DOLORES, Colo. – Kokanee salmon are being spawned during the next two weeks by Colorado Parks and Wildlife staff and fish will be available for giveaway in Dolores at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 31 and Thursday, Nov. 7 at Joe Rowell Park on the west side of town.
To receive fish you must have a current Colorado fishing license. Those interested should bring a container for their fish. The number each person receives will depend on how many fish are gathered and how many people show up.
Kokanee salmon are a fresh water species that are stocked as fingerlings each year in the Dolores River east of town. The fingerlings swim to McPhee Reservoir where they live for three or four years. After that, they follow their natural instincts and move back up the Dolores River to spawn near the spot where they were released.
Water conditions in Colorado are not suitable for natural reproduction, so Parks and Wildlife aquatic staff gather the fish and spawn them by hand. The fertilized eggs are then transferred to the CPW hatchery in Durango. The fish hatch and in April fingerlings are stocked again.
Because of the low water conditions at McPhee Reservoir this year, Parks and Wildlife biologists were not expecting much of a spawning run by the kokanee. However, more fish moved up river than expected and that is allowing for the spawn harvest and the giveaway.
For more information about fishing in Colorado, go to: CPW.state.co.us.