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Colorado Fishing News Back to Colorado Fishing News
Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Projects approved for funding will result in new and expanded angler access to the Lake Fork of the Gunnison, Colorado, and Arkansas Rivers, improve in-stream habitat in Boulder Creek and upgrade existing angling facilities in Holyoke and Rio Blanco counties.

“Colorado has incredible fisheries, truly world-class,” said Bob Broscheid, director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “The Fishing Is Fun Program is a powerful tool to develop more opportunities for residents and visitors to access that resource, and to leverage angler dollars while doing so.”

For nearly three decades, 'Fishing Is Fun' has provided matching grants for angling improvement projects, by partnering with local governments, angling groups, water conservation districts, land trusts and others. The six projects include more than $400,000 in matching funds.

Among the projects funded this year is a new boat ramp on the Colorado River at Rifle, Colo.

“The current boat ramp is not in good shape and poses a significant safety risk to access.” noted Levi Atwater, the District Wildlife Manager for the Rifle area. “The new boat ramp will improve safety and make it easier for anglers to fish a significantly underused stretch of river in the state. Despite financial challenges, the City of Rifle has worked very hard to pull all the pieces together to make a new ramp possible.”

Jim Guthrie, the Fishing Is Fun program coordinator, says the Headwaters Ranch project on the Arkansas River near Leadville, is an example of a lot of benefit for a comparatively small investment.

“The Headwaters Ranch has about three miles of Arkansas River frontage, but right now most anglers cannot get to it,” said Guthrie. “The proposed parking areas will address obvious safety issues with parking on Highway 91, and the trails will make river access easier and reduce environmental impacts. The result will be a tremendous brown trout and brook trout fishery, in a spectacular setting, newly open to the public.”

A 2013 study of outdoor recreation in Colorado found that angling in the state generated approximately $1.9 billion in economic activity and supported more than 16,400 jobs. Funding for the Fishing Is Fun Program comes from Colorado anglers through the federal Sport Fish Restoration Program. Fishing Is Fun has provided financial assistance to nearly 300 angling improvement projects statewide since 1987.
Program details are available at

Fishing Is Fun projects awarded a total of $212,300 in 2015 funding include:

Boulder Flycasters
In-stream habitat improvement on .8 mile of Boulder Creek,

Land Trust of the Upper Arkansas
New parking and access trail at Headwaters Ranch,

Holyoke Lions Club
Renovation of fishing ‘island’ and habitat improvement to Holyoke Pond

Rio Blanco Water Conservation District
American with Disabilities Act fishing pier on Kenney Reservoir,

Lake Fork Valley Conservancy
Public access easement on Lake Fork of the Gunnison in Lake City,

City of Rifle,
New boat ramp on Colorado River,