Fish Explorer Logo
Colorado Fishing
Colorado Fishing  
Login Usr:Psd:
No account? Register now...
spacer spacer
Go back to Main FxR Forum listings

Highest lake with fish in Colorado?

Post By: eholm      Posted: 1/30/2023 3:33:00 PM     Points: 4464    
Part 1/2 due to length...

Note to anyone finding this post in the future. Please respect these high altitude environments. If you visit them, leave no trace. If you fish them, catch and release only to allow for future enjoyment (unless recommended by CPW to remove fish for the greater good of environments).


What is the highest altitude lake (body of water) with fish in Colorado?

I've done several hours of research on this, but need some more intel, hopefully from those with first-hand knowledge of these water bodies. There is a LOT of bad information on the web, especially on "top 10 lists", and so-called fishing sites. As we know, any fish occurring at these altitudes in CO were introduced, and not native to those lakes.

Based on all of the information I've researched, the answer to this question will ALSO be the highest lake with fish in the USA and North America!

(FYI - I'm also researching the highest fish in the world, but will save that for another time. The lack of public info on this topic is very interesting! I believe it is partly due to scientists trying to protect these fragile ecosystems, and rightly so.)

For the sake of this question, I'm defining lake as any body of water. It could be a pool, a tarn, a puddle. So long as there are fish in it year round.

Currently FXR says "Summit Lake is the highest freshwater lake that is fishable in the lower 48 states."

However, my research indicates that probably is not true.

Here is what I've found. Please let me know any corrections, missing data, missing lakes, etc.

I'm taking official elevations from the USGS database for named bodies of water: [log in for link]

For unnamed bodies, I look at the elevation on the Caltopo map: [log in for link]

1) Pacific Tarn - 13436 feet (USGS) (No known fish, and fish very unlikely)

2) Upper Winchell Lakes - 13113 feet (Caltopo) - Winchell Lakes is by Blanca Peak. Listed in USGS at 12346 feet. However, there are several lakes. The lower two are biggest, and are at 12340ft and 12749ft. I do not know if they hold fish (unlikely, but they do seem big enough). The highest of the upper lakes sits at 13113 feet. Highly unlikely that it could hold fish, but I would still like to confirm.

3) Mt. Lincoln and Cameron Cirque (unnamed) - 13104 feet (Caltopo) - This is the headwaters of Quartzville Creek. I found one very old report of it containing brown trout. Because there is a road that goes most of the way to the lake, a case for some bucket biology or stocking having taken place could make sense. I am highly skeptical about the species brown trout, as I would expect brook or cutthroat to be more likely. Furthermore, if someone did stock it, I am highly skeptical that any fish survive today. I think brookies would be the most likely candidate for survivors. Google satellite image shows so much snow over the lake that it is not even discernible. Still, this is one body of water that I would like to explore, because if it did contain fish it would almost undoubtedly be the highest.

4) Windom Peak Cirque (unnamed) - 13100 feet (Caltopo) (No known fish, and fish very unlikely)

5) Rowe Glacier Tarn (unnamed) - 13072 feet (Caltopo) (No known fish, and fish very unlikely)

6) North Halfmoon Lakes - 13009 feet (Caltopo) - Listed in USGS at 12225 feet. However, similar to Winchell Lakes, there several lakes. The highest one is at 13009 feet (Caltopo). I've seen a couple reports that fish exist in North Halfmoon Lakes. However, neither of the two lower (and bigger) lakes would be in the competition for highest lake. So, similar to Winchell, it is highly unlikely that the uppermost lake holds fish, but I would still like to confirm.

(Picture of Summit lake from when I rode my bike up Mt Evans)
 Reply by: eholm      Posted: Jan. 30, 3:33:25 PM     Points: 4464
Part 2/2 due to length...

7) Frozen Lake - 12957 feet (USGS) - There are multiple lakes named Frozen, this is the one in MEWA. This lake has been stocked with cutties. Therefore, it is the currently the highest lake KNOWN to have fish, according to my research.

8) Ptarmigan Lake - 12947 feet (USGS) - There are also several lakes called Ptarmigan, including a couple over 12k! This is the one in Ouray County, NOT Gunnison County. Fishing reports are hard to decipher, because of the multiple Ptarmigans. The one around 12200 ftt definitely has fish, but it's not an altitude contender. The USGS pegs the Ouray County one just 10 feet lower than Frozen Lake, putting it within the realm of contest for the highest. The satellite imagery makes this one look deep enough to hold fish, but like most cirque lakes it probably doesn't. More info needed.

9) Sloan Lake - 12911 feet (USGS) - (Hinsdale County near Handies Peak) Another cirque that looks plenty deep, but has it ever been stocked? I don't know. More info needed.

10) Upper Crystal Lake - 12878 feet (USGS) - There are many Crystal Lakes too, this is the one in Summit County by Crystal Peak. Yet another cirque that looks plenty deep, but has it ever been stocked? I don't know. More info needed.

11) Summit Lake - 12835 feet (USGS) - this is undoubtedly the highest lake that you can drive all the way to and go fishing when the road is open. But, I do not think the claim of highest fishable lake will hold up compared to Frozen Lake and maybe another body of water listed above.
 Reply by: malty falcon      Posted: Jan. 30, 3:55:19 PM     Points: 9478
Good research, Eholm.

I'd like to visit them, I've fished a lot of lakes that didn't seem to have any fish as well. Elevenmile, and Spinney for example!
 Reply by: anglerwannabe      Posted: Jan. 30, 4:03:00 PM     Points: 69608
Malty - sir... thats cuz there aren't no fish in Spinney. Been telling y'all for years
 Reply by: ND Transplant      Posted: Jan. 30, 4:26:37 PM     Points: 13943
CPW literally stocks them aerially and unless they are Greenies they are fine to keep for a dinner. I'm not hiking my ass off to come home empty handed. The meat from the alpines is some of the finest on the planet.
 Reply by: BroncFan      Posted: Jan. 30, 4:43:09 PM     Points: 355
Cool topic eholm. I hiked up to North Halfmoon lakes close to 20 years ago. We caught fish in the lower lake for sure. The upper lake if i remember correctly had fish in it but we couldn't get them to bite. it was late June and the lake still had large chunks of ice on it. If you don't have a copy of Kip Carey's "Official Colorado Fishing Guide" i'd recommend it. It's a bit dated now but it's a very good starting point for scouting this type of info.
 Reply by: Crit      Posted: Jan. 30, 5:01:08 PM     Points: 11
I do not know the answer to your question but can confirm two of the lakes you listed have fish

Finding alpine stocking information in CO has been frustrating for me. Evidently multiple agencies, based upon whether they’re national forest, blm, state land etc, have their own stocking program and do not share data
 Reply by: Troutbisquits      Posted: Jan. 30, 5:02:06 PM     Points: 1501
Fun topic! Back before I had kids I fished the high country pretty much every weekend in open water season, and it always surprised me the places fish can live. I am a certified tarn junkie, and have caught fish at some tarns than have me scratching my head on how they survive the winter.

I would not be surprised at all if one of those places you mentioned, or maybe one you missed is above summit lakes elevation and hold fish year round.

Sometimes I open google earth and scan around for new places and just daydream.... anyways get out there and let us know!
 Reply by: eholm      Posted: Jan. 30, 6:55:56 PM     Points: 4464
BroncFan - thanks! I'll keep N. Halfmoon on my radar, and will see if I can get my hands on a copy of that book!
 Reply by: eholm      Posted: Jan. 30, 7:27:09 PM     Points: 4464
ND Transplant - yeah I have no problem with keeping some keepers for dinner, or selective harvest. But only 2 of the 11 lakes I listed are known to be stocked. If a lake is not stocked, I would advocate for C&R, unless selective harvest helps the current population (which it does in some cases). Back in the day I remember people catching cutthroat in Chasm Lake (at a mere 11760ft). I guess it must have been stocked at some point, although I can find no records. It's now been many years since I've heard of fish being caught there. I wish there were still fish in there, because Chasm is one of my favorite lakes, and I would love to catch even one fish out of it. Also keep in mind the lowest lake I listed is 12835 feet. These are not your typical 11k ft lakes. As we know, in CO trout usually grow slow and may have nutrient deficiencies at 11kft. At almost 13k ft I'm guessing most of them are undernourished. So I'm in favor of letting them grow, so future anglers can enjoy catching a big one up there some day. (again I know that some biologists think we should eradicate all non-naturally occurring fish up there. On that topic I defer to CPW. If they decided a lake needed to be restored, I would be ok with it. But I would be sad, because like you, I love catching fish in those beautiful lakes)
 Reply by: eholm      Posted: Jan. 30, 7:37:53 PM     Points: 4464
Crit - I agree it has been hard to find historical stocking data. Here I found reports for 2018-2022 They are scanned PDFs and have to be converted via OCR to be searchable. [log in for link]
 Reply by: eholm      Posted: Jan. 30, 7:39:00 PM     Points: 4464
Troutbisquits - I do a lot of Google earth daydreaming too!
 Reply by: eholm      Posted: Jan. 30, 7:45:03 PM     Points: 4464
BroncFan - I just picked up the 2nd edition of that book on ebay for under $5 with free shipping! Well worth it even if for just a nugget of info.
 Reply by: BroncFan      Posted: Jan. 30, 7:51:59 PM     Points: 355
Awesome, I think you will enjoy it. As far as I know 2nd edition is the most current. I have 1st and 2nd. FYI, 2nd has a publish date of 2001. Still, it's a great reference that I go to all the time.
 Reply by: ND Transplant      Posted: Jan. 31, 5:48:04 AM     Points: 13943
@eholm but that contradicts your first paragraph. You even used the word "only". None of these high altitude lakes had trout in them originally. They have all been stocked at some point. Typically only 1/3rd of them end up with a naturally reproducing population so they continue to stock them as necessary for anglers. In fact we should be keeping as many dam Brookies as possible out of many of these lakes because they are overrun and stunted. Plus Brookies aren't even native nor have then been stocked in Colorado since the late '70s.

Here's actual video of CPW doing it to over 330 alpine lakes in Colorado: [log in for link]

"Cutthroat trout are getting a lift up to Colorado's alpine lakes. CPW is stocking 330 mountain lakes by airplane in the northern half of Colorado with 380,000 cutthroat trout."

Then there's the debate on whether these lakes should even be stocked in the first place since reproduction thereafter is fairly rare at 30% or less. You might want to educate yourself a bit on the matter. It's arguable that stocking them actually threatens other animals. Here's a great primer on the matter: [log in for link]

 Reply by: xavierk31      Posted: Jan. 31, 10:21:20 AM     Points: 3933
According to THIS site, Pacific Tarn has grayling in it. I plan on trying to confirm that this summer. Haven't yet talked to anyone yet who's had a chance to climb all the way up there to fish it.
 Reply by: eholm      Posted: Jan. 31, 8:12:36 PM     Points: 4464
ND Transplant - yeah I'm aware of the controversy about stocking high altitude lakes, that's why I mentioned it.

I also feel responsibility for posting a bunch of data that will be online forever, so I personally err on the side of encouraging conservation, which I think is generally going to be C&R for these lakes over 12,800ft.

I know you're a responsible angler, I trust your judgment and would fish with you anytime. If it makes sense to keep fish, then keep them. I'm not on this forum to judge people for keeping fish and never will. I also think you provide huge value to the CO fishing community at large, because if you can get the next generation stoked about those high mountain lakes, there's a better chance stocking will continue for the next decades.

I agree about brookies, as I've seen first hand some habitat where they have taken over. At the same time, I think selective harvest still applies if we want to continue to enjoy catching bigger ones. The brookie state record was broken 3 times last year in mountain lakes. I'd bet that wasn't the first time those fish were hooked in their lifetimes. Someone released them so they could become a state record someday. To your point - I think paring a population can help that goal too!

xavierk31 - thanks, I somehow had missed that! Looks to me like maybe a CPW experiment. 2014 and 2018. I'm definitely putting that one on my list. Also a good illustration of my point for C&R. I would 100% advocate C&R in that lake, because it might never be stocked again, and if those fish still exist, it's a neat opportunity to catch one up there.
 Reply by: Banzai Jimmy      Posted: Jan. 31, 8:22:22 PM     Points: 9682
xavierk31 and eholm - I was scanning the reviews of McCullough Gulch trail, and there was second hand information that someone saw a fish in Pacific Tarn Lake in 2022. I'm still scanning for any other mentions. It's promising, if accurate.

*Whoops! I misspoke. I mixed up which reviews I was scanning. The mention of fish in the McCullogh Gulch trail reviews was not for Pacific Tarn Lake. Apologies!
 Reply by: xavierk31      Posted: Feb. 1, 8:26:58 AM     Points: 3933
If and when I do make it up to Pacific Tarn, agreed 100% on C&R. And I won't be getting my hopes up just in case none of those fish survived. And if anyone else DOES make it up there please feel free to either get in touch with me via my skipper link or post a thread about it please. I really like the idea of being able to CATCH a fish in the highest named lake in the lower 48, but even just hiking to it and getting a chance to fish it would certainly be an experience enough.
 Reply by: Ewert      Posted: Feb. 1, 8:32:54 AM     Points: 100
It's Pacific Lake above Breckenridge and we plane stocked 600 Grayling there in 2014 and 2018. I haven't heard from anyone that has fished it. I would very much like to know if they're there and how they're doing. Please email me directly if you make it there.
 Reply by: Trailerman      Posted: Feb. 1, 10:14:42 AM     Points: 120
Well there you have a definitive answer from someone who would know. No come summertime you guys have to trek up there!
 Reply by: ND Transplant      Posted: Feb. 2, 5:43:48 AM     Points: 13943
@eholm, nah, keep as many of them dam Brookies as you can. There's a reason you can keep four plus 10 under 8 inches. Their life span is only 3-4 years as well. They are literally built to dominate. Catch and cook pic for attention.
 Reply by: goldcampfisher      Posted: Feb. 2, 3:58:32 PM     Points: 2
You mentioned Upper Crystal Lake in Summit County. If it's the one I'm thinking of, it's over the mountain from Mohawk Lakes. Back when I was a much younger man the upper lake had California goldens in it. The lower lake, which you can drive to had rainbow/cutty hybrids. I've gone back a few times over the years and I'm convinced the goldens are gone. The hike is getting harder and the road in there is getting rougher as I get older. We haven't found any goldens in there since in the early 1980s, I think it might be barren unless F&G did some aerial stocking recently. It's a decent lake, deep enough to survive winterkill. But no good spawning in my opinion.
 Reply by: devon234      Posted: Feb. 4, 12:12:26 AM     Points: 303
In regards to keeping fish from these types of lakes I just don't see the point because those fish are literally living on the brink of what they can biologically handle. I know I'm being guy and I'm sure they some of the best tasting and cleanest fish you can eat but think of the environment those fish live in and how long it takes for them to grow. I know a lit of those lakes are stocked but think of what that fish has to live through just to survive. there is a lake close to where I live that has ice on it or at least an iceberg of sorts all year and has only 3 months where the majority of the lake is open( july, august, and september) that is crazy to think that a fish can survive in that type of environment. There are many high lakes that are good to keep fish from but some I just don't think you should out of respect for what that fish has gone through just to live biologically speaking. That is why to me keeping a big Brooke for example is something that I can't stand. Those are rare fish and should be treated as such and same goes for any fish that takes truly special circumstances to create either it be an 8lb large mouth or a big cutthroat. There are good places to keep fish and places that need to be catch and release. In regards to the lake mentioned above that lake is somewhere around 12,500 ft and at the very upper limit of what that area of Colorado can support. When you get to tundra the ecosystem is so fragile because everything is living on the brink.
 Reply by: eholm      Posted: Feb. 4, 4:27:56 PM     Points: 4464
Ewert - thanks so much for confirming the stocking! I will definitely email you if I get up there. I've been doing a lot of research on Pacific, and haven't found any public posts about catching fish there. But... relatively few people have made it up there, so I'm guessing the number of anglers is very small.

For example, on AllTrails, over 90% of the pictures on the trail for that lake are NOT Pacific. The people hiking that trail are not going all the way up.

I found a couple of reports from scuba divers from 2013 and 2014 (likely before it was stocked) and (along with several other older reports) I think we can definitively say there was no meaningful fish population there before it was stocked, and almost definitively say there were none.

I found a short video clip of underwater footage taken in 2020, which didn't show any fish, but did show green plant life. I am keen to check it out. Based on pics I've researched, this lake might also have the longest ice-on period of any stocked lake.
 Reply by: eholm      Posted: Feb. 4, 4:59:55 PM     Points: 4464
ND Transplant - you make a good case for keeping brookies. I also like your catch n cook videos. If you do the cooking, I'll eat it.

It's interesting that brookies have a fairly short lifespan. Since that's the case, it seems to me that all those state record fish out of mountain lakes must be freaks of nature. This would be a completely different topic, but it makes me wonder... what if they have some splake genes? While splake are usually sterile, I've read reports that they have been known to reproduce, and to cross back with brookies. They started stocking them in CO in the 1980's "to thin out stunted brook trout populations" according to CPW. What if one of those fish freakishly reproduced with a brookie, which reproduced with a brookie, etc... Eventually you have a brookie with a just a tiny bit of lake trout genes to make it get bigger and older, and you wouldn't be able to tell without genetic testing. Just an unscientific, wacky theory, but what if, LOL.

pic 1 - the most recent state record brookie
pic 2 - that same angler holding a utah state record laker that he caught
 Reply by: eholm      Posted: Feb. 4, 5:07:37 PM     Points: 4464
goldcampfisher - very cool info, thanks!

devon234 - I agree about the tundra ecosystem. Again the lowest lake on my list is 12835ft. Maybe there needs to be more research, but I bet there's a difference in the life of a fish at that altitude vs say, 11500ft.
 Reply by: brookieflyfisher      Posted: Feb. 6, 10:38:11 AM     Points: 6191
I love fishing the alpine. This is a great discussion. I should do this in the states that I frequent! Thanks for the inspiration! Maybe a friendly cross-state competition is in order :)

From my experience growing up in CO, it looks like you're on the right track. This summer should be interesting. The year after a bigger snow year (like this one might be) really mixes things up. Winterkill is an issue but all that extra water means uninhabitable ponds suddenly turn into habitable lakes. Streams that were once dry or intermittent spring to life and connect fishless lakes with fish-containing waterways. 2011 had a big snowpack, and I remember the summer of 2012 being a real mixed bag. Some lakes were totally wiped out from winterkill, while other "fishless" tarns (according to Kip Carey) had good populations of stranded fish.

Good luck in your quest! Sure hope you report back!
 Reply by: brookieflyfisher      Posted: Feb. 6, 10:40:14 AM     Points: 6191
I also had to comment on the ecology of alpine systems because I'm an insufferable nerd about this stuff :)

While it's true that trout in normal systems generally live to 3-5 years old, the data I've seen shows that high alpine fish can (and usually do) live much longer. Brook trout like all char can reach 20+ years easily. Even short-generation fish like cutthroat trout seem to be able to live to an incredible 10+ years in alpine systems. The research I've seen says these high ages are usually the result of slow growth and a lack of natural predators.

My personal (unsupported) theory for the sudden appearance of large brook trout in high alpine lakes is environmental. Genetics could play a part, but even an animal genetically predisposed to large size can't get that big without the resources to do so. There's scientific evidence to suggest that our mountain lakes (subalpine, alpine, and tundra) have become more fertile over the last 5 years due to increasing human impact. Dust brought by the wind from fracking, development, agriculture, drought, and wildfires along with poor leave-no-trace practices have fertilized our lakes. Of course, management plays a role too. Contrary to popular belief (lol) our fish and game agencies listen to anglers and are generally taking action to provide better fishing in alpine systems. All these things are happening across the west--and UT and ID have also seen multiple new records come from high alpine lakes in the past 5 years.

As for keeping fish, you all should know that stocking high alpine lakes has ecological downsides. As fun as it is to catch fish in the tundra, they usually don't belong there. Generally, fish in alpine lakes negatively impact native amphibian, insect, and bird communities. Personally, I would not feel bad at all about keeping as many fish as you are legally allowed.
 Reply by: ND Transplant      Posted: Feb. 6, 4:18:49 PM     Points: 13943
Thanks Brookie! I was hoping you'd jump in. I only learned about the negative side on stocking alpines from you. Appreciate it.
 Reply by: eholm      Posted: Feb. 6, 9:03:02 PM     Points: 4464
brookieflyfisher - thanks for chiming in and great input!

There are definitely some dichotomies being presented here - and I'm not pointing at you but at all of us who enjoy fishing the alpine.

On the one hand, we like and want to fish the alpine.

On the other hand, we understand that stocking those lakes might be harmful to natural ecosystems.

So then, it seems that some anglers think keeping fish is the right thing to do, given the circumstances.

Yet it also seems the CPW stocks fish based on the preferences of anglers. So it could also be logically extracted that if you like fishing the alpine, you do fish it, and you keep the fish... CPW is going to keep stocking those waters.

Therefore, the more I think about it, I don't think there is a moral high ground on either side of the C&R vs C&K fence (as it relates to high alpine). I suppose that's why ND called out my original post for saying catch and release "only".

So let me revise that statement to say this: my personal opinion and preference is that anglers C&R in these lakes above 12,800ft. That opinion does not come from a place of moral superiority, but because of my preference to foster continued populations of growing fish up there for myself and others to enjoy catching (yes, maybe even at the cost of other organisms).

I realize that's a controversial opinion, and the science behind it is debatable.

That's not to say the science is flawed or problematic, but just that how we interpret the data is debatable. I could point to articles where science has proven that non-native fish have wreaked havoc on ecosystems. Some would argue that such hard facts are not debatable. They are proof that stocking alpine lakes is wrong.

But I could also point to (probably countless) examples of humans exploiting or wrecking ecosystems, and every person who participates in our modern society benefits from such exploits. I'm not saying two wrongs make a right, but that things are not always black and white.

Anglers have enjoyed trying to help eradicate such problems as northern snakeheads and lionfish. I suppose a similar case could be made for brook trout. But I think its a different case when we're talking about trout species that are intentionally stocked.

For those who believe that stocking alpine lakes is inherently wrong, I believe the most congruent action would be to not fish those lakes. Petition CPW to stop stocking them. Kill them off or let them die.

Your mention of trout and char growing especially old in alpine environments is also an interesting piece of science. In general I see longevity of creatures as a positive thing. Most of us would agree that our planet is pretty screwed up. Nothing is as it should be, nor will it ever. I could argue that if we found a place where trout can live long and grow big, maybe it's not a bad place for them to be. Yet there is always a tradeoff and a cost...
 Reply by: ND Transplant      Posted: Feb. 7, 5:20:41 AM     Points: 13943
All I know is that fishing the Alpines, for me, is pure nirvana. Especially the super remote ones that aren't even named and rarely get fished. Seeing the old giants smash your bait in gin clear water all alone is cathartic. It's the perfect way to decompress. Great thread @eholm!
 Reply by: Nice guy      Posted: Feb. 7, 3:50:24 PM     Points: 2
I have enjoyed reading Ron Belak's books on High mountain lakes and have heard him speak several times.
 Reply by: randog      Posted: Feb. 8, 12:36:44 PM     Points: 1745
Only lakes I know of with stunted brookies would be Yankee doodle, jenny lake. Most others have decent fat brookies in them. Now little creeks have tons of stunted brookies. Brook trout seem to thrive in most lakes with running water in and out. But dam brookies tasted good.
 Reply by: eholm      Posted: Feb. 8, 12:42:01 PM     Points: 4464
ND Transplant - bliss indeed, on that point we can 100% agree!
 Reply by: randog      Posted: Feb. 8, 12:45:03 PM     Points: 1745
As for alpine likes with fish I consider them a bonus to a beautiful hike.
 Reply by: eholm      Posted: Feb. 8, 12:47:56 PM     Points: 4464
Nice guy- thanks for the recommendation. I just checked out Ron Belak's site and ordered his "The Fishing Guide to 800 High Lakes in Colorado". It was $44.84 with shipping and tax. He personally fished over 600 of those lakes, which is wayyy more than I've hit so far. So I'm thinking a few nuggets will make the investment worthwhile.

Book is here [log in for link]

He's posting updates here [log in for link]

He's presenting that title as a talk at the upcoming fly fishing convention, which is tempting, but I'll probably be out fishing instead. But there is a recording of that talk here [log in for link]
 Reply by: eholm      Posted: Feb. 8, 12:54:39 PM     Points: 4464
randog - I've seen stunted brookies in other lakes. Like you said, they seem to do well with inflow and outflow. From what I've seen, the ones at highest altitude, and with less flow, are the skinniest brookies. Agreed on fish being the bonus for some of these locations... hike, ski, mountain bike.
 Reply by: eholm      Posted: Feb. 8, 4:14:21 PM     Points: 4464
I received my copy of Kip Carey's 2nd edition. It is from 2003. In my perusal, I'm seeing a lot of dated info, but still some useful info, especially regarding access, and historical stocking. From it I was able to find more info about 3 of the lakes on my list:

2) Upper Winchell Lakes - the book mentioned them being on private property. So I did a little research and it appears they are on the Trinchera Ranch. On one hand, that means they've not been stocked by CPW. On the other hand, it doesn't rule out stocking, since it is a guest ranch that does offer fishing. I'll try to find out more.

9) Sloan Lake - has been stocked in the past. Artificial lures only. Book mentions that it sometimes winterkills, so more confirmation is needed if fish exist now.

10) Upper Crystal Lake - has been stocked in the past. The book lists it at 12,856ft.
 Reply by: SirGreg88      Posted: Feb. 9, 3:52:57 PM     Points: 198
Man-made brookie bloating. Cool story bro..............
 Reply by: eholm      Posted: Feb. 9, 10:07:28 PM     Points: 4464
SirGreg88 - are you referring to my unsupported speculation about splake genes, or Brookieflyfisher's unsupported theory about human impact? LOL... either way I think both of us made it clear these are just ideas... but also, good science can involve asking crazy questions and making observations.
 Reply by: eholm      Posted: Feb. 10, 11:53:59 AM     Points: 4464
ND Transplant - I read the 2001 Edwin P. Pister paper that you linked, and this is an epic quote:

"I remain fully confident that if a nuclear holocaust should eliminate most of Earth’s life forms, survivors would include not only cockroaches but brook trout as well."

I made an illustration for it.
 Reply by: Walleye Guy      Posted: Feb. 10, 12:52:18 PM     Points: 181
And Brookies would eat the roaches…, win.

Back to top...
Operation Game Thief
Call to report illegal fishing/hunting:
Email CPW