Thursday, April 28, 2016

Big Thompson fish kill

Here's part of the Reporter Herald's lead article today on a fish kill back on March 7.

City: Water supply not threatened
Thousands of fish die between Drake and Loveland after exposure to chemical
Reporter-Herald StaffWriter
Despite state wildlife agency reports that more than 5,600 fish died last month in the Big Thompson River upstream from Loveland’s water treatment plant, city officials stress residents’ drinking water remained safe.
Colorado Parks andWildlife officials confirmed Wednesday that a significant fish kill occurredMarch 7 on the Lower North Fork of the Big Thompson and mainstream Big Thompson River from Drake downstream to the canyon mouth in west Loveland.
from page 1A
Initial reports of fish kill from residents launched a multi-agency response, and Parks and Wildlife officials said when they found out it was limited to rainbow and brown trout, suckers and dace, the agency started investigating its cause and extent.
Officials said that while they are still analyzing the fish kill and its cause, it seems that chemicals from concrete work on the County Road 43 project and replacement of Storm Mountain Road bridge went into the water, dramatically increasing its pH levels.
“To date, the project, which is slated for completion in late summer 2016, has replaced multiple bridges and constructed grouted ... walls along many sections of road and river without issue. Unfortunately, site conditions, weather, soils, topography and other factors at the Storm Mountain bridge created conditions that allowed movement of chemicals from concrete to enter the stream, causing a dramatic increase in pH … which when moving downstream sickened or killed fish in its path,” the news release stated.
Darrick Turner, senior environmental specialist for the county, and other county staff members, after hearing from residents of the fish kill, followed up with construction crews but found that the crews’ environmental mitigation practices were in compliance at the time.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Now, if it'd just stop snowing ...

Boat ramps at Horsetooth and Carter reservoirs will open for the season on Friday, April 1, so all Larimer County waters should be accessible.

Not all ramps will be open immediately.  Here's the schedule:
Carter - north ramp open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week
Horsetooth - South Bay and Inlet Bay ramps 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week; Satanka ramps only from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday.  Zebra mussel inspection will be available only during those hours.

Boyd has already opened for the season, and no inspection is required at Lonetree, Boedecker or Lon Hagler.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Mark your calendar: Ice fishing Thursday!

Okay, it's supposed to snow early this week, and get ridiculously cold, so we don't know exactly where we should go fishing next.  We are pretty sure about when:  Thursday!

If the weather allows, we're thinking of North Michigan Reservoir, a couple hours west on highway 14 just over Cameron Pass, or perhaps stop short of that and try Barnes Meadow.  If there's too much snow in the high country, we'll do St. Vrain State Park just east of Longmont, or Lon Hagler.

Any preferences?  Drop BillP a note.  Watch for an e-mail or an update on the blog for more information.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

"Ice Addiction" tourny at Boyd Saturday, Jan. 9

Boyd Lake will host an ice fishing tournament on Saturday, Jan. 9, with $3,000 cash for the winner and a total of $10,000 in prizes between cash and gear.

Interested?   The event is sponsored by Tightline Outdoors and Clam.  Last year's tournament was heavily attended, but fish were pretty scarce.  Here's a posting from Tightline Outdoors Facebook.

With the Boyd Lake Ice Addiction event just around the corner here are a few commonly asked questions....
It's $40 a person to enter, the heaviest single fish caught will win $3,000 cash. There will be over $10,000 in total prizes between cash and gear and over 20 places. Anglers can weigh up to there legal limit of each species. The event runs from 8am to noon, check in/registration opens at 5am. Once you are checked in you are welcome to go on the course and pick your hole. The reason we pick a course and pre drill the holes is to ensure a fair fun event that makes angles rely on skill and not knowledge of the lake. We predrill just to keep everything evenly spaced out. There are random giveaways every few minutes and our Ice Addiction girls will bring your prize to you on the ice. Mr Heater provides a a large warming tent on the course to warm up. We also provide FREE coffee and Johnsons Corner cinnamon rolls to everyone! There is no age limit but all anglers must be able to hook, land, and weigh their own fish.
We currently have good ice conditions at Boyd and the event is scheduled to run as planned. You can always call our event hotline at 720-775-7770 to get up to date information and hear of any changes.
We look forward to seeing everyone at the event!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Shortly after our Perkins' pancakes digest Friday, stout-hearted Fishing Club ice anglers will be heading to the mountains, with maggots and toe warmers in tow. 

We're thinking Dowdy or West Lake, possibly due to lack of imagination, but also because they should be solid and pretty accessible after this week's cold and snow.  If you have a better idea, let's discuss.  Call or e-mail Bill Prater

Friday, December 11, 2015

Christmas bonus: bass fishing with a salt-impregnated worm

I just finished stuffing two nephews' new tackle boxes with a variety of baits to get them hooked on bass fishing, and thought it might be something you might find worth trying this spring, or worth sharing with a young angler buddy of your own. Merry Christmas.  Bill P

Dear nephew,
You are at a perfect age to perfect the one skill most important to your future happiness:  fishing!  I didn’t realize it when I was your age, but that short period between ages 10 and 13 is absolutely the perfect time to be a boy:   First of all, though Mom and Dad may tell you different, no adult really expects much from you yet in the way of time-wasting chores or other responsible behavior.  You also likely haven’t discovered girls yet. Trust your uncle; they will eventually really eat into your fishing time.  But for now you have time to really obsess over how to outwit a bass!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Dowdy trip postponed til the winds die down

The wind's been howling at about 35 miles an hour up at Red Feather, with no sign of a slowdown, so Tuesday's ice fishing trip has been scrubbed.  We'll reschedule as soon as weather permits.  Hey, this ain't Florida.  Bill

Saturday, December 5, 2015

First ice fishing of the season! Tuesday, Dec. 8 at Dowdy

Meet at the K-Mart parking lot at 8 a.m. Tuesday and carpool to Red Feather Lakes, where we'll fish Dowdy or West Lake.  We're pretty sure the ice is thick (enough) and the early-season bite should be astounding.

Newbies to ice fishing:  if you don't have the equipment or the know-how, no problem.  Give me a call and one of us will loan you bait and tackle.  Dress in layers; the only hassle with the Dowdy Lake area is an occasional frosty wind.  You might want to invest in Yak Trax or other ice grippers; you should have a pair if you live around here anyway.

We should have decent ice; Fish Explorer reported a 5-inch cap on Dec. 2.  To be sure, we'll have newest members test the footing, as a sort of good-hearted initiation.

Actually, fishing on frozen water is not nearly the dumbest thing club members do regularly.  I've been following Dave Harem and crew onto the ice for a decade now, and haven't fallen in once.  Just take your time and look around, don't approach rocks and stuff sticking out of the ice, and resist the temptation to bounce over to look down my ice hole after I catch the first cutbow.  Bill

Thursday, December 3, 2015

First Ice! Volunteers needed

Okay, club members, there are reports of the first ice fishing of the season taking place at Lake John, which means places like Dowdy and North Michigan may also be in play.

Before we schedule a trip for someone like me, we need someone of reasonable heft to go walk around on the ice and see if it's safe.

Or, what the heck, we can plan a first trek of the season!  Any interest?  If someone wants to give it a try, or knows whether or not the lids are thick enough on lakes in the high country, let's talk about it at breakfast.

Meanwhile, here's a link to a useful Fish Explorer article on ice safety.

Bill P

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Fixing date: Bruce's Bar for lunch! Wednesday, Dec. 2

This a highlight of the Loveland Fishing Club social season, and for some reason even spouses relishes the trip to Severance

Drive on your own or (better) carpool fromr Orchard Shopping Center Southwest of King Sooper at 11:30 a.m.. Lunch at noon.  We'll be invading with a crowd of anglers and spouses, so let Norm Engelbrecht know you're coming so we can give them advance warning.  Specialty is all you can eat Rocky Mountain oysters, but they also have good burgers and fish and such for the more finicky among us.

To get there, take Harmony Road in Fort Collins east a few miles (becomes County Road 38E) to Severance.  Pretty hard to miss it from there.