Big tiger, record bass caught at Pueblo |

Big tiger, record bass caught at Pueblo

Daily News Staff Reports

PUEBLO – Pueblo Reservoir made headlines in the angling community last week after yielding a 3-foot, 5-inch tiger muskie. Gary Crump of Pueblo West caught the big fish on a Heddon Spook while fishing for surface-feeding wipers off Sailboard Flats Thursday evening.

He said the fish weighed 17 pounds on his scales, but he admitted the head and tail flopped off the scale. A more accurate weight based on the fish’s length may be 23 to 25 pounds, since the state record tiger muskie weighed more than 40 pounds at 53 inches. The length of Crump’s tiger qualifies him for a Master Angler Award.

Department of Wildlife (DOW) Biologist Jim Melby said some came from De Weese Reservoir, where they were stocked to control the sucker population. The fish escaped from that impoundment when it overflowed, traveled 23 miles down Grape Creek to the Arkansas River and another 30 miles downriver to take up residence in Pueblo. A few tiger muskies were also stocked in the reservoir last year.

Earlier this month, Adam Hancock of Loveland broke Colorado’s 7-year-old spotted bass record with a 3-pound, 1-ounce fish caught at Pueblo Reservoir. The old spotted bass record of 2 pounds 12 ounces was caught at Pueblo by James Swonke in 1996.

Labor Day

campsites available

With the last major holiday of the summer less than a week away, Colorado State Parks still have plenty of campsites available for campers seeking to get away for Labor Day weekend.

Only 10 of 32 parks with campsites are full.

Reservations for campsites must be made a minimum of three days in advance.

The following state parks still have campsites available: Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area, Bonny Reservoir, Boyd Lake, Chatfield, Crawford, Elevenmile, Colorado River State Park, Jackson, John Martin, Lathrop, Mancos, Navajo, North Sterling, Pueblo Reservoir, Paonia, Ridgway, Rifle Gap, San Luis, St. Vrain, State Forest, Vega and Yampa River.

Fish will be electrocuted

The DOW will be electrocuting fish in Glenwood Canyon next week, Sept. 2-3, to monitor trout populations. Precisely regulated current, voltage and pulse deviations are used to stun fish so they can be netted, weighed, measured and returned to the water unharmed.

The information gathered will be used to assess the health and growth rates of trout in that part of the Colorado River and adjust fishing regulations, if necessary.

Drought update

Arkansas River conditions deteriorated in July despite occasional rains that provided short periods of improved flow. Rafting and river fishing was much better than in 2002, but water levels in reservoirs such as Pueblo and John Martin have dropped dramatically and users are feeling the pinch.

Contrary to most predictions, Green Mountain Reservoir was filled to capacity on July 22 and upstream diverters such as Denver and Colorado Springs do not have to pay back the system for spring and early summer diversions.

The Colorado, Blue and other rivers in the basin enjoyed good flows but water levels are dropping now.

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