Thursday, February 20, 2020

Fishful Thinker on trout fishing at Steamboat Lake

Those of us who rely on Comcast have been annoyingly blocked from getting Chad LaChance's Fishful Thinker show because of a dispute between the Altitude Channel and the cable television provider.

Chad's been posting some of his stuff on YouTube, and he just added a show about fishing for Steamboat Lake trout that makes me yearn for warmer weather.
Anyway, here's a link to the program. So, who else wants to go?

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

How to help prevent drowning

The following was a handout for the club's recent CPR training and includes good information on drowning prevention.

First Aid Management of Drowning
Drowning is defined as respiratory impairment following submersion or immersion in fluid media – almost all include drowning in water.
Cause of drowning may be either intentional or accidental and it is one of the commonest causes of injurious deaths in developing countries. Drowning is common among males in comparison to females, as well as among younger age groups compared to elderly.
More than half of drowning cases take place in rivers, lakes and swimming pools than sea. It is to be noted that a deep place is not a necessity when comes to drowning, this happens specially when other factors like alcohol intoxication is operational; you can drown in your own bathtub.

Mechanism of death in drowning victim:

  1. Immersion deaths (sometimes can die in water by aspiration of water only up to the level of the larynx, here the amount of water entering to deep lung tissue is no or minimal. This is called as dry drowning. The mechanism could be laryngeal spasm, vagal inhibition or hypothermia.)
  2. Drowning deaths (these are due to aspiration of fluid beyond the larynx up to the distal part of the lung tissue. The mechanism could be mechanically induced cerebral hypoxia due to respiratory tract obstruction by the fluid. This is called wet drowning.)First Aid Management of Drowning
  3. Natural illness before or after entering to water (can fall in to water following myocardial infarction/heart attack or due to struggle in water to survive can precipitate pre-existing myocardial infarction.)
  4. Injuries received before or after entering to water. (e.g. thrown into a body of water following motor vehicle accident)
  5. In a near-drowning case damage to the delicate lung tissue caused by water, sand, mud etc. can later cause collapse of alveoli leading to adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) which can be fatal.
  6. Animal predation ( although not true drowning; crocodiles, sharks can cause serious injuries)

Pathophysiology of drowning:

  • Wet-drowning: – lungs are not adapted to extract oxygen from water/fluids. Therefore when water enter into the airways it cause mechanical obstruction of airways leading to absent O2 transfer to blood, causing hypoxia and death.
  • Dry-drowning: – when water suddenly hits larynx it can go into spasm totally obstructing the airway leading to hypoxia without any water entering lung. In some sensitive individuals sudden gush of water (cold) onto larynx can lead to extreme vagal nerve discharge causing the heart to stop suddenly.

First aid Management:

  1. Ensure safety of yourself and others.
  2. Remove the patient safely from the water. Do not attempt swimming rescue if you are not competent in swimming rescues.
  3. Call for life guards and emergency services.
  4. Check the patency of airway, turn patient to lateral side allowing the water to clear out from the upper airway. Remove any mud, dentures etc.
  5. Check for breathing by feeling respiratory air, looking for the chest movement and listing for breath sounds. In the same time check for pulse also.
  6. If the victim is conscious coughing and vomiting water keep him on lateral position to prevent further aspiration and reassure the victim.
  7. If unconscious and not breathing, open up the airway by head tilt and chin lift maneuvers and start rescue breathing.
  8. Close and seal the victim’s nostrils by your fingers, take a good breath, place your mouth on victims mouth and blow as hard as possible
  9. Repeat this method every five to six seconds.
  10. If you are not comfortable with direct mouth to mouth bleeding use a handkerchief.  But this method is not efficient as direct mouth to mouth blowing.
  11. If the person regains consciousness and starts breathing, turn him to lateral side and keep monitoring.
  12. If the pulse is also absent initially start CPR instead.
  13. Remove wet clothing and cover with dry warm cloth to prevent hypothermia.
  14. Attend to other injuries if present (e.g. bleeding following animal bites).
Following a near-drowning incident, admit the patient to the hospital even he looks completely well. Victim may develop difficulty in breathing sometime after due to ARDS.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Next months General Meeting on March 17th is at Swift Ponds (Colorado Youth Outdoors)

Next months General Meeting on March 17th is at Swift Ponds (Colorado Youth Outdoors). Chilson's Senior Center is unable to host due to a large celebration. Meeting time will be the same as usual at 2:00 PM.

Club trip to Lake John planned June 2-5

A four-day outing at some of northern Colorado's best big-fish waters is planned for Tuesday, June 2 through June 5.

Jim Visger is coordinating the trip; you can contact him at 970-800-3399.

Lodging is available at the Lake John Resort, including four cabins and an RV park with full hookups and drive-through sites. Cabins have kitchenettes and there are fire rings and tables at the campsites. For more information, click here.

There are also motels in nearby Walden and free state camping around the lake on a first-come basis.

Lake John is known for big rainbows, and bait fishing is allowed along with fly and spin fishing from the shore or boats and personal watercraft. You can also fish for rainbows, browns, cutthroat and cutbows at the nearby Delaney Butte lakes, Gold Medal waters with fly and lure only restrictions.

Dues due! No later than April 1, please

Annual dues are $25 for an individual, $30 for a couple. If you haven't paid for 2020 yet, please remit to Barb Ding as soon as possible.

Anyone not paid up by April 1 will be dropped from the club roster.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Christmas trees bound for the bottom of a fishing pond

A band of Loveland Fishing Club volunteers along with Regional Colorado Parks and Wildlife Biologist Kyle Battege and Matt Snider of  prepared some Christmas tree fish habitat for Bluegill Pond in the Fort Collins Riverbend Ponds Natural area Tuesday. It's the start of what we hope will be a series of projects with Natural Areas Biologist Aran Meyer to improve fish habitat in the natural areas' ponds.

Here's a link to a CPW posting by Kyle:  

Sunday, February 9, 2020

CPR training is 9 to 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 13

Twenty club members have signed up for the two-hour CPR training session at the Chilsen Center. Cost of the class is being covered by the club. For more information contact Ray Park,

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Wyoming Game & Fish Explains How Stream Trout Survive Winter 

Winter is an especially hard time for most wildlife. It gets really cold, the wind blows a bit more, there’s often snow covering the ground, and ice forms on streams and lakes. Wildlife that we’re used to seeing in the summer has to adapt if they’re going to survive. Some animals like deer and coyotes grow extra heavy winter coats. Grizzly bears find sheltered areas like caves to crawl into and hibernate. Geese, ducks, and a host of other birds migrate to warmer climates.

But did you ever wonder what fish do? Fish in lakes don’t have many options aside from moving to deeper water. Fish in streams and rivers have a whole different set of challenges to deal with because of the wide range of habitat types in a river. Their survival depends almost entirely on how, when, and where ice forms.

Ice usually forms across an entire stream in late fall and gets covered with snow. This is an ideal situation for fish to survive the winter because they’re safe from predators and harsh weather conditions. Fish move to areas where the stream is flowing slow and deep – like pools or underneath stream banks. Because there’s snow on the ice blocking sunlight, fish do not move around much to try and eat during the winter. That’s ok, because there’s not much to feed on in winter and fish can live on their energy reserves for up to 5 months. Aquatic insects tend to hatch in the fall and are too small for fish to filter out of the water until the following summer.

While ice can be good for fish if it’s a solid cap on streams, other kinds of ice can be their worst enemy. Before streams freeze over in the fall, in the spring just after ice-out, or during any warm spell that causes the ice to melt, sudden cold weather can cause the stream to form slush ice. For fish, slush ice is like a huge dust storm to you and me. As it floats downstream, the ice can clog the gills of fish that can’t get out of its way. Some fish move to shallow areas along the bank where slush ice may not flow. Others go to deep pools where the slush ice usually floats over top. But all too often, the fish that move to the shore get caught and eaten by mink that hunt for food along stream margins all winter. Small fish that move into deep pools can be eaten by bigger fish that live there.

We often don’t think about fish, but the fact is winter is an especially tough time for them. We also tend to forget that the things people do with water that affect ice formation can have a big impact on fish. Game and Fish biologists work with water managers and dam operators around the state to keep the flow in rivers stable during the winter and help streams and rivers ice over. Doing that is good for fish as well as the people who like to catch them.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Birders among us should know about this...

With the freezing and thawing of ice around here, bald eagles have been spotted frequently on area ponds and lakes, likely taking advantage of shad dieoff.

Hard to match this report though:  Channel 9 News reports 116 bald eagles were counted in a five-minute period at Barr Lake State Park Monday.  Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) says 53 of the bald eagles counted Monday morning were adults, and 63 were immature.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Colorado Walleye Association holding Expo April 4

The Colorado Walleye Association is planning an ambitious spring day devoted to that species, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 4 at the Adams County Fairgrounds near Brighton.

Click here for a link to the website.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Don't pack up your spinning gear just because it's snowing

As a Midwesterner who migrated to northern Colorado four decades ago, I eventually embraced ice fishing, but still can’t make it through the winter without longing to make an occasional good, long cast and retrieve. You do have to work for open water, deep winter fishing opportunities around here, but they are possible and can be terrific. You just have to use whatever Mother Nature is willing to give you from December through March, and be prepared for an occasional skunk.

We're not talking spring high country ice-off here, but "right in the heart of winter" fishing with spinning gear. We can talk later about ice fishing or fly fishing in tailwaters; we’re concentrating now on using spinning gear to fool a trout in temporarily unfrozen, still water lakes and ponds. Some of you are probably whizzes at getting warm water species to bite in the winter around here, and I dimly recall succeeding occasionally in places like Illinois and Missouri. But my favorite quarry is the same species most of us are after while ice fishing:  trout. You can choose to believe all those Southern Good Old Boy professional fishing shows about wintertime bass fishing. But to me they rely on techniques, water temperatures and a climate unlike anything around here. High altitude and frigid nights are the main culprits. You live here, you learn to fish in the cold.

It took me years to appreciate the virtues of the West’s cold water species -- after retirement, really, before realizing that trout have a unique metabolism that can extend your fishing season tremendously. A slow learner, it took me years to learn that trout don’t go dormant from late fall to early spring, and in fact prefer  icy places to chase bugs and minnows. In my defense, most anglers around here hang up their rods with the arrival of cold, not to emerge until dogwoods are in bloom.

Except for big, deep lakes like Carter and Horsetooth, most slack waters in northeastern Colorado develop an ice cap, sometimes but not always thick enough to stand on and drill into. Those wide open lakes do hold opportunities. But to me, at least, their fish seem scattered and hard to locate, especially in these days of aquatic nuisance inspectors, when we can’t narrow our search by launching motor boats in the “off season.” So I much prefer smaller bodies of water in winter, mostly former sand and gravel ponds, ones where at least some of the ice cap occasionally melts around the edges. Yeah, most are covered most of the winter with ice of varying thickness, and most aren’t stocked with trout. But some of them are.

Here’s where our sport parallels hunting: if you want to fish open water in February, you usually have to really search to find a big enough hole in the ice. Start in places where you found fish in spring and fall; just don't expect to find them everywhere. Speculate on places where some open water may be deeper than the water around it, and where the water might catch more warmth from the sun. Don’t just look at one or two ponds, either. An east, west or north side of a body of water may open enough to be fishable one day and inexplicably ice-capped the next. And one pond may be open, but the one next to it, probably the one stocked in the fall, may be socked in for the season. Remember that a stout chinook wind freezes hands and butts, but it can also alter the fishing equation by opening up opportunities. So watch for warming trends and sunny skies.
A nice rainbow from (briefly) open local water on Groundhog Day.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife stocks hundreds of lakes and ponds each spring and fall. Some are specifically intended to create ice fishing opportunities; others are meant to provide fishing in spring and summer. When they decide where to stock, I don’t think our biologist friends give much thought to an angler seeking open water in January, but their fish are in there somewhere, and sometimes willing to eat, big ones just as likely as the newly stocked.

Watch the sky and the weather forecasts, and dress warmly, giving special thought to how you’re going to keep your ears and hands warm. You may find fish aren’t hugging the usual spots reachable by a cast from shore. Move around often, remember that your prey are also on the prowl, and try to guess where the water may be warmest. Just as they do in other seasons, most trout remain on the move. Look for humps and dips, and what's left of good weed beds. And you don’t have to limit yourself to bank fishing. Your float tube works just as well in the winter as summer, if you keep it pumped up, and honest, fishing with your feet in the water is not as cold as it sounds. Remember, the water may be warmer than the air above it. Take along a towel to help keep your hands dry.

I am not one to fish Power Bait or other bottom baits, but I suppose they’ll work. Use barbless hooks, smaller baits than in other seasons, fished more slowly, and treat your catch as gently as you would the rest of the year. Though trout remain quite active, they’re still cold blooded, and won’t chase baits as quickly as they will in spring. Use light line, a sensitive rod and a small jig fished slowly up and down the water column.  Above all, move your favorite bait as slowly as possible. You can always speed up.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Groundhog's Day rainbows

With temperatures soaring into the 70's Sunday, the rainbows were on the hunt.

Wayne Baranczyk caught this fat 19-incher on a remote, little known, seldom discussed pond near Loveland, and Bill Prater landed an obese, personal best 26-inch rainbow.