Re: local fishing news

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Posted by Dan Brabec on 2010-09-23 22:59:34 in reply to local fishing news posted by Phil Ewanicki on 2010-09-23 11:20:40

A true success story here in NW Colorado has been the Yampa River Basin. The Yampa flows for about 250 miles from its birthplace in the Flattop Mountains before joining the Green river just before crossing out of Colorado into Utah. Historically, the Yampa held very few game fish other than the Pike Minnow. There are numerous other native species in the river including whitefish, several species of chubs and a few cutthroat trout.

The Yampa still flows mostly undisturbed by dams through it travels toward Utah. The few impoundments that do exist hold back very little water. As a result, the river sees heavy flooding in the spring runoff that caries large amounts of sediment into the lower reaches of the river. This creates the classic meanders and sand bars of a desert canyon and is essential to the survival of the native species that are listed as endangered.

Over the past few decades, the DOW has introduced a number of non-native species including brook trout, rainbow trout, brown trout, smallmouth bass, and northern pike. The later two species have been a detriment to the native species as well as the trout fishery. The upper 100 miles of the river including the four public resevoirs are now how to a world class trout fishery. Most of the pike have been removed from the river itself but there is stilla thriving population in Stagecoach Reservoir. The state record was pulled from that lake in necent years.

The section of the river that goes from below Stagecoach Reservoir down to the town of Hayden offers a wonderful fly fishing experience that see relatively little fishing pressure.As a result, it is not uncommon to catch four species of trout in a single outing (brook, brown, cutthroat, and rainbow). The true Yampa Slam (brook, brown, rainbow, cutthroat, whitefish, and pike) can still be caught within the city limits of Steamboat. All of the fishing in this city limits is catch and release only which has allow the fishery to flourish.

I will not go so far as to say that the DOW has done a perfect job in managing the Yampa, but the results are pretty amazing.


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