LAMAR, Colo. - Thirsty Thurston Reservoir got a much needed drink of water thanks to a partnership between Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the Fort Lyon Canal Company and Colorado Springs Utilities.
Approximately 1,000 acre-feet of water was delivered to Thurston through Fort Lyon Canal Company's canal system in mid-November.
The water delivery was made possible through a delivery and storage agreement with the Fort Lyon Canal Company and a lease agreement for water between Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Colorado Springs Utilities. The water came from CSU's excess water in Pueblo Reservoir.
"We are grateful to both the Fort Lyon Canal Company and Colorado Springs Utilities for their continued partnership and responsiveness to preserve a valuable community asset," said Dan Prenzlow, Southeast Region Manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. "I would also like to thank Steve Witte of the State Engineer's office in Pueblo for his oversight and administering the water delivery."
Thurston Reservoir reached a low point in early November and this delivery of water -- the second in as many years -- helps to preserve the fishery over winter through low water conditions.
Thurston Reservoir provides habitat for a number of bird species including dove, ducks, geese and other waterfowl.
"The higher water levels will help reduce the potential for a winter fish kill," said Jim Ramsay, the area aquatic biologist for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. "In the past few years, largemouth bass populations have really taken off."
Anglers catch bass on a variety of lures, but weedless or top water baits work best due to heavy aquatic vegetation. Other species in Thurston include black crappie, channel catfish, saugeye, and walleye.
Thurston Reservoir is located nine miles North of Lamar. In addition to fishing, the 400-acre property offers waterfowl hunting, dove, rabbit and small game hunting.
Fort Lyon Canal Company will hold the water in Thurston for Colorado Parks and Wildlife's benefit at no additional cost to the agency.
For more information about hunting, fishing or camping at Thurston Reservoir State Wildlife Area go to: http://wildlife.state.co.us/LandWater/StateWildlifeAreas/Pages/swa.aspx.
Operation Game Thief Call to report illegal fishing/hunting: