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Colorado Parks and Wildlife
There is no registration fee for the tournament and the contest is open to all anglers who have a Colorado fishing license. The top prize will be a fishing boat complete with engine, trailer and life jackets. Other prizes will include fishing rod combos and lures--especially suited for smallmouth bass anglers.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife will be tagging 10 smallmouth bass of all sizes. Every smallmouth bass an angler harvests affords an opportunity to win a prize. Tags are not visible and all smallmouth bass will be checked at the boat ramp to determine prize eligibility. Live fish cannot be checked. Anglers are automatically registered in the tournament when they present smallmouth bass at the check-in area at the boat ramp.

Smallmouth bass are plentiful in Ridgway Reservoir, said Eric Gardunio, aquatic biologist for CPW in the Ridgway area. There are no bag or possession limits on smallmouth bass at Ridgway Reservoir.

"The water temperatures in mid-July should be ideal for pursuing smallmouth bass at Ridgway," Gardunio said.

This species becomes very active as the water warms up to about 55 degrees, Gardunio explained. Anglers should target rock outcroppings, submerged logs and any prominent structures which smallmouth bass favor. The fish will hide and then ambush small fish, crayfish, insects and well-presented lures.

"They are fun to catch and they are very good eating," Gardunio said.

For tournament rules and for some instruction on how to catch smallmouth bass, go to this CPW web site:

All boaters are reminded that they must go through the aquatic nuisance inspection station before launching their craft.

Outstanding camping facilities are available at Ridgway State Park, so anglers can get an early start in the morning and fish well into the evening. Ridgway offers 283 campsites and three yurts. The daily entry fee to the park is $7 per vehicle. Camp sites range in price from $18 to $26.

For more information about the fishing tournament or camping, call Ridgway State Park at 970-626-5822.
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