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Lake: Quincy Reservoir

Quincy Reservoir fishery on the decline?

Post By: Bass Commando      Posted: 9/13/2023 12:43:38 PM     Points: 881    
I have put in several trips this season to the ol' Q. I am happy to be back to fishing as often as I used to be. I used to fish Quincy 2 to 3 times a week (When open) from 2006 to 2011. Being a born and bred Florida bass fisherman, I found that Quincy drew me in because of the qaulity and #'s of bass I was catching. There were only a few more bodies of water in Colorado that I found that were on the level of Quincy.

This season has been filled with constant stories from other fishermen that Quincy has not nearly producing as at once did. It is past its hayday. Not managed as well. Based on my experience, this year, I would agree that I am not getting the #'s I used to get. In my gut it is that I am "re-learning" the lake and establishing patterens. I did manange 2 fish over 4lbs and 1 over 5lbs. Still great quality fish , especially along the front range. The fish are there and the bite may be slower, and catch rates down and that certainly is the case for me, but is there more to it?

I am curious, anyone else experiencing the same? If so, what are your thoughts as to the reason why? If you are still doing well and the lake is producing well for you, let me know! I have batted a 1.000 on everyone I have spoke with at the lake on them not doing well that day or the last few trips.
I do hear the Perch bite has been pretty decent this year with some good #'s and size.

Bass Commando
 Reply by: albacore      Posted: Sep. 15, 7:16:58 AM     Points: 100
This is the worst year I have had fishing Quincy Reservoir. Last 3 years were fairly good but this year I have only managed one smallmouth and no largemouth. I thought maybe it was due to the high water but after reading your post it's very possible the reservoir is in decline. Too bad I love fishing that lake.
 Reply by: GigglySquids      Posted: Sep. 15, 1:37:10 PM     Points: 6
Hey Bass Commando,

My first season fishing Quincy was spring of 2019. That Spring was my best season of bass fishing in Colorado period. I got lucky and dialed in the pattern on my first trip, which was followed by 4 or 5 equally successful trips from Mar-May. Multiple smallmouth 3-4 pounds each trip, 4 - 4.8lb largemouths all morning. Having moved here from Hawaii I was so stoked to get into some "real" bass fishing, I did not mind the entry fee at all and in fact thought that was why the fishery was so awesome.

Remember what else happened Spring of 19, yeah, COVID. For what ever reason, they decided to waive the entry fee throughout the peak of the lockdown. This made the place accessible to EVERYONE, everyone who may not have been familiar with certain rules at Quincy, specifically no bait.

During the tail end of those trips i made in spring, i witnessed multiple people using bait, minnows specifically, some powerbait here and there for trout. I also witnessed multiple people walking out with full stringers of nice bass, smallmouth and largemouth. I did make an effort to let the rangers know i saw people using bait if they were in the shack. I did NOT cry to the rangers that people were keeping bass, cuz unfortunately they are allowed to within the regulations.

Like most fishing places throughout the country, pressure increased EXPONENTIALLY during COVID. However i feel Quincy was affected more than most places due to:

1. Quincy is a small reservoir, smaller than 90% of reservoirs here (not ponds)

2. In my personal opinion, prior to COVID, i believe most of the people fishing Quincy were dedicated Bass anglers, of which 99.9% are usually catch and release. These are the people willing to pay the extra fee to fish there. Waiving that fee no longer attracted that niche set of people, it was now a sort of "free for all".

I want to reiterate i am not solely blaming the people i observed keeping stringers of Bass for this "decline". I 100% acknowledge/respect that they are 100% ok to keep the legal limit if they want to. Doesn't mean i have to like/agree with what they're doing though..... I am fully aware that there are some harvest needs to keep a healthy population of any animal. Quincy never struck me as having a large population of stunted or undersized fish however.

I am also not blaming COVID for the "decline" either, however i do believe that certain factors (increased pressure / new crowd) POSSIBLY contributed to this "decline"

After that successful season for me, i went into 2020 with high hopes, a little too high HAHA. After 3 trips in the same Mar-May timeframe. i managed 2 smallmouth total. Both were in the 2-2.5lb range. I thought maybe this season was a little tougher and ill try again next spring. 2021 and 2022 yielded near identical results. This year, i went once, got skunked, and focused on other lakes for the Spring bite.

Again these are just my personal observations. Please don't believe my observations are the end all be all for what Quincy conditions are like. I have only been fishing Quincy for the past few years and i only fish there during the Spring so perhaps my data is not the most accurate as its a very finite pool of data. Maybe Summer and Fall wouldve been spectacular. But I'm very curious to see what others have observed as well, especially for people that have been fishing it for longer than i have.

Hope we all have better luck in the coming years!
 Reply by: Bass Commando      Posted: Sep. 16, 9:30:20 AM     Points: 881
Very interesting factors that I honestly never even thought of. The whole craziness of those 2 years definitley may have had unintended effect on the fishing quality. I did not venture out to the Q during that time therefore did not witness the things you did.
I agree with everything you said. I believe in harvesting fish from time to time. I am from Florida and many of the managed trophy lakes have slot harvesting, meaning all bass from 14" or smaller have to be harvested and anything over must be released. With what you describe, sounds like some total disregard of all regs. It is what it is at this point. I guess the good news is, all my trips this year I have witnessed the rangers doing their parts. So although, with what effects that may be trickling down from 3 years ago are being felt now, it should only be on the up moving forward. One can only hope though.

It is a great little fishery and still holds some Master Angler fish, just the catch rates seem to be significantly lower per hr.

I really appreciate the responses! Would love to hear more, even if anyone has noticed the same for other front range lakes.

Bass Commando
 Reply by: wingman13      Posted: Sep. 16, 9:46:42 AM     Points: 285
Great post Giggly!!
 Reply by: Sean D      Posted: Sep. 17, 10:41:33 AM     Points: 1209
The best year of bass fishing there by far was before it was included with the Aurora parks pass, I think that was around 2016. Before then, it was a fee per person. It wasn't uncommon to hear about guys catching 5, 6 even 7+lbers. I haven't heard of a 6 being caught since then. But charging $6 per person vs $10 per car prevented people from showing up with their brother, wife, sister in law and 7 kids and keeping a limit of whatever they could fit in their buckets because they weren't going to pay $60-70 to fish at a small pond like that, so they'd go to places like Aurora, catch 1-2 trout each and be happy.

The per-person limited the amount of people who fished it and the amount of people who kept fish. It also made it easier for the rangers to patrol.

I saw it declining even back then. I had that lake dialed in to where I could catch 15-20 fish and a 15-18lb best 5 of either largemouth or smallmouth almost at will. I haven't fished there since probably 2018 or so.

Oh, and Covid was spring 2020, not 2019. But you're right that it raised pressure.
 Reply by: not too old to fish      Posted: Sep. 17, 11:16:23 AM     Points: 8440
Just my 2 cents worth, as a part time bass fisherman, I haven't fished Quincy in years so I have no input on it's status. It seems bass fishing on any given water around town goes in cycles from very good to poor and back. It seems the bass thrive for a few years and then tank for a few after that. I would say there are many reasons for this cycle and I believe heavy fishing pressure as mentioned above is the most influential cause. Once word gets out about some good fishing for larger sized fish that you can keep, the general population declines and it takes several years for that to build back up.
I would like to see a size limit and decrease in number of bass to be taken state wide. The thing is, bass are hardy fish that can be caught over and over and still continue to thrive, but they can't bite if they are not there.
 Reply by: snowscum      Posted: Sep. 17, 2:13:13 PM     Points: 98
Its just not limited to Quincy. Everywhere I used to catch nice bass are in decline due to rule breaking and rangers dont want any altercations with a certain type of people is what I am experiencing.
 Reply by: Bass Commando      Posted: Sep. 18, 3:26:21 PM     Points: 881
Thank you all for the comments. I really appreciate it. Some good insight was shared. Sounds like Quincy may not be alone in the decline of front range warm water fisheries. Some things said are specualtion as to the reason why but seems like there may be multiple reasons.

One thing I know for sure is that we all can continue to be good stewards no matter what body of water we are on. Obey all the regs, respect the rules and maybe help/volunteer when needed.

I truly feel the hit these lakes took during covid are on the rebound or will be soon enough. Time seems to be the best fix.

I will be on the Q Wednesday morning hunting some bass. Maybe I will see some of you all there?!

Bass Commando

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