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Chatfield dog ponds

Post By: Bizkits Dad      Posted: 3/9/2023 11:48:13 AM     Points: 449    
Saw something interesting Saturday at the Chatfield dog pond. They had drained the ponds to about 1-2 feet deep. the South pond looks to be 9-10 feet at full pool. There were a lot of dead fish on the edges of the pool. 8" perch, 10" bass, suckers of all sizes and most surprisingly, 12" walleye (or maybe some kind of hybrid). Also there were still plenty of fish still swimming. You could see their wake as they swam away from movement.

They stopped allowing fishing when the area became an official dog park. I think that was 2010, but could be wrong. So it makes no sense that they would stock it if there was no fishing around. So where do the 12" walleye come from? Is it possible that there are 13 year old walleye naturally spawning?

I considered asking permission to go there with my cast net to salvage some fish, but considering all the dog crap, I decided it would be a bad idea even in the unlikely event they granted permission. Seems like a shameful waste of game fish.
 Reply by: morry      Posted: Mar. 11, 8:24:54 AM     Points: 211
I fished those ponds often about 5 years past. I caught bass almost every time I went there. One of the ponds was more productive then the others. I asked one of the park rangers if fishing was allowed at the dog ponds and he said "yes". I also encountered a Karen there once who yelled about me fishing there and I just ignored her and she went away.

My ok from the ranger was several years ago and I would check with them first before heading over there, checking first avoids a ticket or other issues.

I never caught any bass out of there that was of any size, and would never consider a harvest, just c and r. I have had better luck in quantity and size in the south ponds.

I usuall fish with waders, but I wouold never get in that water.

There is also the issues with dogs, all friendly but all over the water. I finally realized fishing the dog ponds was not worth the effort as the results just wasn't there.

 Reply by: SurfaceIron      Posted: Mar. 11, 10:11:58 AM     Points: 384
In my opinion, the management of those ponds is one of the biggest success stories followed by the biggest travesty in the state of Colorado fishing history.
We fished them for 25 years. Many years, several days a week, all catch and release. We caught largemouth to 7lbs, Bluegill to 2lbs, Smallmouth to 3lbs, Channel Catfish, Saugeye, Perch, Green Sunfish, Crappie, Bullheads, Rainbows to 3lbs, I believe Cutbows, and a Brown trout.
It was sometimes wide open fishing with some days producing 20 or more bass between 4 and 6 lbs. A small one was 2lbs. The fishing just got better and better as years went on. It was unbelievable fishing until the day it closed.
They closed it to fishing in 2019 according to my photo records, for a bunch of dogs.
 Reply by: SurfaceIron      Posted: Mar. 11, 10:14:31 AM     Points: 384
Sorry about the leaning picture of the bass.
A couple more from those ponds.
 Reply by: Coyute      Posted: Mar. 16, 10:20:34 AM     Points: 139
Great ponds back in the day before CPW took a hunting dog training area and turned the surrounding acreage into a dirt patch with dog sh*t everywhere. I started fishing those ponds 30+ years ago. Sad what it has become.
 Reply by: skiman      Posted: Mar. 16, 10:47:24 AM     Points: 2618
^^^^^ is that what you’d call “progress”?
 Reply by: Bizkits Dad      Posted: Mar. 16, 12:57:40 PM     Points: 449
Preaching to the choir and I'm still mad about it. Before it was a dog park, it was clearly marked that it was a sport dog training area. Your dog had to be under verbal control at all times and could not interfere with other activities (fishing). My dad and I were ice fishing one day and a dog kept getting into his bait, drinking out of the hole and getting tangled in the line. My dad yelled at the owner, "You're dog is going to get hooked". The response: "Why are you fishing in a dog park?" Well, it was that sentiment that lost us an above average fishery. Keep calling it a dog park and "presto". It's a dog park. CPW couldn't resist all the sweet moolah from increased visitors, then decided to ban fishing and make it a dog park. Then started charging additional fees to use it.
 Reply by: Milehighfishing      Posted: Mar. 20, 9:07:28 AM     Points: 144
while it sucks to lose the ponds to a dog park, any reason why they couldn't manage the ponds to the south? I've fished the ones to the south of the gravel pond (paddle board pond) in the past and haven't much luck, seems like they could do more with those areas.
 Reply by: Bizkits Dad      Posted: Mar. 20, 12:51:55 PM     Points: 449
MIlehigh: I'd LOVE to see one of those ponds managed for Crappie and/or white bass/wiper. I'm sure they have their reasons.

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