Anglers need new licenses April 1
Despite several recent snow storms in the high country signs of warmer weather are beginning to emerge in Grand County.
Snow is melting everywhere from front yards to the rugged peaks of the continental divide and our rivers and streams are beginning to see higher flow levels. April 1st is this Friday and that means spring is not far off. It also means it is time for anglers all over the state to purchase a new fishing license.
The significance of the date is not lost on Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CP&W) or the Wildlife Managers employed by the state who oversee hunting and fishing throughout Colorado. District Wildlife Manager for the Granby area Jeromy Huntington said he often evokes jokes about not being a fool on April first by forgetting to buy a new fishing license.
All fishing in the State of Colorado is overseen by CP&W, which issues licenses for hunting, fishing and various other outdoor activities. The 2016 license year for CP&W runs from April 1, 2016 through March 31, 2017. A resident annual fishing license for 2016 will cost $26 while a non-resident annual license goes for $56.
Kids under 16, both residents and non-residents, fish for free in Colorado though any youngsters that want to use two poles will need to acquire a second rod stamp for $5. Colorado also offers a highly discounted pass for “senior” anglers. Colorado residents who are 64 years of age and older can purchase an annual fishing license for $1. According to Huntington the $1 fee covers a 25-cent surcharge for the license and 75 cents directed to CP&W’s education fund.
Anyone purchasing a license in the State of Colorado who is between the ages of 18 and 64 will also need to purchase a $10 habitat stamp. The state applies an additional $10 charge to the first license purchased by an individual each year to cover the cost of the stamp. Additional licensing options for fishing include both one-day and five-day fishing licenses, though a five-day license is only available to non-residents of the State.
Fishing licenses for the State of Colorado can be purchased online through the Parks & Wildlife Web site. Residents can also purchase licenses over the phone or through numerous license agents in the state. Licenses for the year initially went on sale on March 16 but are valid only after April 1. For those who enjoy a bit of both hunting and fishing the State offers a small game/fishing combo license for state residents for $41.
For big game hunters early April also holds one of the most significant dates of the year. All applications for big game draw licenses are due to the state by midnight on Tuesday April 5. If you are looking to bag a deer, elk, moose or any of the other big game animals that call Colorado home you have less than one week to submit your applications.
District Wildlife Manager Huntington offered a pertinent reminder that hunters must either purchase a habitat stamp before submitting their draw license applications or make sure to include an additional $10 with their application to cover the cost of the stamp.
The state will begin selling over the counter licenses at 9 a.m. on July 26. Leftover limited licenses will go one sale starting Aug. 2 at 9 a.m.
Huntington said the State encourages citizens to fill out their license applications online. “Applying online gives people an opportunity to make fewer errors and to prevent the computer from misreading handwriting,” Huntington said. He explained that computer system will also inform applicants if they have used an invalid hunt code in their application.
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Due to current public health guidance, there will not be an in-person wilderness campsite lottery for Rocky Mountain National Park this year.