in place from the fairgrounds in Eagle downstream to the Colorado River confluence at Dotsero.

On the Colorado River, the full-day voluntary fishing closure was removed from State Bridge in Eagle County downstream to the Red Dirt Creek confluence in Burns, but remains in effect from there to the Highway 13 bridge in Rifle.

Restrictions on fishing the Colorado River above State Bridge were removed July 28.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife on Tuesday said the voluntary fishing closures have been modified as a result of recent weather patterns.

“We have been very fortunate with cooler temperatures and consistent afternoon rain showers over the last few weeks,” said NW Region Senior Aquatic Biologist Ben Felt. “Our hope is that conditions will continue to improve and that we will be able to lift other voluntary fishing closures in Northwest Colorado soon.”

A graph from the U.S. Geological Survey shows temperatures on the Colorado River near Dotsero in Eagle County.
Courtesy image

The temperature gauge on the Colorado River at Dotsero has continued to reach an excess of 69 degrees Fahrenheit every day this week, with temperatures above 70 degrees recorded on July 29, July 30 and Aug. 2.

When water temperatures exceed 70 degrees, fish often stop feeding and become more susceptible to disease, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife enacts voluntary fishing closures on waterways throughout the state.

The Dotsero gauge reached a high of 75.2 degrees on July 17.

The all-day voluntary fishing closure on the Eagle River below Wolcott had been in place since July 20.

While conditions have improved slightly, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is still encouraging anglers to seek out higher-elevation lakes and streams, some of which might be stocked with trout.

On July 21 the two Black Lakes located adjacent to Interstate 70 near the Vail Pass exit were stocked with more than 2,000 rainbow trout, measuring between 9 and 14 inches long.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Summit Daily is embarking on a multiyear project to digitize its archives going back to 1989 and make them available to the public in partnership with the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. The full project is expected to cost about $165,000. All donations made in 2023 will go directly toward this project.

Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.