Fishing pressure has caused “critical levels for trout survival” on several rivers in Southwest Colorado, leading Colorado Parks and Wildlife to ask anglers to curtail activity during the heat of the day.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife issued a statement Monday that said trout were already stressed because of low flows and warm water temperatures, with some rivers in the region reaching more than 70 degrees.
“Recently, conditions at several rivers in CPW’s Southwest Region that receive a lot of fishing pressure have deteriorated to critical levels for trout survival,” CPW said.
CPW is asking anglers to stop fishing at noon on five rivers:
The Animas River through Durango from the Emerson-Parks Bridge (32nd Street) downstream to Rivera Bridge near Home Depot.The San Juan River through Pagosa Springs, from the intersection of U.S. Highway 160 and Colorado Highway 84 downstream to the Apache Street Bridge.The Conejos River from Platoro Reservoir downstream to Broyles Bridge.The Rio Grande from Rio Grande Reservoir downstream to the town of Del Norte.The South Fork of the Rio Grande from Big Meadows Reservoir downstream to its confluence with the Rio Grande below the town of South Fork.The voluntary closure runs until Sept. 25 or until conditions improve, CPW said.
“We’re asking for cooperation from anglers on this voluntary closure to protect our trout resources in these rivers,” said John Alves, a senior aquatic biologist for CPW.
“Anglers are encouraged to fish high-elevation lakes and streams. But there might be some streams in the high country that also become too warm. We encourage anglers to carry a thermometer to check the water temperature. If it’s 70 degrees or above, please stop fishing.”