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Blue Mesa Reservoir Fishery Management
Blue Mesa Reservoir Fishery Management
Kokanee salmon under water

Anglers: Help us maintain balance at the Blue Mesa Reservoir fishery 

Smaller lake trout on ice legally taken during past tournament

The 2024 Blue Mesa Reservoir Lake Trout Tournament is scheduled to run Jan. 1 through April 30. This harvest-incentive tournament will help aquatic biologists maintain adequate kokanee salmon fry survival by limiting predation from lake trout. Abundant kokanee are also key to maintaining excellent trophy lake trout growth and condition within the reservoir. Previous tournaments were held in 2020 and 2021. The two previous tournaments were successful, and subsequent lake trout monitoring resulted in a recommendation to not hold tournaments in 2022 and 2023. Recent monitoring has documented an increase in numbers of small lake trout, so ongoing harvest of small lake trout is needed to maintain numbers at appropriate levels.

Prizes will be awarded in two categories at the conclusion of the tournament. Anglers who place in the top four of most fish turned in will earn a large portion of the total purse. First place will receive $3,000, second will earn $1,500, third place will take home $1,000 and fourth will claim $500. In addition to those prizes, every angler will be entered in a raffle for each fish they turn in. A total of 20 winners will be randomly selected, and each will earn $200. All winners will be contacted by May 31, 2024.

To participate, anglers can turn in heads from lake trout harvested less than 24 inches in length and place them in freezers located at one of three boat ramps at the reservoir. Bags and entry forms can be found on the front of the freezers which are located at the Iola, Elk Creek and Lake Fork boat ramps. Heads may also be turned in at freezers located at CPW’s offices in Gunnison or Montrose​. The entry forms must be completed in their entirety for each bag of fish an angler turns in over the course of the tournament for them to be counted. For those residents 16-17 and over 64, annual fishing licenses are $10.95. For resident anglers 18-64, annual fishing licenses are $39.71. Anglers ages 16 and over must possess a valid Colorado fishing license. All Colorado Fishing Regulations and Boating Regulations apply. It is recommended that anglers purchase their 2023 fishing license in advance of the tournament as licenses are not available at the reservoir.  

Angler Resources

Complete information on Blue Mesa Reservoir (BMR) fisheries management