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CPW asks anglers to protect trout population

Sky-Hi News staff report
Grand County’s waterways are well known for having various species of trout and other fish.
Robert Mendoza / Sky-Hi News

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is asking trout anglers to fish earlier in the day and in higher altitude waters to help avoid stressing the state’s trout population. 

According to CPW, the recent lack of rain and heat have created higher temperature waters and lower stream flows in trout habitats. These conditions deplete oxygen levels in the water and leave trout more susceptible to disease and can cause them to stop feeding.

In an effort to reduce stress on trout, CPW says anglers should fish early in the morning when water temperatures are coolest or at higher altitude waters, where water temperatures are typically cooler.

“Anglers should monitor water temperatures and end their trout fishing adventures when water temperatures start to approach 70 degrees,” said Matt Nicholl, CPW’s Aquatic Section Manager. “If trout have difficulty recovering after being caught and are acting lethargic, it’s a good decision to call it quits for the day.”

Though the agency hasn’t closed any fishing areas yet, CPW continues to monitor conditions and may use future closures to protect from detrimental impacts. 

CPW noted that if water temperatures are too high or fish seem lethargic, it’s best not to fish. 

Other tips for anglers that will help them follow these recommendations include getting a thermometer to test water temperatures or to use a heavy tippet and line to quickly reel in fish, as well as a barbless hook to unhook fish faster.

The agency also suggests keeping the fish submerged in water while unhooking and releasing it, and to avoid taking the fish out of the water for photos if water conditions aren’t right.


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