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CPW changes Gold Medal status of two Northwest Region waters
CPW News Release
DENVER - Colorado Parks and Wildlife is advising anglers about recent changes to the Gold Medal designations for sections of two rivers in the Northwest Region. During a regular meeting in Denver earlier this month, the CPW Commission accepted staff's recommendations to assign Gold Medal status to a 24-mile stretch of the Colorado River, from the confluence with Canyon Creek, at the mouth of Gore Canyon, downstream to the confluence of Rock Creek, near the town of McCoy.

The commission also accepted staff's recommendations to delist the Gold Medal status of a 19-mile stretch of the Blue River, from the Hamilton Creek Road Bridge crossing at the northern edge of Silverthorne to Green Mountain Reservoir. In addition to staff, commissioners heard from a local angler who agreed that the stretch of the Blue River should be delisted.

In Colorado, Gold Medal status is reserved for state waters that produce a minimum of 60-pounds of trout per acre and 12 trout measuring 14-inches or longer per acre. The delisted stretch of the Blue River has not met that criteria for the last 15 years, according to CPW biologists.

"The overall goal is to maintain the integrity of the Gold Medal designation," said Aquatic Biologist Jon Ewert, from Hot Sulphur Springs. "As necessary, we will make recommendations to delist or upgrade waters, keeping in mind the intent of the designation - identifying waters where anglers can catch large, trophy-quality trout."

Ewert adds that the quality of the delisted section of the Blue River declined due to the cumulative effects of a variety of impacts, including unnatural stream flows, sparse aquatic invertebrate populations, low nutrient content and degraded habitat.

"We'll continue to monitor the stretch of the river," said Northwest Region Senior Aquatic Biologist Sherman Hebein. "It does not meet Gold Medal criteria right now, but together with the Town of Silverthorne, Denver Water and local anglers, we will work towards relisting this section as a Gold Medal water in the future."

The sections of the Blue River from Dillon Dam to the Hamilton Creek Road bridge crossing and from Green Mountain Dam to the confluence with the Colorado River, all exceed the minimum criteria and will retain Gold Medal status.

According to Ewert, the upgraded section of the Colorado River exceeds the minimum requirements for Gold Medal status.

"We studied this section of the Colorado River extensively over the past eight years," he said. "We found that it is an excellent fishery."

Currently, Colorado assigns Gold Medal status to 3 lakes including North Delaney Butte, Spinney Mountain Reservoir and Steamboat Lake, totaling 3,206 surface acres. Additionally, there are 329 stream miles considered Gold Medal waters in the state, out of a total of 9000 miles.
Member comments
by: bardkin on 3/29/2016 7:37:00 AM
I do at least a weekend trip up to Kremlin every year, and I gotta say I agree with this. The Blue isn't even accessible below green mountain unless you bring some repelling gear and it's all private all the way to the Colorado. This helps to keep a healthier larger population in place. But from the inlet of green mountain all the way back up to silver thorn is a whole different type of river. it's shallower, more heavily fished and has a larger human impact to it. As a result, yo get a lot smaller fish. Now go up to the dam at Dillon, and that a whole other scenario. As far as the Colorado, I am more surprised knowing that chunk of water WASN'T GMW to begin with..
by: Riverfish on 4/1/2016 12:37:00 AM
So does this mean that bait will be allowed? Just great! I fish that section a little. Am I gonna have to bring a large trash bag to pick up worm cans?