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River: South Platte - Downtown Denver

South Platte River

Post By: Mattastrophy      Posted: 3/12/2018 12:35:57 PM     Points: 1159    
My buddy and I went fishing on the South Platte River in Englewood and caught a first for each of us. I caught my first Smallmouth Bass at 15 inches and he caught what we think is a saugeye at 16 inches. I know there are walleye in the river according to what this site says. Can anyone confirm from the photo exactly what this fish is?
 Reply by: Bubba02STi      Posted: 3/12/2018 1:10:10 PM     Points: 500    
Nice! Looks like a sauger to me.
 Reply by: brookieflyfisher      Posted: 3/12/2018 5:06:19 PM     Points: 6130    
Hard to tell. Looks to me like a pure walleye.
 Reply by: bron      Posted: 3/12/2018 6:07:20 PM     Points: 36487    
Im not sure on the ID but nice catches for here in town on the river!
 Reply by: Rowan      Posted: 3/12/2018 8:28:24 PM     Points: 71    
I think it's a Sauger. Not too much colouration on the dorsal, but the body has a spot on the rear, so that would be my guess.
 Reply by: Mattastrophy      Posted: 3/13/2018 9:27:36 AM     Points: 1159    
I was hoping it would be easier to identify. Here is another photo of the same fish. My buddy took this with his phone. Does this help?
 Reply by: not too old to fish      Posted: 3/13/2018 10:51:03 AM     Points: 5127    
It probably came out of Chatfield so my guess is a a walleye. Never caught an eye out of that hole, but have caught bass and trout, congrats on the catches!
 Reply by: tub      Posted: 3/13/2018 10:53:38 AM     Points: 105    
that's a walleye
 Reply by: Smelly      Posted: 3/13/2018 2:33:29 PM     Points: 23626    
I agree with Not too old and tub. Looks like a Chatfield Walleye escapee to me.
 Reply by: brookieflyfisher      Posted: 3/14/2018 8:55:48 AM     Points: 6130    
Second picture indicates saugeye to me. Definitely not a sauger. Saugers have clear polka-dots on the dorsal. Pure walleye have no patterning at all. This fish has some dorsal patterning and a smaller-than-average posterior black spot on the dorsal.

Either the CPW has thrown a few saugeye in the river or nearby ponds, or this is a bear creek escapee that made its way upriver. Neither scenario is that implausible, especially since the springtime spawning urge can see walleye, saugeye, and sauger migrate great distances upriver to find preferable spawning habitat.