Fishing conditions good as weather heats up
With summer in full swing, residents may wonder about fishing conditions at popular local spots like Rifle and Harvey Gap. Brian Palcer, park manager of the Rifle Complex, has you covered.
Palcer said fishing has been great from boats, but slower from shore, according to Rifle Gap visitors.
“Over the last couple of weeks the perch fishing has picked up, and many are being caught,” he said. “Larger perch are being caught near the island, on the east end of the lake as well as near Rainbow Point.”
He added that last weekend, fishers caught several good-sized smallmouth and walleye.
At Rifle Gap, the bag/possession limit for walleye is one fish, which must be 18 inches or greater in size.
“Trout and pike were also hitting throughout the lake,” he said.
The Colorado Parks and Wildlife fishing report states that fishing is picking up at Rifle Gap, with trout, bass and walleye being caught.
Palcer said trout and pike fishing has been decent at Harvey Gap, and several small perch are being caught, though he hasn’t talked to nearly as many anglers out there.
The fishing report states perch fishing has been reported to be good and notes that tiger muskie have been reintroduced to the lake, which have a minimum size of 36 inches and a bag limit of one.
Due to a lack of funding for the Aquatic Nuisance Species program the boat ramp will remain closed all summer at Harvey Gap as they don’t have the resources to do boat inspections.
“Harvey Gap Reservoir is primarily an irrigation reservoir, and recreation is secondary,” states the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website. “It is critical that we keep the risk of invading nuisance species out of the reservoir.”
While the Harvey Gap ramp is closed, the only boats permitted are hand-launched vessels, which include rafts, kayaks, belly boats, float tubes, windsurfer boards, sailboards, paddleboards and canoes.
The boat ramp at Rifle Gap is open, but boats are required to get an ANS inspection prior to launching.