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Colorado Fishing News Back to Colorado Fishing News
Colorado Division of Wildlife Press Release
DENVER, Colo. — The Colorado Division of Wildlife and Colorado State Parks will use funds from a Fishing is Fun grant to improve the quality of sport fishing at Pelican Lake in St. Vrain State Park, beginning this week.

Pelican Lake, the largest pond at the park, previously offered anglers quality fishing for catchable trout, bass, sunfish, and other warm water fish (2002 DOW surveys). However intolerable oxygen and pH levels have prevented the DOW from stocking the lake with sport fish in recent years. The poor water quality conditions resulted in a large fish kill in 2006, killing virtually all sport fish with only a small number of catfish and common carp surviving. Net and electro fishing surveys performed in 2008 and 2010 have yielded 95% common carp.

In order to solve the water quality issues, an aeration system will be installed in May of 2011 which will substantially increase dissolved oxygen necessary to support a thriving fish community. The aeration system was primarily funded by a DOW Fishing is Fun Grant totaling $27,832.00. A cost-match totaling $7,000.00 was provided by St. Vrain State Park. Fishing Is Fun program funds come from federal excise taxes collected on the purchase of fishing equipment, boats, and motor boat fuels.

“St. Vrain State Park is an accessible and attractive destination for front range anglers,” said Larry Rogstad, Area Wildlife Manager, Boulder County. “This contribution from Fishing is Fun and state parks will improve the aquatic habitat and help create a quality fishery with public access for everyone to enjoy.”

To achieve the greatest benefit from the grant, a reclamation project took place early this week. This project used rotenone to kill off all fish currently present in the lake thereby allowing DOW biologists to start re-building the fishery from scratch once the aeration system is installed. Fish species scheduled to be stocked in spring of 2011 include channel catfish, largemouth bass, black crappie, and a small number of 10 inch rainbow trout.

Rotenone works by inhibiting a biochemical process in the fish cells, resulting in an inability of fish to use oxygen in the release of energy during normal body processes. Although rotenone detoxifies within a few weeks of the application, restocking of sport fish will not occur until the aeration system is installed. Rotenone is non-toxic to birds, terrestrial species, and humans.

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