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Rifle Gap Reservoir on the agenda at Angler Open House in Rifle

CPW News Release
RIFLE, Colo. - Anglers interested in learning more about the future fishery management plan for Rifle Gap Reservoir are encouraged to attend an Angler Open House - the second in as many months - Tuesday, April 19, 6 - 9 p.m. at the Garfield County Fairgrounds Event Hall.

CPW hosted an initial open house for anglers to discuss management direction for the reservoir on March 10, at the same location.

Agency officials will be available to answer questions and discuss the approved Lake Management Plan for Rifle Gap reservoir. Additionally, CPW is announcing that Lori Martin - the biologist responsible for the writing and implementation of the LMP - has earned a promotion and is in the process of transferring to a new position in the agency's Southeast Region.

"We have heard from anglers with questions about the plan and the management goals for the reservoir," said Martin. "This open house is a great opportunity for the public to ask questions, get accurate information and find ways to work together so that we can continue to provide great fishing opportunities on the Western Slope. We hope to see a good turnout."

CPW's partners in the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the wildlife agencies of the States of Utah and Wyoming, reviewed and approved the Rifle Gap Lake Management Plan, enabling the stocking of black crappie, yellow perch and sterile or 'triploid' walleye into Rifle Gap Reservoir. According to the Recovery Program, these popular non-native species are compatible with recovery of Colorado's endangered native fishes.

The LMP stipulations provide additional protections for native fishes by requiring CPW to net and remove fertile female walleye during the spawning season on an interim basis the removal of special regulations for smallmouth bass and the lethal removal of smallmouth bass and northern pike collected during standard CPW sampling procedures in the spring and fall.

Martin says one of the biggest challenges facing CPW is satisfying anglersí desires for catching multiple, non-native warmwater species while at the same time protecting native fishes.

"Anglers need to know that we are working hard to provide a variety of desirable species for them to catch, but that must be balanced with the conservation of our native species," said Martin. "We are doing what we can to meet the desires of anglers, while at the same time making sure our actions do not jeopardize native fishes downstream. There are many different aspects of this situation, and we need the publicís input, cooperation and some compromise from all stakeholders involved to make it work."

Who: Colorado Parks and Wildlife
What: Angler Open House
When: Tuesday, April 19, 6 - 9 p.m.
Where: Garfield County Fairgrounds, Event Hall
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