Miramonte: A look at the Facts, part 2
by: Joe Lewandowski 8/8/2012
What will happen to the crayfish at Miramonte?
Crayfish are much less susceptible to Rotenone than fish. The planned treatment level is expected to have no effect at all on crayfish. They will survive the treatment. There will be some impact to the crayfish population of the lake because of the planned 10-15 ft drawdown that will de-water some crayfish habitat. But we expect them to rebound quickly. A primary management goal of Parks and Wildlife for Miramonte is to preserve the excellent crayfishing opportunity that draws anglers from around the state.
Isn't poisoning the lake a huge waste of money?
Parks and Wildlife would much rather spend $100,000 and use staff time on other projects. Sportsmen's dollars could be put to much better use. But this project, for all the reasons that we've stated is important and must be completed.
When will trout fishing begin again?
Preparing for this type of project takes a lot of planning. Tentatively, the project is scheduled for late next summer, 2013. So fishing will continue until a few days before the treatment begins. Prior to the treatment bag and possession limits will be removed for trout.
After the treatment is completed, biologists will monitor water quality. As soon as the water is deemed safe for trout survival -- hopefully by early fall -- the reservoir will be stocked with catchables to provide immediate fishing opportunity. Fingerlings will also be stocked and will grow to catchable size by the summer of 2015.
Couldn't someone else just dump SMB in the water again?
Certainly. But we know that Miramonte is frequented by a loyal and dedicated group of trout anglers. We believe that is the best deterrent to prevent this from happening again. If you or anyone else sees suspicious activity around or in the water, immediately contact the Parks and Wildlife office in Montrose at 970-252-6000, or Operation Game Thief at 1-877-265-6648. Tips can be made anonymously.
The bottom line:
Fisheries management in Colorado reservoirs is complex. Water quality and temperatures vary widely across the state, and water levels usually fluctuate substantially because of irrigation demands. What works in Pueblo Reservoir in the east does not work in high reservoirs west of the Continental Divide. Consequently, fish species management must necessarily vary by location. If four or five different species were added to every reservoir, the quality of the fishing in most of those reservoirs would be poor. Fish would not grow to a good size, or the water would eventually be dominated by one species. Most Colorado anglers know of reservoirs where that type of situation exists. Catchable trout are stocked in reservoirs throughout Colorado. But growing trout to catchable size in hatcheries is expensive and capacity is limited. The beauty of Miramonte Reservoir is that it can be stocked with small fingerlings that are inexpensive to produce, that grow quickly and that provide quality, sustainable fishing for anglers of all ages.
For Colorado Parks and Wildlife many factors must be considered for this type of project -- and the issues are always considered very seriously. A primary concern is deciding what will best serve Colorado's sportsmen and sportswomen. The agency would much rather not take on this type of project.
Our role, however, is to provide leadership on critical resource decisions – even when those decisions are not popular.
Blog content © Joe Lewandowski
MathGeek, CO 8/8/2012 7:19:20 PM
Joe, It would be hard to thank you enough for providing such a careful and well reasoned explanation. I appreciate the time and effort required to craft such a fine reply to the points raised in the discussion forums. My family and I appreciate how well the fisheries and parks in Colorado are managed.
moosegoose, CO 8/8/2012 9:32:38 PM
I am sure some tough calls had to be made. Thank you for taking the time to explain all of that.
crankn101, CO 8/8/2012 10:44:56 PM
"Bass are not suited to a high-elevation reservoir that maintains cold water temperatures. "
" Bass are prolific spawners and can quickly invade suitable habitat. "
brookieflyfisher, CO 8/8/2012 10:59:41 PM
crankn101- you're missing the point. They are able to breed, but breeding success does not translate to growth success, which was explained. They can breed but they won't provide a good fishery.
crankn101, CO 8/8/2012 11:36:53 PM
Here try this kool aid...
brookieflyfisher, CO 8/8/2012 11:41:00 PM
Dangly, CO 8/9/2012 7:05:57 AM
sigh..... " Our role, however, is to provide leadership on critical resource decisions – even when those decisions are not popular."
How about when they are a waste of money and unpopular with the people who pay for it? Or is it just or job to shut up and pick up the tab?
Just try listening to us once, if we are wrong we are wrong, but we will be wrong with OUR money, not yours.
NoNick, CO 8/9/2012 7:44:17 AM
Someone mentioned Utah's management of SMB in non-native areas in one of the threads. There is no limit, and it's illegal to throw them back. Why is this not an option?
How much TOTAL is being wasted here? I'm talking local revenue, CPW's 100K, trout that cost money to be stocked getting wiped out, etc..Like Dangly said, it's easy to waste taxpayer's money.
Dangly, CO 8/9/2012 7:52:20 AM
The argument about growing season is a sham- so your saying that the growing season is shorter here than in canadian shield where SMB grow to trophy size? please.
Dangly, CO 8/9/2012 11:03:10 AM
BTW i have yet to see a "fact" in either post.
skb2706, CO 8/9/2012 12:10:34 PM
The facts don't start til part 3.
tbblom, CO 8/9/2012 2:22:25 PM
I wrote a comment on the 'response' thread as well. The main idea though is:
Why rush to conclusions about the fish populations?
Would it hurt to wait 5 years to actually see if devastation occurs? (I know they are worried about fish getting into the river below. but how likely, ie facts?)
If in 5 years the fishery sucks, can't we just poison it then? (ie give it a chance and see how things go!)
Poisoning a whole lake seems extreme (dead predators/birds also). Sediments do trap toxins, but ever heard of bioturbation? ie carp, worms, and crayfish.
I think no limit, no release of SMB's could help.
How many anglers, just based on gut instinct alone, really want to eat fish from a lake that was poisoned?
Encourage volunteer days to remove SMB's via netting/electro
Encourage volunteer stewardship, ie lake host as you would find at a camp.
Stock a few monster trout to prey upon small SMBs.
Monitor Small mouth population over 5 years (utilizing volunteers if available). Encourage catch and keep of all SMB's.
If the fishery fails after 5 years to be a good 'trout' fishery, commit to a more extreme method such as poisoning.
People obviously have strong opinions on the topic. I think there are many people that would volunteer hours to offset the overall cost.
twhart, CO 8/9/2012 5:24:39 PM
Tbblom, I doubt the morons who created this problem or anybody else who wants SMB in Miramonte will abide by a no release regulation for SMB. LIkewise, an angler education/outreach attempt to promote SMB harvest will have no effect on those who want it to be a smallmouth fishery.
brookieflyfisher, CO 8/9/2012 6:24:19 PM
Dangly, you forget that these Canadian Shield lakes have very little pressure which allows these fish to grow to trophy size. And believe it or not the growing season in the Canadian Shield is longer and the water gets warmer than a lake at 7,500+ I was just up that way. Also I agree with Twhart. Plus I think a no-release policy is only a good idea in places where the lake can't be poisoned. And keep in mind this poison isn't something like DDT. Rotenone is naturally-derived and kills fish by suffocation by removing oxygen from the water, and then degrades within 48 hours. That's key. That means that if anything decides to eat the dead fish there's no poison to be passed along. Even if there was poison passed along it wouldn't affect the predator. It's not like a cyanide or whatever.
Dangly, CO 8/10/2012 5:56:31 AM
huh, north end of boundry waters only gets up to 60-65 degrees, miramonte does'nt hit that?
Mr.Pink, CO 8/10/2012 2:20:20 PM
crankn101, you really have no clue what you're talking about. we get it. You like bass. Your preferences don't change reality.
Mr.Pink, CO 8/10/2012 2:26:36 PM
I'd love someone to post a photo of a world-class bass caught in Colorado. No, the major trout species caught here aren't native, but the reach world-class size. When was the last time a 20+ lb brown was caught in native bass waters? This may come as a surprise to some, but 10+ lb trout are caught in Colorado all the time.
Those who think bass should be everywhere they can breed are really poor conservationists and have little understanding of sustainable management. If you want trophy bass waters so badly, then maybe move to where it makes sense to mangage waters to that end.
badcoyotee, CO 8/11/2012 7:22:16 PM
So... are you gonna pull up the Miramonte threads and posts on this site and comment? Or leave me dangling in the breeze as one of the biggest CPW supporters in this state?
My words and opinions on recent threads speak for themselves.