Aug. 11 2004
Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) Director Bruce McCloskey has
signed an emergency salvage order temporarily suspending some fishing
regulations at Groundhog Reservoir in southwestern Colorado.
Groundhog Reservoir is located between Dolores and Norwood. Because
of the imminent danger of fish loss due to the draining of the reservoir
for repair work, anglers will be allowed to take an unlimited number
of fish from the reservoir without legal repercussions.
The reservoir is owned by the Montezuma Valley Irrigation Company,
but through a perpetual easement with the DOW, the water is open to
public fishing. Covering more than 667 surface acres when full, the
reservoir is home to stocked rainbow and Colorado River cutthroat
Repairs on the reservoir's gate system will require draining the lake
to what is considered "dead pool" level and considerable
fish loss could occur.
"A lot of fish will be swept downstream as the reservoir is drained,"
said DOW Aquatic Biologist Mike Japhet. "But there will be a
large number of fish that remain in the lake itself."
Effective immediately, all current bag and possession limits have
been lifted through no later than Dec. 31. Snagging of fish will be
allowed under the order, otherwise fish must be taken by hook and
line methods using conventional tackle. No fish may be taken through
use of explosives, toxicants, firearms, or electricity. Other fishing
regulations remain in effect and can be found in the 2004 Colorado
Fishing Regulations & Property Directory, which is available at
fishing license agents or any DOW office.
The boat ramp remains open, but Japhet warned that water levels are
dropping, and use of the concrete boat ramp could become difficult
in the near future.
This emergency regulation does not allow for trespassing on private
property. Anglers should still respect the rights of private property
owners and only access Groundhog Reservoir at recognized public access
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