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Post By: PikeMartin      Posted: 8/12/2017 9:37:14 PM     Points: 215    
So a month a go I caught a Master Angler Pike at Williams Fork Reservoir. I sent off the MA paperwork and today received a letter from Parks and Wildlife.

The letter stated I'm not eligible to receive the MA reward. Awards for Pike are not given to any fish caught east of the divide unless its kept (I released mine). This is such garbage considering Williams Fork is the only lake in the state that protects like (Slot 27-34). WHAT A JOKE
 Reply by: Pathway      Posted: 8/12/2017 9:46:14 PM     Points: 528    
yes, CPW fisheries management is a joke.
 Reply by: Goosehunter82      Posted: 8/12/2017 10:05:48 PM     Points: 33297    
You know that you caught it. And congrats. Who cares about the piece of paper. It's the memory that counts!
 Reply by: skiman      Posted: 8/12/2017 11:01:30 PM     Points: 1301    
I agree with Goose, you know you caught it, and I hope you took a couple of pics to remember the experience.
What I don't agree with is that Colorado fish management is a joke! Difficult to accept and understand perhaps, but definitely not a joke.
 Reply by: pikeNcolorado      Posted: 8/13/2017 6:57:41 AM     Points: 16309    
Pikemartin, Williams Fork is West of the Divide so they need to get their story straight. Never heard of this rule but I am going to look into it. Congrats on the fish.
 Reply by: PikeMartin      Posted: 8/13/2017 7:48:37 AM     Points: 215    
My fault it did say West of the divide. It's not that I'm upset about not getting the MA I just think it's BS as Williams Fork protects Pike.
 Reply by: bratfish      Posted: 8/13/2017 8:10:13 AM     Points: 1090    
yep. it's ridiculous here. people protect bait here vs quality fish. smdh.
 Reply by: brookieflyfisher      Posted: 8/13/2017 10:12:37 AM     Points: 6137    
The trolling must be pretty slow at willies if you have to come here to get a few bites...
 Reply by: skiman      Posted: 8/13/2017 12:05:28 PM     Points: 1301    
Your post implies you were not aware of the rules regarding Master Angler award for pike in all waters west of the Continental Divide, when the application brochure clearly states that pike and smallmouth bass need to be harvested for this award. This is due to the illegal introduction of these species in many western slope waters, and the issues they are creating for other species of fish. You need to be better acquainted with the requirements for the MA award in the bodies of water you fish.
 Reply by: Luke the Dog      Posted: 8/13/2017 12:06:22 PM     Points: 34    
Wow, an adult having a tantrum about not getting a slip of paper for a fish he caught? In my opinion the MA program should ONLY be for kids under 18...
 Reply by: PikeMartin      Posted: 8/13/2017 12:32:19 PM     Points: 215    
I could care less about the award. I clearly stated the issue I have is why it wouldn't count in a body of water that protects Pike. It's the only body of water in the state that does.
 Reply by: Fishing Info      Posted: 8/13/2017 2:55:22 PM     Points: 17    
Congrats, Luke the dog has probably never caught a MA so he's just jealous. CDOW hates pike and it's really disappointing. I really would like to have a few places that produce good consistent numbers and sized northerns. I've been to the fork and know you have to put in the time to get one let alone a MA.
 Reply by: Swigs      Posted: 8/13/2017 8:34:53 PM     Points: 1686    
Rules for a MA fish award, pretty straight forward. Fish management is not squarely on the backs of CPW, anglers play a significant role as well, such is the case here.

Nevada fish management, not a joke either in my opinion:

[log in for link]
 Reply by: team FMFO      Posted: 8/13/2017 8:40:23 PM     Points: 3334    
Skiman has it dead on , ENOUGH said !
 Reply by: jig head      Posted: 8/13/2017 9:03:18 PM     Points: 676    
Skiman..what issues are they creating for other fish? I'm tired of the negativity towards pike and other fish ( small mouth, lake trout and walleye).
It seems like it's either the that the CPW gets alot of government funding to protect native species, or people think that and over react about pike and other fish will depleat the trout population, (also non native and eat other fish).
If it's about trout, (and it wasn't mentioned, but assumed) think about lakes with pike, Lakers, bass, or walleye in them. Almost all of these locations have a healthy ballance, and good fishing for all species. (11mile, spinney, stagecoach, Granby, williamsfork, elkhead, and many more.
If it's about native species, then it's about government funding and $$$ for CPW.
I just don't understand it...
Rant over, I'll just enjoy the pike fishing before it sucks and only stocker trout are left swimming and use powebait...
 Reply by: RoyR      Posted: 8/13/2017 10:19:39 PM     Points: 2889    
PikeMartin, what are the stats on the Pike you caught?
 Reply by: skiman      Posted: 8/14/2017 11:41:01 AM     Points: 1301    
I am always amazed when folks talk about one species of fish when they refer to a specific impoundment. Whether it be pike, trout, bass, or any other species, it's not just about that fish, it's about the entire ecosystem and health of the whole fishery. I'm not an expert in this area, but I do know illegally introduced fish do have a definite impact. Take Asian carp, or the snakefish as an example. These two species are wreaking havoc in our waters, and although an extreme example compared to pike, the same effect applies. As concerned anglers we need to look at the big picture, and not develop "tunnel vision" when it comes to a certain fish we like to catch. As I said before, there are many reasons why certain rules are in place, and I believe putting forth the effort to understand regulations is far more productive than whining about them. I like Nevadas' approach to "bucket biology"!
 Reply by: Whelenman358      Posted: 8/14/2017 11:58:02 AM     Points: 113    

Were pike illegally introduced in Willaims Fork Res? If so maybe the DOW would have a leg to stand on.

Regarding the slot limit, the MA length is beyond the slot limit by 2" so they are not required to be released. However, since they are protecting big pike there, it really makes little sense to require fish larger than 34" to be killed. But then we are talking about the Colorado Parks and Wildlife who often don't make sense.

Personally I think we should kill every trout we catch and even things out.

 Reply by: Ajax5240      Posted: 8/14/2017 12:10:26 PM     Points: 24091    
Oh... thank heaven.... We haven't had a pike on the western slope debate in at least 4 days... I sure did miss hearing about it...

The Master Angler program is a system to 'pat yourself on the back', no prize money, and you are the only one who will ever look your name up in the site...

Take a good picture and frame it, it'll look better on your wall than some certificate anyway...

 Reply by: randog      Posted: 8/14/2017 12:11:51 PM     Points: 1646    
Especially in the high mountain lakes and lakes that only hold trout. )
 Reply by: TigerHunter      Posted: 8/14/2017 1:26:51 PM     Points: 516    
We don't share the same goals when it comes to life or fishing. If someone is excited about receiving an award why does it have to be childish? It's just a piece of paper... yes, but it's also legitimizes an accomplishment for some folks and if you ask me makes for a cool conversation piece along with a picture or replica mount.

I do wish the CPW paid more attention to the MA awards. There are plenty of the Catch & Release records that are bogus which tarnishes the entire C&R State record program.

Congrats on catching a nice fish. Might want to check the In-Fisherman Master Angler award requirements and see if you quality.
 Reply by: sickws6      Posted: 8/14/2017 1:27:23 PM     Points: 574    
PikeMartin, great you got a MA NPK! and even better on the release!!!

As for the MA I think it is stupid that you cant get your award because you released it, but it does say on the MA App they must be kept...

What I do is catch said pike release the pike and know in my head I just got a MA NPK and to me the rewards of releasing the pike is better then the award. because I know I boil peoples blood when I release that trophy right in front of them.

 Reply by: Smelly      Posted: 8/14/2017 2:58:43 PM     Points: 18114    
Congrats Pikemartin on your trophy pike. And while I don't think CPW fisheries management is a joke. I agree with your point on this particular lake . Here you have a case where the CPW is.. TRYING.. to produce a " QUALITY " pike fishery. Yet in order to receive the Recognition for catching a trophy fish. They expect you to KILL IT ! Seems awful counterproductive to me . And I have no Idea how taking what I am assuming is an " older quality fish " out of the equation . Is going to improve the conditions for growing more " older quality fish. Unless there is a LOT MORE of them in there than the guys that fish the place are letting on to. Which I doubt.

I am more than open to an explanation on how DESTROYING a trophy fish is sound management practice for PRODUCING more of the SAME trophy fish !
 Reply by: Luke the Dog      Posted: 8/14/2017 3:02:36 PM     Points: 34    
"If someone is excited about receiving an award why does it have to be childish? "

I didn't say it was childish, I said it should be for kids. Why do adults get all bent out of shape about participation trophies from CPW? Want to impress your friends? Get a replica mount made...
 Reply by: skiman      Posted: 8/14/2017 3:18:36 PM     Points: 1301    
Whether pike were illegally stocked or not is a moot point. The fact remains that what used to be an exceptional population of Kokanee salmon declined drastically in 2010 and 2011 due to the increased predation from lake trout and pike, as well as other factors, (gill lice etc.). These events upset the ecosystem at Williams Fork, and only through the conscientious efforts of the CPW is the population of kokes now on the upswing. Williams Fork is being managed as a trophy pike fishery thus the slot limit. No doubt the pike and lake trout are there, they need to be managed and controlled so as to not effect the other species in the reservoir. That's part of the "big picture" I'm referring to.
 Reply by: TigerHunter      Posted: 8/14/2017 3:19:57 PM     Points: 516    
How is it a participation trophy? If it's monitored properly and a trophy fish was caught and in this case released it's far from a participation trophy it's something the CPW does cool to recognize trophy fish caught by anglers, and they do it at no cost to the angler vs a replica mount that you're talking at minimum a couple hundred bucks and that's if it's a bluegill. There's nothing wrong with participating in the MA program as an adult although right now it's based on the honor system nothing more. If you're honest enjoy the award I think they look great framed and on the wall. I haven't applied for one in years, but there was a time where I really enjoyed the entire process and hanging them up.

The qualifying size should be changed for some species but that's for another thread.
 Reply by: aresgraphix      Posted: 8/14/2017 4:05:52 PM     Points: 89    
To me, the only impressive thing about a replica mount, is the amount of money people spend to let someone else make a fish mannequin for them.
 Reply by: malty falcon      Posted: 8/14/2017 8:53:46 PM     Points: 4832    
To me, a replica mount is a cool reminder of a fish that swam away, and likely a good story. A real mount is also very cool, it lasts longer than the fillet! Who cares how much somebody spent? Bill Gates is a very smart man- doesn't matter to me if he has real OR replica mounts, or how much he spends on vacation. Does it matter to you if a bum spends his whole paycheck on crack? Or food? What does it matter?

Focus, instead, on when the walleye are biting, and don't worry about what somebody else does.
 Reply by: Whelenman358      Posted: 8/14/2017 9:53:05 PM     Points: 113    

Its not really a moot point. In one of your previous post you lamented the "illegal stocking" of fish to support the current rules and desires of the DOW. If Williams was intentionally stocked, and given the DOW's obvious desire to protect pike in this lake (slot limit), the MA rules for 36" and larger pike are ludicrous. This thread is about that lake, not about the other waters west of the divide. And THAT lake is managed as a trophy pike water. If it was gold medal water for trout, and they said the trout had to be killed to qualify for MA, would you be so nonchalant about it? That is essentially what they are doing here, except to pike.

As far as Kokanee go, I offer up Carter Lake. It used to be a great Kokanee fishery and then the walleye took over and ate um all up. And they ate a good portion of the trout, splake, bass, and everything else too. So, since they are having a massive impact on kokanee there, should the DOW put a bounty on the big walleyes? I mean heck, if we get rid of the walleye in Carter, we could probably catch a lot more slimers and kokes right. And the entire ecosystem would be better off because the walleye wouldn't be eating everything in sight.

Your comment about Asian carp and snakefish is right on though. They and other species do cause a lot of harm to an ecosystem. However, pike and other predatory fish do coexist in other states just fine with many other species of fish, why is it such a problem here.

I find it interesting that the DOW seems to hate pike and wants to get rid of them west of the divide, yet seem to be relatively unconcerned about the overpopulation of carp in this state and the damage caused by them. Really sucks to go to a lake or pond hoping to catch a bass and see a bunch of @#% %@#* carp go swimming by mucking up the water. Lets see, catch a pike or a slimy carp, dang thats a tough choice.

Luke the Dog,

How is a MA award really any different than awards for sports teams, awards and certificates given to employees, ect. It simply confirms something that may possibly be important to the person receiving the award. Why should that only be for kids. If a certificate should be for kids then a photo of your achievement should be for kids also. Dang, guess we'll have to stop taking photos except for fish the kids caught.


Congratulations on the big fish. I suggest that next time you catch a big pike on the west slope, send your paperwork in and just tell them you kept it. What the DOW doesn't know won't hurt em'. Or tell em you caught it on the east slope and released it.

Have a goodun!
 Reply by: Luke the Dog      Posted: 8/14/2017 10:24:37 PM     Points: 34    
"To me, the only impressive thing about a replica mount, is the amount of money people spend to let someone else make a fish mannequin for them."

Ha, yeah, I was being sarcastic...I don't have any fish mounts
 Reply by: Coyute      Posted: 8/15/2017 9:28:15 AM     Points: 97    
Whelenman358 wrote: "Personally, I think we should kill every trout we catch and even things out."

That is awesome! LOL

If an angler needs a slip of paper to validate his angling prowess, perhaps it's time for reevaluation. Regardless of that, grats on the nice Pike. The CPW's war on pike is confounding at best.

Whelenman358, your follow up post was solid. :)
 Reply by: sickws6      Posted: 8/15/2017 9:51:26 AM     Points: 574    
Whelenman358 Great response. I am strictly a pike smallmouth Largemouth guy. I do not target ANYTHING else in this trout state. I just try to stay out of the pike conversation because I think the news is feeding the public a lot of fake news, and this site is like pounding your head into walls when this subject comes up, no FACTS or STUDIES are ever shown by the pike haters on here...

another thing is we are losing leases on our lakes that DONT have pike in them (lonetree) but we can spend the 20 dollar bounty per pike at GMR or the Poachfest that happened at Elkhead and pay the Tagged fish a huge amount that could keep lakes and put more ans inspectors out. seems like these people care more about killing said pike to collect there 20 bones, which is stupid in my opinion put a slot on them, then use that 20 dollars to keep lakes we will lose in the next 10 years
 Reply by: notrout here      Posted: 8/15/2017 10:00:20 AM     Points: 1855    
the same thing just happened to me. I caught my pike at elkhead where the CPW put them in that they want them out. why cant we have 1 good pike lake in colorado
 Reply by: esoxrocks      Posted: 8/15/2017 10:24:53 AM     Points: 2477    
So many conflicting policies, research, and politics involved here. The bottom line is that the feds have mandated that west slope impoundments with access to rivers have “invasive species” eliminated or significantly mitigated. Whether CPW originally put the fish there or not... they now want them controlled. That's the deal, and it’s not going to stop.

...this, from someone who says "esox rocks" right there in my screen name. ...heh

 Reply by: longdraw      Posted: 8/15/2017 9:06:10 PM     Points: 468    
Master Angler Awards are for kids seven or under AND individuals older that that that fish like they are seven or under.
 Reply by: Abel1      Posted: 8/15/2017 10:08:42 PM     Points: 182    
Whelenman358 wrote: "Personally, I think we should kill every trout we catch and even things out."

I have adopted the same philosophy. Glad someone else was man enough to put it out there. As for the patches we don't need no stinkin patches.
 Reply by: TigerHunter      Posted: 8/16/2017 1:10:49 PM     Points: 516    
Might want to call them. There's a 42 inch northern pike on the master angler list from this year. 42 inches caught at Williams Fork.
 Reply by: Ajax5240      Posted: 8/16/2017 3:16:28 PM     Points: 24091    
"Whelenman358 wrote: "Personally, I think we should kill every trout we catch and even things out."

I have adopted the same philosophy. Glad someone else was man enough to put it out there."

I really hope this is sarcasm....
 Reply by: Abel1      Posted: 8/16/2017 9:01:59 PM     Points: 182    
None whatsoever. I'm not proud of it but enough is enough.
 Reply by: Sleazy E      Posted: 8/17/2017 6:34:01 AM     Points: 447    
I have to point out that the people on here bashing the Master Angler program are resentful, negative and bitter people.
I've not filed for any MA.
Clearly, there is a separation shown here and the sides are those who challenge themselves in life or those who coast through it.
Setting goals and challenging yourself to attain them is exemplary.
Simply coasting through life with no exciting challenges or goals while bashing people who have them is hilarious.
 Reply by: Luke the Dog      Posted: 8/17/2017 8:29:04 AM     Points: 34    
"I have to point out that the people on here bashing the Master Angler program are resentful, negative and bitter people."

Well, I hear your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!
 Reply by: longdraw      Posted: 8/17/2017 8:37:08 AM     Points: 468    
"those who coast through it. "

You know us so well! Great job. Would you like me to bake you a cake or do you prefer a patch for your accomplishment(s)?

 Reply by: TigerHunter      Posted: 8/17/2017 10:31:19 AM     Points: 516    
When it's monitored I think the MA program is flat out awesome. It can help highlight what selective harvest can do and the potential Colorado has to grow some world class species we aren't typically known for like pike, walleye, smallies, etc...It's also what they run the catch and release state records off of. This is where I get frustrated and understand the participation ribbon hell that the MA program receives. Right now we have a 38 inch walleye as our state record..... let that breathe for a minute. We also have a 25 inch spotted bass, and a 25 inch smallie that was caught by the same gal who lucked into the biggest walleye the world has ever seen. If they did a better job turning down bogus claims the MA program and C&R State records would be held in high esteem, but allowing outlandish claims as records makes a mockery of something that could be really cool. 58 inch Tiger Muskie anyone?
 Reply by: longdraw      Posted: 8/17/2017 2:24:42 PM     Points: 468    
 Reply by: Sleazy E      Posted: 8/17/2017 4:57:26 PM     Points: 447    
"You know us so well! Great job. Would you like me to bake you a cake or do you prefer a patch for your accomplishment(s)?"

If that's all you've received during your life then that would explain it.
Best of luck in your endeavor to receive nothing for anything that you do.
 Reply by: skiman      Posted: 8/17/2017 5:15:56 PM     Points: 1301    
Some of us are content with our accomplishments, and don't need the approval of others to validate them. It's not "bashing"'s just a fact.
If someone needs to be patted on the back, or needs a material reminder of what they do, so be it. I guess self gratification is a personal thing, and some need more "strokes" than others. Nothing wrong with that in my opinion.
 Reply by: N.PikeHu$tla      Posted: 8/18/2017 10:00:35 AM     Points: 691    

Great write up
 Reply by: Ajax5240      Posted: 8/18/2017 12:03:35 PM     Points: 24091    
To skiman's point... Some of us also see other things that go on in life as a much bigger deal than catching a fish...

- Try being proud of raising a child, with or without a spouse
- success at work
- volunteering / donating
- helping other people
- any other things that you work hard for in life...

so... yeah.. Some of us don't see why you get so dam worked up if you get a patch and a piece of paper or not for catching a 18.5" Large Mouth...
 Reply by: Smelly      Posted: 8/18/2017 2:30:57 PM     Points: 18114    
Like many threads on here tHHen a FXR " spin " and has gained a life of it own ! The MA program Would be an interesting thread. By Itself ! The point ( I believe ) the OP was trying to make is . If the CPW is claiming to manage Williams Fork as a ....QUALITY ... Pike fishery. Why would it require a person to KILL and TROPHY Angler program.
 Reply by: Smelly      Posted: 8/18/2017 3:11:21 PM     Points: 18114    
Like many threads on here. This thread has taken a FXR " spin " and has gained a life of it own ! The MA program Would be an interesting thread... By Itself ! ....The point ( I believe ) the OP was trying to make is . If the CPW is claiming to manage Williams Fork as a ....QUALITY ... Pike fishery. Why would They require a person to KILL a Trophy class pike. Just to qualify for the Master Angler program...

And sorry pike guys. I would be ok with voluntary kill. Or better yet a " Trophy " tag ( Good on WF only. Till filled ) ,similar to the hunting ones. To help raise $ for FISHING improvements on Williams Fork.

This concept ..KILL IT FOR A PIECE OF PAPER !... I DO NOT UNDERSTAND .. And begs the question. What is the point ? Saw an official response ..." Fish management is not squarely on the backs of CPW "... Ok.. I agree with that. But explain how this requirement , fits into the overall management goals of this particular lake. I think we all should be asking CPW for an explanation on this. As opposed to a good ole ' RANT SESSION " ( Although these are kinda fun. But I still ran out of popcorn ! )
 Reply by: CACHEM ALL      Posted: 8/19/2017 9:24:55 AM     Points: 204    
 Reply by: redleader      Posted: 8/20/2017 10:46:23 AM     Points: 544    
The predation of Kokanee from Pike and Lake trout didn't increase in 2010 or 2011 as Skiman states in fact they have gotten along fine for over 40 years.
That is the reason we were able to keep the restrictions on Pike and put them on larger Lake Trout.
The Only biological change was the Kokanee becoming infected and devastated by gill lice.
The whole western slope Pike master angler must kill thing just falls in line with their war on Pike.
They wanted a no limit on Pike statewide but when I brought up WF,s history at one of the meetings they left the slot limit there and it is the only lake in the state with protective limits on Pike.
They were originally put in there to control the suckers which had overrun the lake and have done their job well.
 Reply by: skiman      Posted: 8/20/2017 1:52:05 PM     Points: 1301    
Do your research, I didn't just make stuff up.The information was taken directly from the CPW report on Williams Fork for those two years. My post states there was a gill lice issue as well as other factors contributing to the decline of the Kokanee population. You are most certainly allowed your opinions, but be careful when you discredit someone elses if you don't have the facts.
 Reply by: redleader      Posted: 8/20/2017 10:34:36 PM     Points: 544    
Thanks Skiman, I don't need to do research.
Yes facts are facts.
Including the fact that prior to then there were no population estimates as the population study netting program had just begun.
You may want to be careful what you assume as facts just because it may be in a lake report from a fairly new biologist at the time.

They believed that the natural Kokanee spawn in the river was insignificant and we went ahead and killed that by screening off the river resulting in the majority of Kokanee now devastated by gill lice.
In retrospect I believe we most likely created or added to the gill lice problem when we took out the natural ecosystem.

The previous biologist didn't have a clue at Granby and actually thought the high population of sub-20" lakers there were a result of the last stocking in 91.

I go way back at the fork, as a volunteer I pushed for making it an additional egg taking area after Granby crashed in 99. Finally convincing them we colected 60 Kokanee for disease tests for 3 years then used my portable equipment there for egg taking etc.
I've got some good stories about collecting Kokanee during the drought year of 2004 when the lake was at dead pool.
 Reply by: TigerHunter      Posted: 8/21/2017 9:29:31 AM     Points: 516    
Thanks for everything you do Steve!
 Reply by: skiman      Posted: 8/21/2017 10:06:30 AM     Points: 1301    
I stand corrected, (in part), and thank you for the information. You are right that you cannot believe everything you read, but why would CPW allow inaccurate information to be published? New biologist or not, the gill net survey and other data suggest the koke population took a drastic hit in those years. I'm no expert, and it sounds like you've been very involved with the WF fishery. I try to keep an open mind when it comes to these things, and appreciate any and all input. Thanks, and I'm grateful for the schooling. Ski
 Reply by: redleader      Posted: 8/21/2017 10:20:08 AM     Points: 544    
Thanks, I haven't been active the last several years.
In 2014 I took the task at the last meeting in Granby of exposing the mismanagement of Granby lake, severally shorting the Catchable rainbow stocks while every other lake in the region got increases (some huge),for 3 years in a row until I caught on, along with shutting down the proposal to take the lake trout slot restrictions off Grand lake. Since then I haven't been welcome as a volunteer but at least I can sleep at night.
 Reply by: redleader      Posted: 8/21/2017 10:31:27 AM     Points: 544    
Ski, the Kokanee population did take a big hit, from gill lice.
The Predator situation at WF hasn't changed except from taking a hit from increased angler pressure. Predators statewide always take the blame for any hatchery fish declines in their eyes regardless of circumstances.

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