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Lake: Blue Mesa Reservoir
Fish: Kokanee

Is the end coming?

Post By: chodeman      Posted: 7/27/2020 9:54:55 PM     Points: 705    
Spent the past couple days at BM. Was able to get my limit on both Kokes and Browns both days, but sure took a lot of work. Bumper boating has already started and they seemed to be following the small schools of kokes on the north shore near Chickens. As tempting as it was I resisted joining the group and work some older spots that have produced in the past. Every time I would graph a school, it seemed if i stopped to jig, someone would pull up within minutes and get right on top of me. So I switched it up and trolled hoochies at about 45ft and yellow was the ticket.

All the schools were smaller than I can remember in the past and I'm hoping that it's just early, but almost every kokanee had gill lice and I fear that it is the start of the end! Talked to the guys at Gene Taylors and they are fearing the same thing. If the kokanee population takes a hard hit, the trickle down effect could decimate the Laker population. Hoping for the best and am making every attempt to get there as much as possible in case the end is coming!
 Reply by: RogBow      Posted: Jul. 28, 7:20:23 AM     Points: 1871    
Thanks for the report. How's the new Alaskan?
 Reply by: PHILH      Posted: Jul. 28, 7:29:20 AM     Points: 3    
This may be a dumb question. Ciscos are the primary forage for the vast majority of lake trout fisheries in the northern states and Canada. Could those ever be stocked in CO lakes? I've never heard of any state stocking ciscos before, but I would imagine the mountain lakes are plenty cool and deep for them.
 Reply by: Wreckstar      Posted: Jul. 28, 8:29:57 AM     Points: 1129    
I'm not too familiar with gill lice, only what I read from a quick Google search. When I was much younger, the talk was all about whirling disease. it sucks to watch a fishery collapse while not really being able to do much about it. Let's hope someone figures out how to better prevent it or eliminate it.
 Reply by: yard dogs      Posted: Jul. 28, 9:21:33 AM     Points: 682    
I agree - the end is near for the salmon of Blue. Makes that choice of killing all those lakers and spending all that money to do so look even worse now....
 Reply by: Pathway      Posted: Jul. 28, 1:10:12 PM     Points: 534    
Ciscos would be considered and invasive species and would never be allow.
 Reply by: Fishneveryweek      Posted: Jul. 29, 12:16:35 PM     Points: 36    
The only ones decimating the lakers are really the CPW with their nets. In the absence of gill netting and the imposition of reasonable limits, the lakers could still do quite well and, actually, recover from the CPW assult. They love eating the plentiful perch and also eat trout, so I think they would do well if only CPW would leave them alone. They do alright at Taylor, for instance, which, I believe, has no salmon.
 Reply by: longdraw      Posted: Jul. 29, 11:57:19 PM     Points: 512    
Taylor has Kokes
 Reply by: chodeman      Posted: Jul. 30, 12:03:38 AM     Points: 705    
The Alaskan is awesome! Still fiddling with my downrigger placement, as of now I am using the Lund track mounts and ended up putting Cannons on them. Mounts seem plenty strong and I am liking that I can remove with 2 allen head screws on each (HP, I will one day get those pics up!).
Glad I went with Lowrance HDS, love the down and side imaging. Adding an additional 7" to the bow next week for those days when I'm jigging from the front. Still amazes me that the Merc 95hp pushes that almost 19 ft boat 37mph, yet can forward troll at1.8mph on dead calm water. Had it up at Mac three weeks ago and when the wind got hollowing and the waves were pushing 3 feet, it wasn't fun, but never felt unsafe. For anyone that wants a bigger V without a monster price tag, make sure you check out the Alaskan!
 Reply by: RogBow      Posted: Jul. 30, 7:56:32 AM     Points: 1871    
Sounds good. I like the hull thickness of the Alaskan series. No nonsense durable. I am anxious to get down to BM.
 Reply by: chodeman      Posted: Jul. 31, 5:23:39 PM     Points: 705    
I'm there most Sunday, so if you ever want to come down, let me know and you can hop in!
 Reply by: bratfish      Posted: Aug. 3, 1:27:03 AM     Points: 1093    
Yeah the bumper boating is ridiculous there at times.
I was laker fishing when I had a group of those ducks float up en masse. Smdh.
 Reply by: Kokanee Bro      Posted: Aug. 3, 12:36:01 PM     Points: 239    
Yeah both last year and this year the jigging schools have been very small. The days of giant schools where the ducklings could get on fish following other fishermen is over. There is a 10 moving window you need to be in to catch them so you need to know how to pinpoint them. Sadly, I think the gill lice are there for good. It is too late for Blue Mesa, but something needs to be done to hold these private hatcheries accountable for treating gill lice. Blue was the best koke fishery in the state and brought a lot of people/money to Gunnison. I hope some clever scientist figures out a way to get rid of them. On a more positive note, I hear they are going to start stocking kokes in green mountain again this year or next... so in another 4-5 years we may be able to target them there as well. Although that lake has a billion malnourished lakers that will probably hit the stock pretty hard.


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