New fishing regulations take effect in north central mountains
New fishing regulations took effect Jan. 1 that prohibit transporting bait fish between bodies of water and transporting crayfish on the Western Slope.
They also allow underwater spear fishing, archery and the use of gigs for the take of carp and northern pike in locations where the fish are illegally introduced and where the methods are allowed by the land and water managing authorities.
The new regulations span 30 bodies of water statewide and were developed through an extensive public process last summer and fall as part of the Division’s five-year review of fishing regulations in the state and were approved in November by the Wildlife Commission.
New regulations in the north central mountains are as follows:
Colorado River (Williams Fork River to the state line), Eagle River (confluence of East Fork and South Fork to the Colorado) and White River (North and South Fork confluence to Kenny Reservoir) – No bag or possession limits for channel catfish, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, walleye, green sunfish, bluegill, bullhead, yellow perch or crappie. This regulation is an expansion of an existing regulation that targets non-native fish to reduce those populations and aid in conservation of native and endangered fish species.
Fraser River – From the headwaters downstream to the confluence with St. Louis Creek fishing is by artificial flies and lures only and all rainbow trout must be returned to the water immediately upon catch. From the confluence with St. Louis Creek downstream to the Colorado River the bag and possession limit for trout is two fish. These changes bring regulations in line with adjacent areas, protecting populations from overharvest.
Green Mountain Reservoir – The bag and possession limit for lake trout is eight fish to encourage the harvest of an expanding lake trout population and help conserve the kokanee population.
Lake Granby – Inlet streams were removed from the lake regulations.
Trappers Lake – All cutthroat trout must be returned to the water immediately upon catch to help protect the population of genetically pure cutthroats.
Yampa River (Stagecoach Dam downstream to Catamount Lake) – Spawning areas are closed to fishing as posted to protect spawning fish to protect large fish that are spawning and prevent destruction of redds while fish eggs are incubating.
Fishing licenses for the 2011 season take effect April 1 and run through March 31, 2012. Licenses for the 2011 season will go on sale at license agents, Division offices, online and by phone on March 15.
– Janice Kurbjun
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