October 1, 2004

The Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) has enacted an emergency fishing closure from Shadow Mountain spillway (including the spillway) downstream to Granby Reservoir, including Columbine Bay to the inlet of Twin Creek. Fishing will not be allowed on these waters beginning 12:01 a.m. Oct. 4, 2004 through 12:01 a.m. Oct. 15, 2004, when the regular closure takes effect.

The closure was enacted due to the imminent danger of excessive angler harvest of mature kokanee salmon staging to spawn.

Current regulations provide for this closure from Oct. 15 to Dec. 31. This additional closure is due to an early run of kokanee and will allow for the harvest of eggs from the kokanee that would otherwise be lost to angler take. DOW biologists estimate that more than 1,000 kokanee will be protected by the emergency change in regulations.

“Kokanee populations in kokanee brood waters throughout the state have suffered over the last several years due to drought, fire and expanding lake trout populations,” said Sherman Hebein, senior fish biologist for the DOW. “It is critical to change our management strategies in some cases to overcome these new challenges and maintain kokanee as a prominent sport fish in Colorado. We are confident that anglers will cooperate with us in securing the long-term future of this popular sport fish.”

The DOW harvests eggs from spawning kokanee, raises them in hatcheries and then stocks the fry the following spring. These operations take place in several locations throughout the state and are the only source of kokanee available to Colorado’s anglers.

Kokanee die soon after spawning. In order to prevent these fish from going to waste, the kokanee from Granby and Shadow Mountain will be available to licensed anglers once the eggs and milt are taken by the DOW. Fish are scheduled to be given away on Nov. 4, 9, 11, 16, 18, 23 and 30. December dates will be announced in the future if fish are available. For more information call the DOW Hot Sulphur Springs Area Office at (970) 725-6200.

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