Eagle River voluntary fishing closure lifted as conditions improve
CPW News Release
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. - Due to improving conditions, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is lifting the voluntary fishing closure on the Eagle River, between Wolcott and the confluence with the Colorado River, effective immediately.
Over the summer, CPW officials grew concerned about the severe impacts to cold water fish caused by extensive drought-like conditions across the state's northwest region. Fish accustomed to 50-60 degree water struggled as daily temperatures in several rivers often reached well-above 70 degrees, prompting mandatory and voluntary fishing closures on several stretches of river across the region.
Although CPW is lifting the voluntary fishing closure on the Eagle River, officials caution anglers to consider how long fish have been under severe stress.
"This has been one of the hottest, driest summers we've seen for a very long time, but recent rainfall and lower temps have cooled the water and increased available habitat, which is very welcome," said Kendall Bakich, area aquatic biologist from Glenwood Springs. "But even though things are looking better, many of these fish are still recovering from a long ordeal. Anglers should take that into account."
Bakich recommends landing hooked fish quickly, handling them with wet hands and releasing them quickly. In addition, she reminds anglers to consider brown trout will be spawning soon, a strenuous activity even during optimal conditions.
"It's been a tough year for fish and a tough year for anglers, but we've turned the corner,"she said. "Anglers should take this opportunity to enjoy their natural resources on the Eagle, but do so in a responsible manner."
Senior Aquatic Biologist Lori Martin thanked the public for their cooperation.
"Anglers and outfitters know full well how precious our state's fishing resources are, not only for them but also for the local communities and businesses that depend on outdoor recreation like fishing," she said. "We extend our thanks for everyone's patience and cooperation. Let's hope for better conditions next year."
For more information about fishing conditions in Colorado, including active voluntary fishing closures, visit the CPW website.