PROJECT IMPROVES TROUT HABITAT IN PUEBLO
May 5, 2005
Thanks to generous stocking and a multi-million dollar
improvement project, the Arkansas River through the city of Pueblo
has become a top-notch fishery.
Over the years, Pueblo anglers have known the section of river below
Pueblo Reservoir as one of the best kept fishing secrets along the
Front Range. But according to Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW)
aquatic biologist Jim Melby, the completion of the Arkansas River
Legacy Project has produced an improved river with outstanding opportunity
that will soon become known statewide.
Its always been a good place to fish. There was almost
always someone down there fishing, even sometimes in nasty weather,
said Melby. But now that the Legacy Project is complete, we
expect to see even more people taking advantage of a great place to
While the Arkansas River above Canon City seems to attract a larger
proportion of fly fisherman, there are no restrictions on bait or
lures in the section through Pueblo, Melby said. That makes it a big
draw for folks who like to use a variety of tackle and enjoy taking
home a meal of fresh fish after a day on the river.
Melby thinks there might even be a big increase in catch and release
fly fishermen once the word gets out that the improved habitat has
created an opportunity for big trout to thrive in the deeper pools
and new structures that will provide resting places for fish.
The DOW has an annual allotment of 30,000 to 40,000 catchable-sized
rainbow trout for the river below Pueblo Reservoir. As a result, fish
are stocked frequently. When available, the Pueblo section also receives
brood fish ranging from 3-5 pounds. There is also a small contingent
of big brown trout lurking in the river, but Melby notes that they
are rare and difficult to catch.
Because Pueblo Reservoir creates clear, cool water and stable outflows
from November until the middle of March, anglers have an opportunity
to enjoy stream fishing during times of the year when most streams
are locked in winter conditions. From the middle of March on, the
flows increase but do not reach peak flows until mid-to-late April.
Like any fishery in the state, angler success varies depending water
conditions and methods used. The Arkansas River through Pueblo might
not compare to some of the legendary tail-water fisheries elsewhere
in the state, but it is a good place for anglers to practice their
hobby without driving up into the mountains.
There are at least seven access points where anglers can park right
next to the river. A hiking trail/bike path runs along the entire
stretch of river through the city, making it accessible by foot. One
of the most popular access points is just below the dam, which can
be reached by taking U.S. Hwy 50 west to Pueblo Blvd., turning south
onto Pueblo Blvd. until you reach the Pueblo Nature Center road, and
then turning west into the Nature Center parking lot.
For more information on fishing conditions or water flow, contact
the Pueblo office of the DOW at (719) 561-5300; or check with any
of the local fishing supply stores in the Pueblo area.
For more information about Division of Wildlife go to: http://wildlife.state.co.us.
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