Wednesday, July 6, 2011

They've lifted bag limits at Lake John

WALDEN, Colo. – Colorado Parks and Wildlife (note the new name for DOW) has temporarily lifted all bag and possession limits at Lake John prior to the start of a reclamation project scheduled for this summer. Through August 8, anglers with a current fishing license can keep as many fish as they can catch using hook, line and conventional tackle at the North Park lake. Lake John is located northwest of Walden along CO Road 7A.

Parks and Wildlife biologists will draw down five feet of water to facilitate the project, which will also include repairs of a fish screen placed at an inlet. Damage to the screen in the early 1990's, allowed white suckers to enter and populate the lake. Recent fish surveys indicate that suckers, which now comprise 72 percent of all fish in the lake, are negatively impacting the trout population and compromising the lake's role as a destination fishery.

"Lake John is not currently living up to its full potential as one of the best trout fisheries in the state," said Kurt Davies, aquatic biologist for the northeast region. "This project will quickly turn that around and within a few weeks we will get the lake back on the right track with a stock of catchable-size and large brood fish."

The lake will be closed on August 8, and treatment to remove all fish will occur on August 9. The usual bag and possession limits will be reinstated the day of treatment. Fishing, however, will not be allowed until water testing has been completed and the lake is re-filled and stocked with trout - including extra-large brood stock - in early September.

Although still considered a premier trout fishery, Parks and Wildlife biologists and managers anticipate dramatic improvements after the project is completed.

"We should see a substantial improvement for anglers," said Walden District Wildlife Manager Josh Dilley. "Currently, we are seeing approximately seven percent of stocked trout being caught, but we anticipate an increase of up to 20 to 25 percent after the project has been completed."
Bag and possession limits remain in effect for all other lakes throughout the state, including the daily bag limit of four trout per person.

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