Letter: Lake Granby hasn’t been getting its fair share of stocked fish
April 22, 2014
To the Editor:
Mr Ewert (the local fisheries biologist) claims in the April 18 article "Granby-area fishery poised to improve with stocked fish," that the reason Lake Granby was shorted the last several years is due to hatchery problems and not enough rainbows to go around.
The fact is, every other lake in the region has had an increase in catchable rainbow stocks while only Lake Granby was cut. Last year there was no effort made to try to stock fish early, we didn't see any fish until June 1, with most coming in October. In comparison, Green Mountain Reservoir, less than a third the size of Granby, got 25 percent more catchables than Granby did in 2013 while Williams Fork, a fourth the size got nearly as many. In 2012, Grand lake got close to the same amount as Granby for a lake a 14th of the size, Dillon Reservoir at less than half the size and a lake that gets a small fraction of the usage Granby does, got more catchables stocked than Granby in 2012.
So as you can see budget cuts, hatchery problems or whatever other excuses given for cutting Granby's rainbows had no impact at any of the other lakes that got increased amounts. Not only shore anglers, our growing population of Ospreys around the lake are also dependent on the shallow-water-dwelling rainbows. If it were not for naturally reproducing lake trout at Lake Granby, which help our local economy, there would be very little for anglers to fish for here. They provide the bulk of the very popular ice fishery. The smaller-sized (under 22"s) provide us with excellent table fare very high in Omega 3's from their diet of mysis shrimp, while the very slow-growing larger ones, although high in mercury, can be caught and released and bring in many anglers from all over for the good opportunity of sport fishing. Such fish helps the overall health of the lake by helping reduce sucker populations. If it were not for lake trout, Lake Granby would be like the dead sea of Dillon reservoir overrun with suckers with very little to interest anglers.
At the State of the Fish meeting on March 19, the first issue brought up was Grand Lake. Jon Ewert wanted to take away the protective 26" to 36" slot limit on lake trout that has been on the lake for over 40 years and is the last protection on lake trout anywhere in this region. It was agreed the slot limit would stay on the lake and go to year-round. At lake Granby, it was agreed if the limit on lake trout was increased from the existing four-fish bag limit there would be a one over 22" limit added. It was also noted at the meeting that Parks and Wildlife needs to do more to help enhance the fishery.