Ban on fishing of spawning trout could expand to fall to protect browns

Greg Masse
Post Independent Staff

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Spawning brown trout could soon receive the same protective regulations in fall that now govern rainbow trout in the spring.

A proposal making its way through the Colorado Wildlife Commission’s rulemaking process aims to close off brown trout spawning areas to anglers from Oct. 1 to Nov. 30 at the confluence of some creeks with the Roaring Fork and Colorado rivers.

The regulations are aimed at protecting the larger trout in the two rivers. During spawning, fish tend to gather at the confluence of the five creeks, giving fishermen an unfair advantage.

“I’m sure that some people feel it’s a limitation on catching big fish, but in this case, we opt to protect the resource instead of the recreational opportunity,” said Pat Tucker, area wildlife manager for the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

The suggested fall closures would duplicate restrictions that first took effect in the spring of 2001.

“We figured that since we already had closures in place in the spring and anglers were already getting used to it, we could do it the same way in the fall,” Tucker said.

The areas closed in spring that could also be closed in the fall include Four Mile and Three Mile creeks on the Roaring Fork River and Canyon, No Name and Grizzly creeks on the Colorado River.

The spring rule bans fishing along the river for 50 yards upstream and downstream of the creeks’ confluences, and a half-mile up the creek itself.

The fall closures will be considered by the Wildlife Commission during its March 13 and 14 meetings in Denver.

Since the spring closures began in 2001, Tucker said, there’s been a mostly positive response.

“We’ve had lots of feedback, most of it at angler roundtables,” Tucker said. “We often hear, `What took you so long?'”

If the regulations take effect this fall, the wildlife division will clearly post signs to inform anglers of the new rules. If anglers break the rules, they face a $68 fine.

“This fall we’ll probably be more lenient,” Tucker said. “We’d like to educate people first.”

Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.