Showing posts with label trout. Show all posts
Showing posts with label trout. Show all posts

July 07, 2018

Beat the Heat — at the Fish Hatchery!

Rainbow Trout
From Colorado Parks and Wildlife:


Free family-friendly fun available at CPW hatcheries in Upper Arkansas Valley


SALIDA, Colo. – Looking for a unique, free outing where your family can have fun such as making the water churn with ravenous, leaping trout in spectacular mountain settings? How about an outing where you may even learn a thing or two?

Consider visiting two Colorado Parks and Wildlife hatcheries in the Upper Arkansas River Valley, set amid the Collegiate Peaks in central Colorado, where staffers live by the motto “Your fishin’ is our mission.”

Start by visiting the Chalk Cliffs Rearing Unit hatchery, where CPW raises catchable-size rainbow trout. The hatchery is at 22605 CR 287 near Nathrop, about two miles west of U.S. Highway 285 toward Mount Princeton.

CPW volunteer “camp hosts” greet visitors from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day. See where CPW raises about 700,000 10-inch rainbows annually in concrete raceways and ponds for stocking in lakes along the Front Range.

Free activities include fish feeding – watch the water bubble with frenzied rainbow trout that jump into the air when you toss a handful of feed into the ponds – and videos. For tour information, call Chalk Cliffs at 719-395-2378.

Down the highway, Mount Shavano Hatchery sits along the Arkansas River west of Salida at 7725 CR 154.

Camp hosts are on hand 10 a.m.-4 p.m., daily, to provide information on the hatchery and Colorado fish. Guests park at the top of the hill at Mount Shavano and walk down a set of steps to the hatchery.

Mount Shavano Hatchery is one of the largest trout hatcheries in the state, annually producing 540,000 disease-free catchable 10-inch trout and 2-3 million smaller trout and kokanee salmon.

Guests are greeted by interpretive signs explaining the life cycle of trout. Go inside, meet the CPW volunteer camp hosts, get a tour and watch great videos, including dramatic footage of CPW staff using airplanes to stock high mountain lakes. Then it’s out to the raceways to feed the fish. For more information, call 719-539-6877.

For more information on these or any of Colorado’s 19 hatcheries, visit the CPW website www.cpw.state.co.us/Hatcheries.

January 26, 2017

Trout 1, High Art 0: The Arkansas River Will Remain Undraped

Christo and his late wife and collaborator, Jeanne-Claude, in 2009
with a sketch of how "Over the River" would look (Keystone/Dominic Favre).
Zee artiste Christo has canceled his plan to drape miles of the Arkansas River in plastic sheets. 

He blamed Donald Trump of course, but locals who have fought the project since 1992 want some of the credit for his decision.
The controversial project that was first conceived in 1992 by Christo and his late wife, Jeanne-Claude, has been mired in legal battles as opponents feared the environmental impacts of the 14-day installation above the river between Salida and Cañon City that would take 2½ years to build.
Opponents' bumper sticks are often seen.
The Arkansas River is heavily used for whitewater kayaking and rafting, and many boaters (but not all) were not happy about the project.

The Denver Post quotes one opponent:
Colorado river activist Gary Wockner was equally excited, although more snarky. “This may be the first good thing Trump has done for Colorado’s environment,” he wrote in an e-mail.
The New York Times called the Colorado opposition the world's largest art protest, quoting Christo as blaming President Trump for his decision. In other words, from their point of view, it is not about Coloradans protesting Christo's decision to hang plastic over the river, it is about his protest of Trump's election.

Maybe that is just an excuse, and local opponents ran out the clock. In a Wednesday announcement, it was reported elsewhere, Christo did not mention President Trump but said, "After pursuing Over The River, Project for the Arkansas River, State of Colorado, for 20 years and going through 5 years of legal arguments, I no longer wish to wait on the outcome."

July 21, 2016

Relocating Trout after the Hayden Pass Fire


Firefighters are demobilizng from the Hayden Pass Fire, which started Friday, July 8th, and really blew up the following weekend, covering more than 16,000 acres at the northen end of the Sangre de Cristo Range in Fremont and Custer counties.

Inside the fire permeter was a creek containing a genetically unique strain of endangered Colorado greenback cutthroat trout. Wildlife biologists feared they could be harmed by the fire itself or by erosion from burned slopes afterwards.

As soon as it was possible, a Colorado Parks and Wildlife crew retrieved as many of the trout as possible by electroshocking netting, in order to move them to a temporary home elsewhere.

From a forestry standpoint, this area was overdue for a big fire. I remember the last time that M. and I hiked up Big Cottonwood Creek, one of the drainages affected, I was struck by the amount of dead trees stacked up.

But as she points out, a lot of little lives are always lost in such a fire. We make our choices as to which ones can be saved.

April 10, 2015

Royal Coachman

Royal Coachman (The Fly Shack)
Fidget. Eyes sticky/watering from hay fever. I have a long paper that I am supposed to be editing for an academic journal, helping the author whip the prose into shape.

Fidget. I write an email to a friend, mentioning that I am truly in editorial mode today.

But instead I walk ten minutes up into the national forest to check a scout camera. It has thirteen images, but I have forgotten to bring a new data card to swap. Looking around, I see fresh turkey droppings.

And on the way home, I hear a turkey gobbling right up where I took Fisher on his walk this morning.

Fidget. Internet. Nap. M. comes back from a trip to the grocery store, and I tell her that since her Jeep's engine is warm, I would like to borrow it and go fishing.

Not far, just up the canyon, where I park and put a new leader on the 5-weight line. A package of tippet material in my vest says "Best used by November 2002."

Does that mean
  1. that I don't fish enough?
  2. that "use by" dates are meaningless on fishing gear?
  3. that I buy more supplies than I need, forgetting what I have?
  4. all of the above?
On the stream, I tie on a Royal Coachman — a little season-opening ritual in honor of my father — and I catch a a couple of tiny brook trout, which go back into the little creek. I demand at least a six-inch minimum on brookies.

At least they are back, after nearly being lost to drought. The beaver ponds, I think, act as refugee camps when the creek goes dry, but the trout do not get very big.

So I feel better now. Maybe I can start that paper after supper.

October 15, 2013

The Passing of "Dr. Trout," Robert Behnke

Robert Behnke (Phil Pister via Trout Unlimited)

Robert Behnke of Colorado State University, a leading conservationist and authority on trout and salmon, died last month.
Bob was best known for his interests in native trout conservation and taxonomy.  He was a traditional taxonomist and depended heavily on body morphology, color and spotting patterns, and the like to differentiate species and subspecies.  On this, he was a great authority.  Most of us depend on his seminal books: Native Trout of Western North America and Trout and Salmon of North America as the bibles of taxonomic and distributional studies for trout and salmon.  These are highly recommended for any trout enthusiast.
Colorado Trout Unlimited has a page up with more information and a place to share memories of him and his work.

July 02, 2013

Some Days I Just Don't Do 'Catch and Release'




Semi-wild rainbow trout caught in this county. Rice. Green salad, partly from our CSA farmer and partly from other organic sources. Fetzer wine, because a good friend used to live behind the winery, and because they try to be "sustainable."