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Wow. You read my mind. Other than a couple small ponds on the West Slope, there are no warm water lakes with much/any protection that I know of. I have started to really get into the WW fishing that last three years or so and although it is really fun, the big fish are very uncommon. I know CPW has declared war on smallmouth and pike but why not designate a lake here and there as C&R or at least better slot limits. I could go on and on as to why I think that is the case. I have these discussions all the time. When I want to catch big trout, I generally go to Utah, Wyoming, or Montana. If I wanted to catch big WW, I guess I;'d go somewhere down South. The sad truth seems to be that the managers of our fisheries here in Colorado seem to be most interested in having the most opportunities for visitors to catch stocked trout and the vast majority of fisheries are managed as such. Warm water seems to be an afterthought if it is even thought of at all. There is absolutely no reason why Colorado couldn't have trophy opportunities for almost every type of game fish with just some minor modifications to management of a few fisheries. I'm not saying every lake and I know many people like to keep some fish but could we just have a few places where we could have some opportunities to catch some truly big, non-trout fish, regularly? I'd love to hear from a rep of CPW on this subject.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Carroth one of the issues is we don't that many people that attend round table meetings to speak up. The last one I attended in Denver had more CPW employees there than we had anglers. We need to be a bigger part of the process of deciding which bodies of water get protected. If we can communicate with the CPW in a positive way I think we can have more say in having a few lakes protected so we can see our states true potential, but we need people to actually show up and voice their opinion.

One of the problems is the CPW doesn't make these meetings at times when most anglers can attend. When you hold meetings on a Tuesday night that immediately removes any possibility for a lot of anglers to attend. Why not hold these important meetings on a weekend when there's a better chance for a good turn out?

When anglers don't turn out for these round table meetings the CPW doesn't need to take our input into their decision making.... We don't need to only share our opinions but also factual evidence. The biologist in Denver wasn't aware there as many bass being harvested from Quincy and honestly how could he know. The Q has a great bass population and he's going to see good numbers wherever they put nets. Anglers however see 4 and 5 pound fish leaving far too often, even worse being plucked off beds then leaving on stringers. After telling Mr. Winkle about what my fishing buddies see he said he wasn't aware of it and sounded interested in possibly turning the Q into a C n R for bass. That's with a handful of guys talking with him and sharing our information. Can you imagine the impact we could have if we had two or three hundred people packing a room all supporting more protection for warm water species in a select number of lakes?

I'm also not saying I know that we can make a difference attending meetings, but at least that's taking action and working on change.... not just talking about it.
 

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I believe that there have been some warmwater locations designated as C & R in the past. Ward Ponds? The problem, as always, is that regulations without enforcement are ineffective, at best. Most warmwater locations are closer to population centers and more easily accessible to the greatest number of people.....and, proportionately, to the greatest number of those for whom restrictive bag limitations are an invitation to plunder. For those who are inclined to ignore restrictions against retention and/or feign ignorance of the regulations (due to alleged language difficulties or for whatever other reason), the designation of a body of water as C & R is nothing more than hotspotting an ideal location for them. The CPW needs to prioritize its mission towards enforcement rather than the harmfully bizarre manipulation of successful diversity in locations such as Blue Mesa, Williams Fork, Granby, etc. Designating locations as catch and release may provide a false, feel good component but actually will create an opposite result in the quality of a fishery unless combined with enforcement. For some reason, the CPW seems to increasingly feel that the enforcement aspect is beneath them.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I believe that there have been some warmwater locations designated as C & R in the past. Ward Ponds? The problem, as always, is that regulations without enforcement are ineffective, at best. Most warmwater locations are closer to population centers and more easily accessible to the greatest number of people.....and, proportionately, to the greatest number of those for whom restrictive bag limitations are an invitation to plunder. For those who are inclined to ignore restrictions against retention and/or feign ignorance of the regulations (due to alleged language difficulties or for whatever other reason), the designation of a body of water as C & R is nothing more than hotspotting an ideal location for them. The CPW needs to prioritize its mission towards enforcement rather than the harmfully bizarre manipulation of successful diversity in locations such as Blue Mesa, Williams Fork, Granby, etc. Designating locations as catch and release may provide a false, feel good component but actually will create an opposite result in the quality of a fishery unless combined with enforcement. For some reason, the CPW seems to increasingly feel that the enforcement aspect is beneath them.
Great points!!!

There's already a number of C n R bass ponds but if we added tangible criteria to in order for lakes to be designated Gold Medal water. What would that criteria be I'm not sure... I agree that regardless of what we get changed via rules and regs there will be a portion of the angling population that will continue to do what they want. Another thing I'd add(if I was running the Gold Medal bass program lol) we'd never add little neighborhood ponds or smaller bodies of water period to the Gold Medal list.

Completely agree without enforcement designating these areas Gold Medal would be counter productive in some instances. I'm not sure how we get better enforcement of the existing rules much less added rules unless it's at location like Quincy with rangers on staff.
 

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Good stuff as is the norm for you Diesel.

Rattman made some very valid points about the enforcement side. The Dream Stream is patrolled pretty regularly so while there may be some "poaching" it isn't likely to happen too often.
 

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I totally agree with all of these points. I live near New Castle and when there have been CPW meetings close enough for the drive, I have made them and you are right, very poorly attended which is especially dismaying given the number of guides in my area. I have a major gripe with CPW because I feel like they mainly care about big game and enforcement at the fishery level is minimal most of the time or non-existent during big game season. As much as I don't want to encounter law enforcement, I would gladly like to see more of them at random times (not just major holidays) patrolling our waters for poachers.
 

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Great read Eric!

Actually this state needs to do what some of the more progressive northern states have done...slot limits...take care of some of the pygmy bass in pueblo and chatfield...there would be some growing pains getting there but it would be so much better in the long run...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Mark it's funny you bring that up. At the round table meeting in Denver this year I was talking to Winkle about Quincy and trying to convince him to switch to C n R there. A few minutes later Nathan Zelinsky sat next to me and started lobbying for a slot at Chatfield. Everyone at the table started bringing up all the positive things that would come from a slot being put in place for smallies at Chatfield. Chatfield, P-town, and Horsetooth could all use a slot limit.

I think it would be interesting to go all C n R at Quincy for a few years and see what it could produce. Would we see just how big fish could grow in the Q when left in the water to do so, or would it lead to a higher number of fish eventually leading to a stunted population? No way of knowing without giving it a go. If the bass started to stunt at the Q it would be another body of water that would benefit from a slot. The bigger fish and their genes would stay in the lake and the clones would be taken out.
 

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I was thinking that they should have gold medal warmwater fisheries, too. trout are fine but ya imagine a gold medal wiper, walleye or bass fishery.
 

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I was thinking that they should have gold medal warmwater fisheries, too. trout are fine but ya imagine a gold medal wiper, walleye or bass fishery.
It would be nice... never gonna happen though.
Warm water fish are the red headed stepchildren of the DOW
It sure seems that way. It's all about money right? Do trout really pull in that much more money than the other species? I guess they probably do but... If I'm a millionaire one day I'm gonna buy a reservoir like douglas or something and make it my own gold medal warmwater fishery. And only CF members can fish it! Haha
 

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It sure seems that way. It's all about money right? Do trout really pull in that much more money than the other species? I guess they probably do but... If I'm a millionaire one day I'm gonna buy a reservoir like douglas or something and make it my own gold medal warmwater fishery. And only CF members can fish it! Haha
Whomp...... remember this isn't Missouri and your not a native......I understand you can't appreciate what you never had but you need to realize your in a state where the trout is king...... get the f*** out or realize this state will always be a place where anglers come to fish for a species that compliment our unique geography.........trophy hunting for warmwater predators is indeed a blast yet understanding that it will take a back seat to trout should be understood......I agree though in that a premier fishery for these types of waters is possible and would compliment Colorado's fishing experience but make no mistake, those who realize trouts popularity also understand what Colorado is all about...... one day grasshopper you'll come around
 
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