Ice Safety Tips
At many higher elevations, ice has started to cover the reservoirs, rivers and ponds, attracting visitors to ice fish, ice skate, ice sail and enjoy other winter activities outdoors. The winter landscapes beckon and there is plenty of room to roam. To safely enjoy winter outdoor recreation adventures on the ice, Colorado Parks and Wildlife offers a few basic safety rules to follow.
Ice conditions vary, so always assume that ice conditions are unsafe that ice thickness varies from place to place. Four inches of ice will provide a margin of safety and is generally considered safe for ice fishing and ice skating. Snowmobiles and ATVs need at least five inches of ice thickness. The best advice is stay off the ice when there is any question about thickness and conditions.
For more information, see Ice Fishing Safety.
Denver Post and Fishexplorer.com Offers Ice Fishing Advice
The Denver Post and Fish explorer.com announced Nov. 12 that ice fishing is indeed on its way. David Coulson of Fishexplorer.com said our recent cold snap will quickly cool waters and slow the fishing for many warm-water species, especially black bass. Coulson adds, "There has been news of smaller waters higher than 10,000 feet icing over. With each passing week, high-country options for ice fishing will increase. Until then, consider fishing Horsetooth, Chatfield, Carter, Boyd and Aurora reservoirs, where the trout action has been fair to good on lures and bait. Plus, they are also producing an occasional walleye. Small ponds had been producing fair numbers of yellow perch and bluegill, but this cold snap will probably force them deep. For eager icers, remember it's usually at least two weeks from first ice to safe ice. Be safe and don't press your luck."
CPW Issues Reminders for Fall Boating
Colorado Parks and Wildlife's Boating Safety Program reminds boaters to take precautions to protect themselves from heightened dangers of sudden, unexpected cold water immersion while on late season boating outings, especially on small boats. "As the days grow short this autumn and water temperatures take a dip, hunters, anglers, paddlers and all boaters must be aware of the risks of cold water," said CPW Boat Safety Coordinator Kris Wahlers. "Hunters, paddlers and any boater on the water can take precautions and prevent being suddenly thrown overboard, swamped or stranded in cold water." Sudden immersion in cold water can cause gasping and inhalation of water and hypothermia, resulting in unconsciousness or swimming failure as muscles become numb. Wearing a life jacket will keep your head above water and support your body should your swimming ability fail or you become unconscious. For more information, visit the boating safety pages.
San Luis Valley Reservoir Closed for Repairs
SOUTH FORK, Colo. – The reservoir at the Beaver Creek Reservoir State Wildlife Area has been drained to accommodate dam repairs and the area is now closed. Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials expect that the reservoir will be open again and fish will be restocked early in 2015.
While Beaver Creek is closed, anglers can find plenty of good fishing at other reservoirs in the San Luis Valley, including: Million, Smith, Mountain Home, Road Canyon, Rio Grande, Big Meadows, and Alberta Park reservoirs, Tucker Ponds and Brown Lakes. Public fishing access on the Rio Grande is also available at the Coller, Del Norte and Creede state wildlife areas. To locate the above waters, use the
Colorado Fishing Atlas.
CPW Fishing Videos
Releasing a Fish Safely
In order to maintain the quality of all fisheries, we rely on anglers to follow bag limits and to limit hooking mortality. There are several steps anglers can take when releasing a fish that helps ensure the fish survives being caught and therefore limiting their impact on the fishery. To learn the best way to release a fish, please watch the video below.
The Fishing Atlas provides a host of information, including driving directions, stocking details, and locations of the nearest license retailer. To view the Colorado Fishing Atlas,
click here, and the atlas will open in a separate window. Once the atlas is open, you can zoom in or out, or click on the location to display detailed information. Feel free to play around with the options on the far left of the atlas for other types of information and displays. Any questions or feedback are greatly appreciated. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks, from the fishing report crew.