Colorado Parks and Wildlife has awarded $650,000 to seven Fishing is Fun (FIF) projects, all geared to improve angling opportunities in the state of Colorado.
The Fishing Is Fun program provides matching grants annually to local and county governments, park and recreation departments, water districts, angling organizations and others for projects to improve angling opportunities in Colorado.
For 2022, angling improvements funded through the approved projects include one new fishing pond, four fishing piers, four access trails, several new angler access points, in-stream habitat improvements, shade shelters, an information kiosk and a boat dock extension.
"This year's projects represent the variety of ways the Fishing Is Fun program and CPW have supported angling across the state," said Jim Guthrie, the Fishing Is Fun program coordinator. "Project funding will support a new fishing opportunity on the eastern plains, safer access – including improved in-channel habitat – to a river on the west slope, and new fishing opportunities along the Front Range. Multiply that by the 35 years the project has been in existence and that is a lot of angling improvements."
Among the projects approved for funding are:
River's Edge in Loveland
The project will develop five angler access points and one fishing pier, on three ponds at the River's Edge Natural Area in central Loveland. The area is the city's busiest angling location and has extensive walking, biking and driving access.
The project will provide twenty-one instream habitat improvements and angler access upgrades along 1.3 miles of the Dolores River above McPhee Reservoir in the Town of Dolores. Angler access work on the north side of the river will allow significantly safer and easier access to the river. Habitat improvements include J-hooks, boulder clusters and vortex weirs.
The grant will fund development of angler amenities, including shade structures, a fishing pier and parking, at an approximately 2 acre fishing pond in a new 190 acre regional park on the Eastern Plains, approximately 35 miles east of Denver.
About the program
For 35 years, FIF has supported more than 390 projects in nearly every county in the state, improving stream and river habitats, expanding public access to angling waters, developing new angling opportunities, facilitating ADA access and more.
The program typically provides up to $425,000 annually from the Federal Sport Fish Restoration Program (SFR), funded with excise taxes on fishing equipment and motorboat fuel. This year the program also awarded an additional $225,000 from revenue generated through Colorado's wildlife sporting license plate. The $650,000 total will be met with more than $330,000 in matching funds for the seven projects approved in 2022.
Fishing alone contributes $2.4 billion dollars in economic output per year, supporting over 17,000 jobs in Colorado according to CPW's 2017 economic study.
"The Fishing is Fun program plays an important role in revitalizing aquatic ecosystems across Colorado while improving angling opportunities for residents and visitors," said Heather Dugan, Acting Director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife. "Colorado waters and the angling opportunities they provide are part of what makes this state so special and this program is one of the reasons why."
Additional Fishing is Fun program details and requirements can be found on CPW's website ( [log in for link]
2022 Fishing is Fun grants include:
River's Edge in Loveland
Trail creation, fishing pier, angler access points
Instream habitat improvements, angler access
Boat dock extension
New fishing pond, fishing pier, shelters
Paintbrush Pond in Castle Rock
Access trail, fishing pier
Eagle Kid's Pond
Information kiosk, trail creation