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Lake: Johnson Reservoir

Kids bowfishing. Is it legal at Johnson?

Post By: ColoradoOutdoorsman      Posted: 4/25/2015 10:23:14 PM     Points: 821    
Saw some kids bowfishing Johnson today. They were about 12-14 years old. I told them I'm pretty sure it's illegal there and that maybe they should try chatfield. They didn't end up shooting any but they told me that there wasn't anything saying that you couldn't bowfish there however it's in the middle of town so I'm pretty sure I made the right call.
 Reply by: River_FlyFisher      Posted: 4/26/2015 12:33:27 AM     Points: 3128
Do you mean Johnston reservoir at Clement Park in Littleton? If so -

There's nothing illegal about shooting a bow in that part of Jefferson County to the best of my knowledge (first, it is unincorporated Jeffco, and second, a bow is not a firearm). However, that lake is under the jurisdiction of Foothills Park & Rec, so ultimately they would make the call on bowfishing. I would note that the rules here: do not specifically outlaw that method of take for Carp, so I would think that they were within their rights.
 Reply by: spicyhombre      Posted: 4/26/2015 8:24:28 AM     Points: 6461
Now you have given away the location of that 10.5# LMB. Expect a ton of people hitting it! Lol
 Reply by: ColoradoOutdoorsman      Posted: 4/26/2015 8:59:43 AM     Points: 821
Thanks riverflyfisher I'll have to look into it more and spicy that's actually not where I caught it lol I was lake hopping a lot yesterday
 Reply by: cookster      Posted: 4/26/2015 9:48:12 AM     Points: 65623
Sounds like the kids did their homework. Good for them.
 Reply by: phidoux      Posted: 4/26/2015 8:02:24 PM     Points: 9000
Not only for doing their homework but for getting away from the computer and into the outdoors.
 Reply by: Ajax5240      Posted: 4/26/2015 8:03:34 PM     Points: 37332
X2!!! ^^^^^^^^^^
 Reply by: esoxrocks      Posted: 4/26/2015 9:06:09 PM     Points: 2521
Certainly tons of carp in that lake in need of thinning out (dynamite would be good) but I'd be surprised if there aren't regs against shooting a bow in an area that has hundreds of joggers, walkers, moms with strollers, kids running around, etc. ...maybe not
 Reply by: ColoradoOutdoorsman      Posted: 4/26/2015 10:05:01 PM     Points: 821
Yeah it's not like it's a huge deal because they're just kids I must didn't want the rangers to get on their case. Heck I might have to give it a try with the bow there. Really want to get one with the fly rod but they're spooky.
 Reply by: flytyr      Posted: 4/27/2015 10:19:45 AM     Points: 241
I emailed the Foothills Park & Recreation District and here is their reply:

Thank you for your comments. Under our park rules, we do not allow any projectiles in the park. We would consider bows and arrows a projectile. We do not have staff with enforcement powers and rely on Jefferson County Sheriffs Department for their assistance.

This is from our website:

•Parks Open 5:00am - 11:00pm
•Please Leash and Clean Up After Pets
•Motorized Vehicles Prohibited
including Motorcycles, Go-Carts, Go-peds
•No Dumping or Littering
•Alcoholic Beverages Prohibited
•Glass Containers Prohibited
•Golfing Prohibited
•Charcoal Fires in Grills Only
•Firearms and Fireworks Prohibited
•No Rockets or Remote Control Toys
•No Paintballs or Projectiles
•No Horses on irrigated Turf
•All State and Local Statutes Apply

The following rules have been officially adopted, or generally accepted for all park sites.
•No Hunting or Harassing Wildlife.
•No Swimming
•No permanent structures will be placed or constructed on Foothills park lands without the approval of the Board of Directors. In addition, any permanent structure approved by the Board of Directors becomes the sole property of the District.
•During the winter, Foothills prohibits contact with the ice on our ponds and lakes at all our parks and golf courses.

Special Rules
Fishing is allowed at the following ponds and/or lakes:
(Ice fishing is prohibited)
•Harriman Lake - Harriman Lake Park
•Johnston Reservoir - Clement Park
•Hine Lake - Easton Regional Park
•Beers Sisters - Blue Heron Park Reservoir
•Wingate South Pond - Wingate South Park

Please note:
All Colorado Division of Wildlife Rules and Regulations apply:
•Waders, Belly Boats, Boats are prohibited
•Contact with the water is prohibited at all parks.
•Ice Fishing - Ice fishing is prohibited on all Foothills ponds and lakes.
•Clement Park 3.2% alcohol is allowed.

 Reply by: ColoradoDad      Posted: 4/27/2015 10:31:59 AM     Points: 4578
Most townships & municipalities (not all) do have written into their code that it is unlawful to discharge any 'weapon' in a public area within city limits. I am not sure if this applies to Johnson, but I have checked on other cities like Aurora, Thornton, Denver, Lakewood all have that provision.
 Reply by: River_FlyFisher      Posted: 4/28/2015 12:14:48 AM     Points: 3128
"Projectiles"... LOL. I missed that one. Don't go throwing a rock or snowball! Technically by that classification, you can't throw a baseball or football within "their" parks either. Whatever.

I guess that finalizes it. Could likely argue that an arrow with a string attached technically isn't a "projectile" since it is always connected to the bow. It's very likely that one could get away with bowfishing there until being asked by an officer to stop. If you're not a jerk to the officer, it seems pretty likely that you'll just get a warning the first time.

ColoradoDad, you are close. In most of the legalese, it is called a "firearm", and not a "weapon" (weapon is too general a term). Thusly, a bow is not a firearm, and neither is an air rifle for that matter, and both are legal to "shoot" within most metro cities so long as the "projectile" does not leave your property. Some cities do specifically exclude them, however.

In the case of Johnston Res., it is not within any city limit, thus falling under the jurisdiction of unincorporated Jeffco, with law enforcement by Jeffco Sheriff (I believe the same is true for all of the Foothills Parks lakes which allow fishing).

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