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DOW assault on big fish continues

11733 Views 120 Replies 25 Participants Last post by  IceInTheVeins
What does everybody think about this?
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ive never been but imagine flaming gorge brings in a buck or two
This is really too bad. Makes a person wonder if they like the Lake Trout/Pike record book the way it is and they don't want to change it 'cause their name is already in it :mad:

I had a blast catching that laker in Granby this year and it is an experience that every passionate angler should have! I want to catch a big Northern in Colorado someday, too. These sorts of regs to nothing for the true sporting fisherman in Colorado.

I think a good place to start might be to write up something and then decide who to send it to. We should do this as a large group, I think.
fishinguitars said:
ive never been but imagine flaming gorge brings in a buck or two
Yes, but Flaming Gorge has the whole package. A lot of the FG fishermen troll for trout and kokanee salmon. I've never shared the fascination of trolling around with downriggers for hours, breathing in boat exhaust, in a pack of boats with folks blaring "music" while they do the same thing, but, hey, to each his own. Right now they are just pounding the 3 to 5 lb. kokanee! Tremendous numbers of big kokanee.

Flaming Gorge is different, too, in that it is not used as a ource of eggs for other kokanee fisheries and its kokanee reproduce naturally.

Even so, I think there ought to be room in the Colorado management "plan" for a protected big-fish lake trout fishery. I would much prefer to make more short trips to jig for big fish at Granby than drive the 400 miles to the Gorge. And every time I end up in Granby I end up dropping at least $50 bucks on gas, food, etc., even if it's only a day trip. It's money that Granby doesn't see from me anymore since the big fish are gone.

I remember the days 15-20 years ago when a guy could jig up lakers of 15-25 lbs. easily. What fun! Too bad it's over. What a waste.
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I've only been targeting lakers the past two years, mainly through the ice, and it's absolutly some of the funnest fishing there is. I only wish I picked it up a few years earlier, during the good old days of Granby.
I just don't know what to think. Its like the DOW doesn't give much thought to the hardcore fisherman who wants the chance to catch big fish. They're more concerned with out of state tourist money and the weekend warrior type of guy who fishes just once in awhile and is satisfied with catching stocker trout. They want to reduce the whole experience to a put and take, fishing lite type of thing.

The DOW can't possibly think the guy who spends real time on the water will be happy with this. Ed
The only reason anyone found out about it is because it was in the paper(forgot the writers name.)
Charlie Meyers...the same guy who wrote this article...he usually writes his watchdog columns on Tuesday and leaves entertainment feature stories for Wednesday...he also has 15 minutes on the outdoor show at 9:00 am KKFN-950 every Saturday morning with Terry Wickstrom...this column was a beauty and ought to get the masses enraged...and it should...they are a couple of hundred places in Grand County that you can go and catch all the stocked Rainbows you want...there are only a handful of quality Lake Trout Lakes...this is a crying shame...and yes we should organize and do something about it...
Well I was headed for Harriman Lake to see what Trout Hunter and 303 were doing tonight...I may still go for a walk out there...but I wrote the following instead...lets see if I get a reply or the forum does...I never ever get involved in political footballs...I usually believe the political machine is going to do what it is going to do regardless of what the people think...but I wrote a letter anyway...looking for guidance from Charlie Meyers, Terry Wickstrom, and Bernie Keefe...let's see what they think we can is my letter...I know I dont speak for everyone so if you have additional thoughts or people you can email...I encourage all to do so...

Big trouble for big fish Wednesday July 27 Denver Post article

Hi Charlie/Terry/Bernie

My name is Mark Zaharris and I read your article with great passion and anger. I have been a avid outdoorsman in Colorado and have watched Granby go from a great Lake Trout fishery for monsters to an average one in a very short period of time at the hands of The Colorado Division of Wildlife's short sighted policy that makes stocker rainbows in vogue (bottom line is dollars for tourism). Well there are plenty of other lakes in Grand County where you can catch a mess of stocker Rainbows but only a few lakes that have accessible high quality Lake Trout. If they do this it sets a precedent for other lakes. What if someone decides that Northern Pike and trout can't coexist in Stagecoach or Elevenmile for that matter where they have been in balance for decades. Is Blue Mesa next on their Lake Trout hit list, Taylor Park, heaven forbid that the Texan tourists couldnt catch their limit of white meated stockers in Taylor Park Reservoir! Taylor Park has both the evil Northern Pike and Lake Trout in the same lake. We arent talking Yellowstone Lake here and bucket biologists. And dont get me wrong I was for the removal of Northern Pike from Spinney Mountain Reservoir, it was a world class trout fishery that came crashing down at the hands of too many Northern Pike. But if a lake is good at something like Granby, Blue Mesa, and Stagecoach seem to be, why cant the DOW leave well enough alone? Better yet what can Sportsman do to stop this? What if they decide that walleyes are eating too many stockers in Chatfield? I frequent a website called and serve as a moderator there, many are wondering what can be done. We currently have about 500 members and many are pretty furious about this and some of the DOWs other practices. Do you have suggestions to what we can do as sportsmen and sportswomen? That is the real reason I am writing you, I know your publicity over the additional tags for landowners got the grass roots riled up and got it overturned, what would you advise us to do as fisherman in this matter? A plan is what we need and you have the insight. Please share your thoughts with us. I am also sending this email to Bernie Keefe and Terry Wickstrom. Here is the link to the website where you have created much buzz in a short time.

Thank you for your time, suggestions, wisdom, and for leading many fights from your newspaper pulpit.

Mark Zaharris


PS I found it telling that one of their own, Jake Bennett a retired DOW biologist seemed bewildered and full of angst over the policy.
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Zman, good letter. It will be interesting to see where this goes. I think the time has come to get a grassroots effort established to prevent further destruction of Trophy Lake Trout and Pike Waters in Colorado.
If a person wants to contact and express an opinion to the Wildlife Commission here is an exerpt from the DOW web page section on the Commission.

How can you comment on Division of Wildlife regulations and policies at Wildlife Commission meetings?
Groups or individuals wishing to speak at a Commission meeting about a topic already on the agenda can simply sign up at the meeting. Ideally organized groups should identify one spokesperson. Speakers should try to be as concise as possible and avoid repeating comments made by others. (The time available for each person is limited to three (3) minutes depending on the number of people who wish to speak at the meeting.)

Email can be sent to the commissioners at

[email protected]

This link gives brief bios on the commissioners and additional contact information for them.

These are the scheduled meeting per the DOW web-site. I don't know what the difference is between a Meeting and a Workshop.

Upcoming Meetings and Workshops
July 14-15 - Meeting - Grand Junction
August 11-12 - Workshop - Alamosa
September 8-9 - Meeting - Lamar
October 4-5 - Workshop - Salida
November 3-4 - Meeting - Greeley
December 8-9 - Workshop - Silverthorne

There is tons of information about the wildlife commission and what they do.

Written comments received at least 30 days before the Commission meeting will be distributed to each commissioner and appropriate staff before the meeting. Comments can be mailed to: Colorado Wildlife Commission, c/o Policy and Regulations Section, Colorado Division of Wildlife, 6060 Broadway, Denver, CO 80216. You may also e-mail your comments directly to: [email protected].

Requests to speak about a subject not on the planned agenda may be made in one of two ways. A written request can be sent to the Commission at the above address 30 or more days before the meeting. Such requests must include the speaker's name, address, phone number, subject to be discussed and amount of time needed. Each request will be answered promptly. Brief comments also can be made at the end of regular business meetings by submitting the speaker's name and topic on the "Public Presentations" sign-up sheet provided at the meeting. The Commission will not take action on these items but may schedule discussion at a later date.

Take a few minutes and send an email to all of the commissioners when you have an issue you want to address whether is affirmative or negative. You can put the various addresses in your address book and then CC all of them. Be direct, to the point and be objective.

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kudos to charlie meyers for making a statement, that wasn't saying hurrah for the dow. he basically say's that they have their heads up their a#%. he is right i would much rather have the chance to catch and release big fish, than to catch and eat little fish.  if you have big fish you are gonna have little fish too they always seem to survive.  and what is the big deal with the kokanee?  like stated in the article they have a  4 year cycle but lakers can live as long as we do.  i personally don't even like to catch kokanee, caught some at dillon a couple years back and they tasted bad.
Great job ZMAN!!!!!!!!! That's a start. Thanks for writing the letter, and I'll do my part up here in the "North" to spread the word.
I can't believe they can even think about taking out monsters like that. I've only been fishing for the big ones for a little while,( unfortunately), and ican't velieve all of this. I'm available to help with anything i can. I also get an email update from [email protected] like everyday. They have a ton of meetings coming up all over the place. The weird thing is, i've read their emails and they haven't sent me one that talks about all this stuff.
that's wrong, let me know what i can do.
Well I had one response from Bernie Keefe (he is a long time fishing guide on Grandby)...probably the biggest Lake Trout expert in that area from what I can thanks Bernie for the reply...

Mark, This has been a fight for many years now.
Welcome to the jungle. The
best thing we can do is go to the angler round tables
with all the people
you can muster up also write the DOW commissioners and
tell them what you
want, they are the ones who make the rules and they
are trying to figure in
the sportsmans wants with the DOW's needs. They try to
do the best they can
with what they know. If enough people stand up and
tell them what we want
maybe we will get it. Thanks Bernie
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I sent my blasting e-mail to the CDOW....this is NOT wildlife management!

If these limits are removed, the mackinaw will surely become depleated. Other states see the tremendous sport that these large game fish offer and manage them accordingly.

In Colorado however, they try to remove anything that eats fish other than the beloved kokanee and stocker trout.

I guess what they (CDOW) are saying is...if I want to fish for a +30-inch fish (other than trout), I better start learning to fish for CARP!!! Un*&*%$believable!

Mack hunters that I know are in total dismay or absolute shock over this.
I dont agree with removing the slot up there, but it dosen't mean the big ones are just going to start jumping in the boat, but popular opinion is there are no big ones left, so whats the issue??? They do need to do something about the forage base, those macs sort of remind me of the pike in spinney, big head and thin...and all of those sub 20's. I have seen the lakers approaching 40" but barely cracking 25# if that . . C'mon, thats alot of lost potential. Maybe this is a good time to re-build the koke population now that there is water again and it will give the lakers a break if people start targeting the salmon, and it could only help the macs if the salmon thrive again
ya know not to be a party pooper or anything but has anyone ever been up to budget tackle in granby and seen their fishing photo album??? all these people complain about the numbers of big fish not being what they used to. go up and look at their photo album. there are literally hundreds and hundreds of huge lakers in there dated from the late 70's all the way to present. then tell me that these people up there have been practicing catch and release on the big ones for years. if you look at the books you will see quite a few of the same faces over and over(they obviously had to kill the fish to bring them into town) if these fish take 30 years or longer to reach trophy size, how many do they think this lake has left. when i saw these photo albums all i could think of was how long these fish lived to get that big, just so someone could have a picture or many pictures in this photo album. those big fish are no good to eat. i caught my biggest laker at green mountain in oct 03 on accident fishing from shore with a thomas bouyant(30 inches long, 19 lbs) and i never had a second thought about taking a picture and releasing her. i have let all of my biggest fish go and i am tired of people preaching catch and release only to catch a big one and say well i'll keep this one to be mounted since i let all the others go..i'm sure that there are still lots of big fish left there but just think how many more there would be if people even let half of the fish in those photo albums go. how many 20 lb plus fish do you really think are left up there. i guarantee every one of the guides up there has kept most of their personal best fish.. sometimes maybe we need to look past the dow and see really where the problem's start(the dow doesn't catch and keep the big ones) we do... take a picture and if someone doesn't believe your fish was that big !!who cares!! you and whatever friends were with you that day have all the memories of that fish, not him. some of my best memories are of watching that big laker slowly swim away, and other numerous big trout, that is what makes me feel good about the sport that i love so much. make memories, they will last a lifetime. if you get a chance go check out those photo albums and you will see what i mean.. hundreds of monster lakers gone..
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Well you lost your "gaurantee". Neither I nor my clients have ever kept a fish over 22", and I have been guiding up here for alot of years with pictures fish up to 36 lbs. Be careful throwing stones one might fall on your foot. Bernie
i guess i should've used a different word other than guides. and i wasn't intending to throw stones, you sure wont find my picture in those photo albums.
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