DURANGO, Colo. (CBS4) – Wildlife officials have asked some Colorado anglers to take a break from the heat. Vulnerable trout populations in the state’s southwestern rivers require it, they said Monday.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife said temperatures in that region’s waterways have reached or exceeded 71 degrees now. That, combined with the low water levels – currently 50 percent of average daily flow – means Colorado’s highly valued species of trout are put at considerable risk of lethal stresses.
Reel it in at noon, CPW implied, and let the cold-water fish rest during the hottest part of the day.
“We’re asking for cooperation from anglers on this voluntary closure to protect our trout resources in these rivers,” said John Alves, senior aquatic biologist for CPW in Durango. “Anglers are encouraged to fish high-elevation lakes and streams. But there might be some streams in the high country that also become too warm. We encourage anglers to carry a thermometer to check the water temperature. If it’s 70 degrees or above, please stop fishing.”
Five specific stretches of river were named: The Animas River through Durango, the San Juan River through Pagosa Springs, the Conejos River Platoro Reservoir to the Broyles Bridge, the Rio Grande from Rio Grande Reservoir to the town of Del Norte, and the South Fork of the Rio Grande from Big Meadows Reservoir to the town of South Fork.
CPW has requested the same restraint before, most recently in July of 2018 of those fishing the Yampa River near Steamboat Springs.