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not well suited for bass. The species quickly became the dominant species
in the reservoir. But most of the bass grew to only 6 to 12 inches in length,
indicating that the population could become stunted due to the short grow-
ing season, the cold water of the reservoir and the high competition for food
among the growing population.
Despite the fact that the reservoir is not suited for a warm-water fish species,
Parks and Wildlife officials are concerned that someone might put bass in the
water again. Illegal stocking is a major problem in Colorado and throughout
the West.
¡°Illegal introductions of fish into our reservoirs are one of the biggest issues
facing the management of angling opportunities,¡± said Renzo DelPiccolo, area
wildlife manager in Montrose. ¡°Misguided, greedy actions by a minority of
anglers are causing law-abiding anglers throughout Colorado to lose oppor-
tunities like at Miramonte Reservoir. These actions are also consuming large
amounts of our agency¡¯s time and money which reduces the quality of man-
agement in other fisheries.¡±
The Miramonte clean-up project cost the state and partnering agencies more
than $100,000, required six months of intense planning, and closed the reser-
voir to recreation for more than a month.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is increasing monitoring effort at all fisheries that
could be stocked with invasive species like smallmouth bass. (continued pg3>)
Miramonte Re-Stocked With 100,000 Trout
¡°Trout growing machine¡± expected to rebound quickly
BB King comes to
play Aspen... Pg 12
Colorado ski areas
begin season... Pg 14
Thanksgiving from
the community... Pg 9
A playground from
the past opens... Pg 4
Fish Restocked In Miramonte Lake;
Reservoir Open Again For Fishing
NORWOOD: Miramonte Reservoir is ready
for anglers again. Nearly 100,000 trout were
stocked into the lake on October 17-18 by
Colorado Parks and Wildlife, completing a
critical aquatic reclamation project that cost
more than $100,000.
The 400-acre reservoir is now open to fishing,
and by next summer, anglers will be seeing
many fish that are up to 14 inches long. Ice
fishing this winter should be productive for
the freshly stocked trout.
To give the reservoir fishery a jump start,
Parks and Wildlife stocked 210 large brood-
stock trout - all more than 20 inches in length,
15,000 catchable size rainbows 10 inches in
2013 NOveMbeR #4-10
length, 10,000 5-inch brown trout, and 70,000 fingerling rainbow trout that are
3 inches in size.
This major stocking operation provides an immediate trophy component and
also provides the reservoir with plenty of fish of various sizes that will grow
Eric Gardunio, aquatic biologist in the Montrose area, said that ¡°Miramonte
will quickly regain its status as one of Colorado¡¯s most outstanding still-water
¡°Miramonte Reservoir is a trout-growing machine, growing fish at up to 9
inches a year,¡± Gardunio said. ¡°We expect the fishery to rebound quickly and
great opportunity for anglers will return soon.¡±
Crayfish were unaffected by the treatment and are plentiful at the reservoir.
Anglers are reminded that all regulations are again in effect at Miramonte.
The daily bag limit is four trout, possession limit is eight.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife conducted a chemical-treatment operation on
September 10 to remove smallmouth bass that had been placed in the reser-
voir illegally sometime before 2011.
The bass threatened the Miramonte trout and crayfish fishery, and native fish
downstream in the San Miguel and Dolores rivers.
¡°The treatment operation went very well and follow-up testing indicated that
all fish in the reservoir were eliminated,¡± Gardunio said.
Reservoir surveys early this summer showed
that bass, a predator fish, likely had a nega-
tive impact on the popular trout fishery. The
reservoir was last stocked with trout finger-
lings in the spring of 2012. But biologists
didn¡¯t find smaller-sized trout that would
have matched that year class. Biologists
suspect that the bass consumed many of the
fingerlings. During the summer, anglers also
reported catching only low numbers of large
¡°This sampling supported our concern that
the smallmouth bass would consume the fin-
gerling trout which would result in a future
crash of the trout population if the bass were
not removed,¡± Gardunio said.
The surveys also showed that Miramonte is
Miramonte Lake produces hearty and delicious, pinkish-orange meat
trout, like this 2 pounder. A diet rich in Crayfish gives them their color.