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Lake: Blue Mesa Reservoir
Fish: Kokanee

Dying Kokanee

Post By: braappn      Posted: 7/13/2020 8:08:26 AM     Points: 0    
This weekend on Blue Mesa saw at least 6-8 dead Kokanee floating belly up, full of gill lice. Western half of the reservoir. All good size fish. The dead ones were bigger than the ones we were catching (which was only a few). Sorry no pics, but seems like a bad sign.
 Reply by: yard dogs      Posted: Jul. 13, 9:10:42 AM     Points: 703    
Good thing they spent all that money and killed all those lake trout eh.....
 Reply by: malty falcon      Posted: Jul. 13, 11:08:11 AM     Points: 6818    
I fished Blue for a day and a half last week, it was horrible. Saw a few floaters, and hooked very few Kokanee (0). I don’t think there will be a jigging season this year, same as last year. Certainly not worth the drive over.

Gill lice are NOT illegal to transport, so private hatcheries can foul up the biggest reservoir in Colorado, as well as many others. Gill lice are introduced into lakes and rivers by Private Hatcheries, where they get out of control when conditions deteriorate (climate change, low water).

I’m glad our federal government is so concerned with correcting climate change and pollution.
 Reply by: not too old to fish      Posted: Jul. 13, 11:20:14 AM     Points: 5235    
I believe warm water and gill lice took out the 11 Mile koke population several years ago. Green Mountain suffered the same fate . Maybe the summer monsoon will start and pump some fresh cooler water in the lakes, I think that's the only thing that might help.
 Reply by: ScottyK      Posted: Jul. 13, 7:07:29 PM     Points: 139    
Ewert put a stocking freeze on green mountan to try to kill off host fish...after 5 years, stocking resumed with snake river cuts..Williams fork is under the stocking freeze now to try and do the same...sad that it has to come to this..
 Reply by: blackdog1      Posted: Jul. 13, 7:15:01 PM     Points: 3    
I was up last week and saw some floaters as well. Not good but to be expected. No other koke fisherys in Colorado have survided after gill lice got into the kokanee. Nothing in Blue Mesa to make it different than the other lakes. Looks like the CPW better get some walleye in that lake!
 Reply by: RogBow      Posted: Jul. 13, 8:25:41 PM     Points: 1871    
Haha. That would be a self sustaining walleye mecca.
 Reply by: SirGreg88      Posted: Jul. 13, 10:00:36 PM     Points: 68    
Wooooo Brother................Popcorn.....................Pudding pops..........
 Reply by: rippinglip      Posted: Jul. 15, 5:50:37 PM     Points: 46    
That's a shame, from my understanding once the Gill lice are in the system they are there to stay.
 Reply by: Kokanee Bro      Posted: Aug. 3, 12:43:43 PM     Points: 239    
They are going to need to do something to replace the loss of revenue from salmon fishing. Lakers are bound to get smaller with the decimation of the salmon as well.
 Reply by: jdavis      Posted: Aug. 3, 1:01:16 PM     Points: 118    
ScottyK are you sure Williams Fork is on a stocking freeze?

 Reply by: Kokanee Bro      Posted: Aug. 3, 2:22:11 PM     Points: 239    
That Screenshot represents stocking from 2017-2019, they planned to start the freeze in 2020.
 Reply by: Toon      Posted: Aug. 3, 7:44:44 PM     Points: 115    
I also spoke to the DOW guys up there a while back, they said the same thing. They are starting to stock GM again with Kokanee, Rainbow, etc and they have quit stocking WF. It is sad to see lakes that were so productive for years to be killed off, but I get it. I have a feeling Blue Mesa could be heading in the same direction and possibly Granby. Though I don't think Granby has gill lice issue that I have heard of, I think they have large population of hungry Lake Trout issue with a boom of Mysis Shrimp keeping the Kokanee population down......
 Reply by: Kokanee Bro      Posted: Aug. 5, 1:58:52 PM     Points: 239    
Ranger at Blue Mesa said the only thing that would get the gill lice out is draining the lake. Their plan is to monitor the situation and hope the decrease in population spreads them out and helps mitigate the spread... basically hoping the population decrease causes natural “social distancing”. He also said they are seeing 100% of kokes that make it to Roaring Judy infested. They would essentially need to let all fish that carry it (rainbows included) die off. Who knows if that is even possible at a lake as big as Blue Mesa. Sadly they are probably there to stay

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