Inspection for Harvey Gap Reservoir nearing
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is calling for any and all anglers to help salvage the fish species at Harvey Gap Reservoir before it’s too late.
The Silt Water Conservancy District will lower the water levels in the reservoir next month and to avoid a major loss of fish, wildlife management officials are encouraging people to catch as many fish in the reservoir as possible.
“We are hoping to avoid having a major loss of fish,” CPW Northwest Senior Aquatic Biologist Lori Martin said.
Minimum size, bag and possession limits have been removed for all species in the reservoir including tiger muskie, northern pike, channel catfish, black crappie, trout, yellow perch, bluegill, and largemouth and smallmouth bass.
All other fishing regulations are in effect and will be enforced, according to the CPW press release. Anglers 16 and older must have a valid fishing license.
Overnight fishing is allowed for the catching of channel catfish.
Martin said some may survive the drainage depending on weather and a variety of conditions, but officials cannot be certain. CPW would like to avoid the massive loss of fish that may come as the water levels lower completely and wants to give the opportunity for residents to catch as many fish as they wish.
Once the inspection is complete, Harvey Gap Reservoir water levels will be returned to normal, but it won’t be until next spring before it is completely filled.
CPW will begin the process of bringing compatible fish species back into the reservoir as necessary once the water is permanently refilled.
The Silt Water Conservancy District planned the inspection last year, but due to the unexpected collapse of nearby County Road 237, the operation was postponed to this year.
The state recommends that the dam be inspected around once a decade and will mainly look at the health of the lake and associated piping. Poor visibility in the water prevented state officials from doing the inspection with scuba gear.
Silt Water Conservancy plans to do the inspection on Oct. 9 and 10. Once the inspection is completed, the water will be turned back on and the reservoir will begin gradually refilling.