By Raetta Holdman

OAK CREEK, Colo. (CBS4) — Break out the fishing poles. Colorado Parks and Wildlife has lifted the mandatory fishing ban on a section of the Yampa River.

The department implemented the ban on on a sixth-tenth of mile stretch on June 14.  That stretch was below the damn at Stagecoach State Park.

CPW was concerned about the minimal snowpack which mean low streams during the hottest time of the year.

It has monitored the water flow and other conditions on that stretch of river since the June closure.

The Colorado Water Trust and Upper Yampa Water Conservancy District has released more water, improving the water flow.

“That said, we will likely be enduring a hot, dry spell for the foreseeable future. We’ll keep on top of conditions and will advise the public if anything changes,” said Area Aquatic Biologist Bill Atkinson in a news release.

CPW says if conditions worsen again,  it could put restrictions back in place.

The problem is when water flows slow, fish gather in the same spots. Then they compete for food which causes stress. That means more of them die.

They are also easier to catch.

Atkinson said there are things anglers can do to reduce stress stress to fish during the hot weather.

“Fish early when it’s cooler, and take care when handling fish,” he said. “Land them quickly, handle them gently with wet hands, or use a net, then return them to the water as soon as possible.”

A voluntary fishing closure on the Yampa River from Chuck Lewis State Wildlife Area to the western town limits of Steamboat Springs is still in place.

Raetta Holdman is a veteran newscast producer. She’s been with CBS4 for more than 25 years, coordinating events — large and small — from the control room. Contact her by clicking here.

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