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Win prizes, catch all the northern pike and smallmouth bass you wish during the Elkhead Reservoir Fishing Tournament, June 11-19

CPW News Release
CRAIG, Colo. - 'Catch and Keep' and 'big prizes' will be the catchwords during Colorado Parks and Wildlife's Elkhead Reservoir Fishing Tournament, June 11-19 at Elkhead Reservoir, located approximately 9 miles northeast of Craig.

Anglers can catch as many northern pike and smallmouth bass as they desire, then turn them in for a chance of winning the top prize - an AlumaCraft 16 Boat, Karavan Trailer and Nissan Outboard Motor second prize is a Fish Cat 4 Deluxe Float Tube third prize is a Minn Kota 50 PowerDrive 54" Trolling Motor.​​

"We anticipate a good turnout and it should be a lot of fun, especially considering the prizes anglers can win," said Sherman Hebein, senior aquatic biologist for CPW's Northwest Region. "You can catch and keep as many northern pike and smallmouth bass as you want, possibly take home a great prize and be directly involved with management goals for this reservoir."

Hebein adds that northern pike and smallmouth bass, found in large numbers in Elkhead Reservoir and other Upper Colorado River Basin waters, continue to be a significant impediment to the recovery of Colorado's native fishes - Colorado pikeminnow, humpback chub, razorback sucker and bonytail.

"The tournament gives anglers a role in helping manage the reservoir in a manner compatible with native fishes recovery," he said. "This will ultimately allow establishment of the warmwater fishery that anglers have been asking for."

Ten fish of each species will be 'PIT' tagged. Participants can bring their catch to the tournament station for scanning between 8:30 a.m and 5 p.m. each day of the tournament. If an angler catches a tagged fish, they are automatically entered in a drawing for the top prizes. Live fish will not be scanned.

Scanning will end at 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 19, followed by the presentation of the main prizes.

Additional prizes categories include the smallest fish each day largest fish each day most fish caught per day and most fish caught over the course of the tournament, presented after 5 p.m. each day.

The boat ramp will remain open from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. during the tournament. Anglers can stay on the reservoir overnight if they wish.

CPW reminds anglers that peak times for exiting the boat ramp tend to be mid-morning when anglers are leaving, as well as evening before the station closes.

All boats are subject to Aquatic Nuisance Species inspections prior to launching. Additional personnel will be available to accommodate tournament participants.

Elkhead State Park offers 16 campsites available for $18 per night. Daily entry to the park is seven dollars per vehicle.

For more information, visit, call Elkhead State Park at 970-276-2061 or visit them at
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