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DOW set to hear locals' wishes for fishes

Montrose Daily Press 06/18/11
DOW set to hear locals' wishes for fishes
By Katharhynn Heidelberg
Daily Press Senior Writer
Published/Last Modified on Saturday, June 18, 2011 12:05 AM MDT
MONTROSE" Attention, anglers. Next week is your chance to have your say about fishing, fisheries management and related issues.

The Colorado Division of Wildlife is hosting an open house next Thursday in Montrose, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Express.

The DOW routinely hosts such "anglers' roundtables," not just when there are hot-button issues, such as mackinaw netting and killing in Blue Mesa Reservoir.
Some area fishermen disagree with the DOW's management decisions there, though the DOW says the fish-kills are necessary because the mackinaw are killing kokanee salmon. (See May 11 Daily Press.)

Division spokesman Joe Lewandowski admits the division expects to get an earful about the issue come next Thursday.

"It's a good time for people to come out and state their concerns," he said Friday. "We will cover any topic anyone wants to talk about. We talk about hot issues, but this is something we do every year. ... We know some people will probably be there about Blue Mesa."

Dan Kowalski and John Alves, DOW aquatic biologists, will be on hand at the open house to discuss fishing and related issues in the Montrose region. Also, district wildlife managers will be available to answer questions in an informal setting.

Aside from the controversy at Blue Mesa, anglers might be interested in discussing the DOW's efforts to reintroduce the cutthroat trout to Woods Lake above Telluride, said Lewandowski.

The high-mountain lake is being drawn down, and will be treated with Rotenone, a chemical that will kill the rainbow trout in the lake, but that does not harm birds and wildlife.

Treatments are planned for the end of July. Until the draw-down, people can keep all the fish they catch, provided they have a valid fishing license and use legal means to catch the fish.

The fish-kill is necessary to give the native cutthroat a fighting chance, Lewandowski said.

If all goes according to plan, the cutthroat will reproduce naturally, and that will help keep the fish off the restrictive federal Endangered Species list.

"They don't compete well in big rivers like the Gunnison," Lewandowski said. "We're looking for isolated areas where we can reintroduce these fish."

For the full story, see today's print edition. The online story may not reflect all relevant information that was reported. We encourage readers to obtain the full story by reading the print edition or our e-edition, To subscribe, call (970) 252-7081 or click on the subscription link on the main page.

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