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Nature & Wildlife
2016 June/July
Pg 12 - The Sunshine Express
the state¡¯s endangered native fishes - the Colo-
rado pikeminnow, humpback chub, razorback
sucker and bonytail.
According to the Upper Colorado River Endan-
gered Fish Recovery Program, the presence of
predators like northern pike and smallmouth
bass in native fish critical habitat significantly
increases the difficulty of delisting the endan-
gered fishes.
¡°Northern pike are aggressive predators with
big appetites and if their population continues to
grow in Green Mountain Reservoir, that will have
profound impact on the fish we have stocked
there, as well as potential impacts to the en-
dangered native fish we are currently trying to
recover,¡± said Ewert. ¡°This is a win-win for the
agency and anglers. They can catch a predatory
fish and earn some money, it helps us protect
our native fish, and we can manage the reser-
voir responsibly into the future.¡±
To participate, anglers must bring their north-
ern pike to the Heeney Marina along with their
driver¡¯s license and fishing license.
CPW will keep fish heads for analysis, returning
the body of the fish to the anglers. Anglers not
wishing to keep northern pike can donate their
catch to the Marina for later distribution.
There are no limits for northern pike and small-
mouth bass in Western Colorado. Anglers are
encouraged to catch and keep as many of the
fish as they desire, unless special regulations
are in effect on specific waters.
For more information, contact CPW¡¯s Hot Sul-
phur Springs office at: 970.725.6200
Heeney Marina can be reached at:
970.724.9441
To report illicit stocking or any other illegal
wildlife activity anonymously, anglers can call
Operation Game Thief at: 877.265.6648
CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily
on license sales, state parks fees and registra-
tion fees to support its operations, including:
42 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas
covering approximately 900,000 acres, manage-
ment of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching,
camping, motorized and non-motorized trails,
boating and outdoor education. CPW¡¯s work
contributes approximately $6 billion in total eco-
nomic impact annually throughout Colorado.
Anglers can win boats, fishing gear
at 2 CPW fishing tournaments
MONTROSE, CO: Colorado anglers will have a
chance to win boats and fishing gear at two
upcoming fishing tournaments sponsored by
Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
The fishing tournaments are free and open to
anyone with a 2016 Colorado fishing license. No
pre-registration is required.
A smallmouth bass tournament will be held at
Ridgway State Park in Ouray County, June 4-12.
At Elkhead Reservoir in northwest Colorado
there will be a smallmouth bass and a northern
pike tournament, June 11-19.
¡°This is a great time of year to fish for these
species that are plentiful in these reservoirs,¡±
said Sherman Hebein, senior aquatic biologist
for CPW¡¯s Northwest Region.
For both tournaments, fish of all sizes will be
¡°PIT¡± tagged. At Ridgway, 10 smallmouth bass
will be tagged; at Elkhead, 10 northern pike and
10 smallmouth bass will be tagged.
When fish are turned in by anglers for the day,
CPW staff will check them with an electronic
scanner. Those who have caught tagged fish will
be eligible to win a boat to be awarded by each
tournament. To qualify for prizes, anglers must
keep all the fish that they catch. Those who
don¡¯t catch tagged fish will also be eligible for
prizes.
At Elkhead, for both species, prizes will also be
awarded for largest and smallest fish caught
each day, most fish caught each day, and most
fish caught for the full tournament.
At the Ridgway tournament there will also be
prizes for anglers 15 years and younger.
The goal of the tournaments is to reduce the
population of these species in the reservoirs and
to reduce the chances of them escaping down-
stream. Smallmouth bass and northern pike
that escape can thrive in the rivers below the
reservoirs and prey on Colorado¡¯s native fish,
which include the Colorado pikeminnow, razor-
back sucker, humpback chub and bonytail.
CPW: Come & Get Them
illegally stocked northern pike
in Green Mountain Reservoir,
Colorado Parks and Wildlife and
the Colorado Water Conserva-
tion Board have created the
Green Mountain Reservoir An-
gler Harvest Incentive Package.
Beginning Thursday, May 26,
the program will give anglers
the opportunity to earn $20 for
every northern pike caught in
the reservoir and delivered to
Heeney Marina.
The incentive encourages an-
glers to participate directly in
ongoing efforts to remove the
illegally introduced predators
from Green Mountain Reservoir.
¡°The fish were dumped in there
several years ago by someone
who selfishly didn¡¯t consider
the serious consequences we
are now dealing with,¡± said
CPW¡¯s Jon Ewert, aquatic biolo-
gist from Hot Sulphur Springs.
¡°People should know that illicit
stocking is a problem not only
for ethical reasons but legal
reasons as well. Anyone caught
doing it faces severe penalties.¡±
In addition to preying on fish
in the reservoir, state biologists
are concerned that any north-
ern pike that escape may take
up residency in the Blue River
downstream of Green Mountain
Dam. From there, the fish may
eventually reach federally listed
critical habitat in the Colorado
River where they could prey on
These insider tips can help anyone get started in
fishing, wakesurfing, sailing, personal watercraft
and cruising this summer.
Take a class. Sign up for a boating lesson to
hone those powerboating, sailing or waters-
ports skills by mastering the basics while having
fun along the way. Popular options around the
U.S. include boating classes, on-water train-
ing courses, watersports camps, youth boating
programs and more.
Join a club. Find a boat club near you for a
hassle-free and cost-sharing way to access a
versatile fleet of boats. Simply pay a monthly
fee and book your time online. Most boat clubs
take care of docking, cleaning, and mainte-
nance, with members responsible for fuel. Plus,
most offer extensive boater education courses
as part of the membership.
Share the fun. Share the fun and the bud-
get. Fractional ownership programs are similar
to boat clubs offering shared access to boats
paired with maintenance and education, with
a few subtle differences - an annual fee versus
monthly dues and assignment of members to a
particular boat, similar to a property timeshare
instead of a fleet of boats.
Rent a boat. Rental options are available on
most waterways and provide hourly or daily
access to a variety of boat types. Rental out-
fitters provide tutorials on operating a boat,
share safety instructions and offer suggestions
on destinations. Another rental option new to
market are peer-to-peer rentals, allowing you to
rent someone else¡¯s boat, which usually includes
insurance and captains for hire to help you set
sail.
Charter a trip. Explore new waters and experi-
ence the boating lifestyle by chartering a boat
trip with family or friends. Chartering offers
options - bareboat (with no captain) or crewed
(with captain and crew) for a few days or weeks
long. Pick your preferences and chart your
course.
Find your way on the water by using Discover
Boating¡¯s get on the water interactive tool, just
enter your zip code to find rentals, boat clubs
and more close to home. If you¡¯re curious about
owning a boat, whether new or previously
owned, take the next step and research all your
options at: DiscoverBoating.com
5 easy ways to relax, recharge
and have fun on a boat
(BPT): Feeling stressed? Adding water to your sum-
mer plans may be one of the best remedies.
More than four in five Americans say being around
water relaxes them, and 72 percent feel healthier
after spending time on the water, according to a
2015 Discover Boating survey by Wakefield Re-
search.
With Americans working longer hours, the need
to take vacation time is greater than ever. Four
in 10 Americans are not using all their paid time
off (PTO), according to Project: Time Off¡¯s 2015
research by GFK Public Affairs.
One easy solution? Get out on the water and go
boating. It not only benefits overall well-being, it¡¯s
also more accessible than many think. In fact, mil-
lions of Americans go boating each year on more
than 15 million boats in the U.S., according to the
National Marine Manufacturers Association.
¡°Today¡¯s technology can make it difficult to fully
disconnect and relax, which is why boating offers
a unique solution,¡± says Carl Blackwell, president
of Discover Boating. ¡°Surrounded by water, fresh
air and your favorite people makes a boat one of
the rare places where you can focus on each other,
forget about daily distractions and enjoy the out-
doors.¡±
Whether on vacation or staycation, there are fun,
stress-free ways to get on the water.
Get On The Water
Money For Fishing
Catch a northern pike in Green Mountain
Reservoir, earn $20
SILVERTHORNE, CO: To stem the proliferation of