Sunday, May 16, 2021

Idaho - Lake trout work in Stanley Lake resumes in 2021

 Lake trout work in Stanley Lake resumes in 2021 | Idaho Fish and Game

Project will remove some lake trout and replace them with sterile fish to maintain fishing opportunity

Idaho Fish and Game has contracted with a company to net lake trout in Stanley Lake for 10 days in early May to reduce their population and reduce risk to endangered sockeye salmon populations. After the netting, sterile lake trout will be restocked in the summer and fall to continue to provide anglers a lake trout fishery at Stanley Lake. This is the second year of a three-year project and is the first netting event of 2021.

Lake trout are mostly predatory fish that feed on smaller fish, such as kokanee salmon and young sockeye. In other lake and river systems across the West, lake trout have also migrated long distances and colonized connected lakes. Lake trout in Stanley Lake are currently reproducing, and therefore pose a risk to establishing populations in nearby waters.

Fish and Game fishery managers will restock sterile lake trout to maintain fishing opportunity while also reducing the risk of lake trout reproducing and colonizing nearby waters. Stocking sterile young lake trout will occur in the fall with fish from Fish and Game's Grace Fish Hatchery. To provide opportunity for larger fish, sterile adult lake trout will be transplanted from Bear Lake in Southeast Idaho in mid-June.

In 2017, Fish and Game formed an advisory committee made up of local anglers, fishing guides, business owners, US Forest Service staff, and Fish and Game biologists. Over the course of several meetings, the committee developed the Stanley Lake Fisheries Management Plan, which outlines steps to balance lake trout fishing opportunity with risk reduction to sockeye in the Upper Salmon River and Sawtooth Valley lakes.

Funding for the project was provided by a grant from the Pacific Coast Salmon Recovery Fund.

For more information about the project and the Stanley Lake Management Plan, call Greg Schoby or Kayden Estep at Fish and Game’s Salmon Regional Office (208) 756-2271.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Colorado - Lynx: Shadows of the Forest - a feature film released by Colorado Parks and Wildlife

 Here's one for adults and kids alike.

 

DENVER - A new film released Wednesday by Colorado Parks and Wildlife showcases the ‘Shadows of the Forest’ in Colorado’s high-elevation wilderness - the Canada lynx.

The film was published on CPW’s YouTube, Facebook and Instagram channels. It tells the story of lynx in Colorado and how the big-footed felines are representatives of wild values and the natural world. The film was produced by Sean Ender of Peak to Creek films.

Part of CPW’s mission is to take care of the native species in the state. Prior to Colorado’s reintroduction of lynx starting back in 1999, no other state or Canadian province had ever completed a successful lynx reintroduction.

Colorado declared the lynx reintroduction efforts a success in 2010 and this film tells the story of that history and the research and collaborative efforts taking place with the U.S. Forest Service to protect their habitats and study the species. 

"As a scientist, we're trained to spend our lives mired in details, trying to design the perfect sampling scheme or experiment, running some complicated analysis, and attempting to publish a paper in a prestigious scientific journal,” said Jake Ivan, Wildlife Research Scientist with CPW. “That is all well and good and serves an important purpose. What's lost in that cycle is the story our research has to tell.  

“In this video, Sean does a great job of capturing that story, and conveying it in a way that is interesting, informative and captivating. I hope people will enjoy this story and along the way maybe learn a bit about lynx, hares, forest management and the research effort that goes into trying to understand it all."

CPW is in charge of the management and monitoring of lynx in Colorado, but it is a species that lives in the national forest system. The U.S. Forest Service is really the ones providing the habitat for lynx and their primary food source, snowshoe hares.

Ender, owner of Peak to Creek films, captured some of the collaborative work taking place between CPW and the USFS. The film also showcases some of the facilitating science behind the research.

"I really enjoyed learning about the complexities and multiple layers of science at work to keep lynx on the landscape in Colorado,” Ender said. “When Jake first told me they can gather DNA from footprints in the snow I was shocked. Filming Doug tossing a giant snowball around to the point where he's left holding a lynx track was fascinating. It's really fun to capture moments like that in the field and share the cutting edge work CPW is doing to conserve a species they worked so hard to bring back."

On Thursday, a second film on lynx will also be published across the same channels. That one showcases exploratory movements lynx make across Colorado and beyond, and Ivan talks about the biology of the big-footed felines.

Want more on the Canada lynx, listen to our podcast episode featuring the species.

 


Friday, May 14, 2021

Wyoming - Wyoming Offers Interactive Fishing Guide

 CHEYENNE - Want to catch a kokanee? Or how about a golden trout? It’s easy and inspiring to plan all your fishing pursuits with a new interactive fishing guide from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. Explore the guide on the Game and Fish website. 


“The interactive fishing guide is useful for all anglers,” said Mark Smith, Game and Fish assistant fisheries management supervisor. “For the vast majority of people who want to plan a fishing trip, this tool will answer your top questions.”

Most anglers planning a Wyoming fishing trip want to know four pieces of information: where to go, the species of catchable fish, how to get to the water and what the public access is like. The interactive fishing guide answers all those questions with a few simple clicks. 

Users can search by the game fish species they wish to pursue and find corresponding destination waters. Conversely, anglers can search by water and find out what fish they could catch there. 

“This is a great feature for finding where just about any water in Wyoming is located,” Smith said. “And, it’s quick for anyone to find the simple information they need to get fishing.”

The key to using the interactive fishing guide is zooming in. When anglers drill down closer to a water, even more information is available such as roads, boat ramps, camping and rest areas. Walk-in fishing and public access areas are also visible by zooming. 

Smith says there are layers of information, so anglers can easily overlook all the details available to them. More information is available by clicking on the access areas, waters or map symbols. A pop-up will appear with details. 

“Always check for the arrow in the top right corner of the pop-up. If there’s an arrow, that means there’s further useful information to help you get to a water or plan your trip,” Smith said. 

Looking forward to the summer, Smith said he hopes this new tool expands people’s fishing options and encourages anglers to head to locales maybe they’ve only heard about.

“There are easily hundreds of places to fish in Wyoming. With this interactive guide, top-notch fishing is at your fingertips, and we’re looking forward to people venturing out and trying a few different locations,” Smith said. 

The interactive fishing guide is available on the Game and Fish fishing webpage. Resident youth under 14 don’t need a license to fish in Wyoming; nonresident youth under 14 don't either as long as they are with a licensed adult. Remember to review the current fishing regulations before casting a line.

 

(Sara DiRienzo, Public Information Officer - (sara.dirienzo@wyo.gov))

- WGFD -

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Kids Fishing Derby is page one news in Reporter Herald

Reporter and Fishing Club friend Pamela Johnson wrote a glowing report on the planned June 5 return of the derby:

"The Loveland Fishing Derby is returning after a one-year hiatus during the pandemic, giving youths the chance to learn about fishing and cast a line in the duck pond at North Lake Park.

The Loveland Police Department, Loveland Fishing Club, Colorado Youth Outdoors, Kiwanis Club and Colorado Parks and Wildlife will come together on June 5 — the day residents can fish without a license in Colorado — for the event that has been going on for decades. Following is a link to the complete article: https://www.reporterherald.com/2021/05/12/loveland-fishing-derby-returns-june-5-after-one-year-hiatus/ 

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Wyoming - Changes to camping at Grayrocks Reservoir Public Access Area

 LARAMIE -

Due to extensive resource damage and overcrowding issues, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department is changing camping rules at the popular Grayrocks Reservoir Public Access Area. Changes go into effect on May 15 and will enforced during the Memorial Day weekend.
 
Grayrocks Reservoir Public Access Area (PAA), located seven miles south of Guernsey and nine miles northeast of Wheatland along the Laramie River, is extremely popular with campers, especially around summer holidays. Its popularity has resulted in overcrowding and damages to vegetation from vehicles. To address these issues, the limit for overnight camping at Grayrocks Reservoir PAA will be reduced from seven days to five days.
 
“The change will help alleviate crowding while giving everyone a chance to camp in prime spots,” said Jerry Cowles, Game and Fish Laramie Region habitat and access supervisor. The areas where visitors can camp will also be redefined. Gate 9, which is the next gate east of the easternmost boat ramp, will be designated as a “No camping area.”  
 
“The area near Gate 9 has seen the most damage due to the vast amount of vehicle use,” Cowles said. “Also, the grounds provide crucial access to water for livestock, and we know they will not approach to drink when campers are present.” Signs will be installed on the Grayrocks property to alert campers of the changes and designated closed areas.
 
Grayrocks Reservoir supplies cooling water for the Laramie River Power Plant. Basin Electric Power Cooperative owns the reservoir and has a cooperative agreement with the Game and Fish to manage the property as a public access area. The department manages more than 200 public access areas across the state for fishing, hunting, camping and other recreational opportunities. These areas are maintained and funded through the purchase of hunting and fishing licenses.
 
“Game and Fish and the Basin Electric Power Cooperative and want to make Grayrocks PAA a safe place for all users, and these changes will improve the enjoyment for everyone,” Cowles said.
 
For more information, contact the Laramie Region Game and Fish Office at (307) 745-4046.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

After a year’s hiatus, the Loveland Kids Fishing Derby Returns!

Pandemic caused cancellation of last year’s derby, but volunteers led by Loveland Police are picking up where they left off, prepping for the June 5 event.

Look around all you want for signs of return to normalcy - I look no further than the decision to go ahead with the 2021 Loveland Kids Fishing Derby, an annual event that has been introducing youngsters to fishing for generations.


Club members, mark the date on your calendars. Your help will be much needed, appreciated and fun. e-mail Rick Golz for details on what kind of volunteer help is needed.


The free fishing derby for kids 15 and under will be held at the North Lake Park Duck Pond, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 5. It’s always on the first Saturday in June, a traditional free day of fishing across Colorado. Kids normally don’t have to have a license but their parents do, and this is very much intended as a family affair. The annual fishing derby had to be cancelled in 2020 because of the Covid-19 outbreak.


Loveland Police Officer Dave Sloat heads up planning for the derby, as he’s done for more than a decade. Rick Golz leads Loveland Fishing Club volunteers. The event is sponsored by Loveland Police, aided by the Loveland Fishing Club, Kiwanis International, Colorado Youth Outdoors and Colorado Parks and Wildlife, which drops hundreds of trout into the Duck Pond just before the derby. (In years past CPW volunteers have provided education on Colorado fishing laws and ethics). The fishing club handles registration, provides bait, loans tackle to anyone needing it, and runs free raffles and provides prizes for largest and smallest trout caught. 


As they’ve done for years, Kiwanis club volunteers will provide family priced food and drink, and Colorado Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 52 volunteers will hand out free kettle corn. Also, because the pond gets warm in summer, organizers really want the kids to keep the trout they catch. One of the most popular aspects of the derby is having volunteers clean and cook your fish for you right on the spot. 


No cost, but kids need to register 


Do it the day of the derby, before starting to fish. That qualifies you for the raffles and prizes. Registration areas will be located at the parking lot of Loveland High School on the east side of the pond, and at Shelter #2 in North Lake Park just west of the pond.


Again, the derby is free and if you lack tackle, just borrow some from fishing club volunteers when you get to the pond. You don’t need to be from Loveland, just be 15 or under. Parents, grandparents and older brothers and sisters are encouraged to help make this a family outing.


I for one have missed many things in the past year-plus, but I guess what I miss most are children. As part of the Loveland Fishing Club for nearly two decades now, I have literally been fortunate enough to take hundreds of northern Colorado kids fishing - at the derby, Girl Scouts at their annual festivals at Colorado Youth Outdoors’s Swift Ponds and Colorado Parks and Wildlife clinics at Boyd Lake and Lon Hagler. All were abruptly cancelled in 2020 because of this damnable pandemic. 


The Kids Derby is special. We’re not 100 percent certain how long it’s been a Loveland tradition, but it dates back to at least the Great Depression, and it’s been a tradition for generations of anglers. I can’t recall a derby when someone doesn’t approach with a story of how THEY caught their first fish, at the Loveland Kids Fishing Derby.


Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Angler of the Year dispute settled!

 Angler of the Year dispute settled! 

Like King Solomon pondering the fate of a Biblical newborn, Jim Roode has abruptly resolved the dispute between Bill Prater and Wayne Baranczyk over who caught an oversize grass carp by declaring it a draw:  Each will be credited with 14 inches worth of fish - or roughly 46.6666667 percent of the Colorado Master Angler criteria for the grass carp species.  

So, less than a week into the Angler of the Year contest, we now have two entries, but they're in a dead heat for last. Let’s have more reports!

We suppose half a fish
 is better than none!

Ok, Jim, Bill and Wayne admit to a bit of B.S.

So it turns out Bill really did foul-hook a handsome 28-inch grass carp on April 29, and Wayne really did get the fish into his tiny trout net long enough to flop it onto his float tube for a measurement. But the guys are kind of pulling the club’s collective leg about splitting the fish down the middle for Angler of the Year competition.

“That fish pulled Bill all over Bass Pond and back; I just pulled the fish onto my lap,” Wayne concedes. “Jim’s ruling stands, though: we are stuck with two Angler of the Year entries that add up to less than one Master Angler Award.

“So everyone just get out there and go fishing.”

The contest runs through year-end. Here are the rules again.

  • Eligible Fish - Any Fish caught in the state of Colorado that is listed on the Colorado Master Anglers List, in water available to all club members.

  • Winner is the fish which is the largest percentage of a Colorado Master Anglers fish. (Dan Barker was the club’s most recent winner, in 2019, with a 19 ¾-inch white bass, 116.2 percent of the Colorado Master Angler criteria for that species.) 

  • All Colorado Fishing regulations apply. Snagging not allowed except if the fish was accidentally snagged in the course of normal angling using commonly accepted angling procedures and equipment.

  • Entries must be submitted to the record keeper (currently Jim Roode) in writing within 30 days of the catch.      

  • Entries require picture or witness verification.

  • Fish caught on a Professional Guided trip do not qualify.

  • Entries will be allotted time at the Monthly Meeting to discuss their catch. Prizes will be awarded at the January general meeting.

Monday, May 3, 2021

Controversy Rocks Angler of the Year contest!

Claiming that he netted it, “so the fish by God was his,” Wayne Baranczyk has challenged Bill Prater’s claim to a 28-inch grass carp as the club’s first 2021 entry in the Angler of the Year contest. Wayne's protest has roiled the waters of a highly competitive but usually good natured annual contest.

Bill insists - and backs it up with photographs - that he hooked the gentle giant by its dorsal fin, and fought it to a standstill after a 45-minute battle that raged the length of the River’s Edge Bass Pond. But Wayne, with photos of his own, clearly landed the carp square in the middle of his float tube. “Besides," Wayne noted, "Bill snagged the damned thing.”  (See the earlier article, "Prater submits first Angler of the Year candidate")

Photo by Bill Prater

Jim Roode, contest manager, has taken the controversy under advisement. But he concedes that “contest rules don’t directly address the question of landing nets. Snagging, though, is permitted under club rules. But who would have thought, though, that two fishing buddies would threaten to foul hook one another over a darned fish?Jim promises a resolution to the quarrel no later than Wednesday. Stay tuned.

Prater submits first Angler of the Year candidate - a 28-inch carp!

 The Angler of the Year competition has its first entry - Bill Prater’s 28-inch grass carp, released back into Bass Pond not longer after the club’s breakfast Friday, April 29. As Bill reported: “Okay, if you needed proof that Nanofil is tough stuff, know that I just hauled out a 28-inch grass carp from Bass Pond that I foul hooked with my ultralight rig set up with 4-pound test monofil and a 4-pound fluorocarbon leader - attached to a 1/32-oz jighead tipped with a 1-inch Gulp minnow. If you look at the attached photo, you can see the little jighead still holding on…”

Bill reports the monster “took off and stripped almost all my 150 yards of line and dragged me all over the damned place before Wayne got a look at it and yelled, ‘You hooked him on the dorsal fin!’ I never did get him into my tube, but finally dragged him over next to Wayne (Baranczyk) and he netted him for me. The little jighead was all bent up, but firmly attached to the fin.”

The fish measured 93.333 percent of the Colorado Master Angler criteria for its species.

Photo of Bill's fish by Wayne Baranczyk

Entries will be accepted through Dec. 31, with the Angler of the Year award presented at the club’s January meeting.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

After a covid-delayed start, 2021 Angler of the Year Competition begins!

Jim Roode, record keeper of the club’s Angler of the Year contest, has announced the rules for this year’s tourney, which runs through year-end, Dec. 31. Pins and/or patches or plaques will be awarded for first, second and third place entries, to be presented at the club’s annual banquet in January. The first-place winner’s name will be placed on a permanent plaque. 

Here are the rules: 

  • Eligible Fish - Any Fish caught in the state of Colorado that is listed on the Colorado Master Anglers List.

  • Winner is the fish which is the largest percentage of a Colorado Master Anglers fish. (For example, Dan Barker was the club’s most recent winner, back in 2019, with a 19 ¾-inch white bass, 116.2 percent of the Colorado Master Angler criteria for that species.) 

  • All Colorado Fishing regulations apply. Snagging not allowed except if the fish was accidentally snagged in the course of normal angling using commonly accepted angling procedures and equipment.

  • Entries must be submitted to the record keeper (currently Jim) in writing within 30 days of the catch.      

  • Entries require picture or witness verification.

  • Fish caught on a Professional Guided trip do not qualify, and must be from publicly accessible water.

  • Entries will be allotted time at the Monthly Meeting to discuss their catch. 

  • Prizes will be awarded at the January club meeting.