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Well, it looks like the geniuses at CPW and USFWS are at it again. For those who might not have seen it, take a look at this article from the Craig Daily Press last Sunday.

http://www.craigdailypress.com/photos/galleries/2014/aug/29/elkhead-reservoir-fish-issues/

Renewed talk of poisoning another great reservoir under the guise of "protecting" native fish. I'm not looking to start a ***** session but if we can voice our opinions to the powers that be, we should. They are talking about doing this soon so time is of the essence. If anyone knows these guys or who we need to speak to to get some sort of petition or anything that might help, please post here. Makes me sick to think of the awesome fish that might die because of this ridiculous policy. I'm really not sure what they think they might accomplish especially since there are tons of smallmouth already in the Yampa despite annual removal efforts. Also, I might try to go up there on Friday or Saturday if anyone is interested in fishing. Thanks.
 

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makes me want to puke. just about now clackaram should be showing up telling us how they are smarter than us. What ya got to say clackasherminhebinposionnetandkilleverythingbutrainbowtrout
 

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Photo by Noelle Leavitt Riley


Norm Fedde holds up a small-mouth bass that he caught Thursday at Elkhead Reservoir. He and his buddy Burt Clements fish daily as a part of their retirement plan. Both men oppose Colorado Parks and Wildlife's proposal to drain and poison fish in the reservoir. They'd rather a screen be placed over the dam's spillway to keep non-native fish out of the Yampa River.


Elkhead Reservoir's future uncertain as non-native fish populate Northwest Colorado


By Noelle Leavitt Riley

Friday, August 29, 2014
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Craig — Colorado Parks and Wildlife is looking at different ways to manage four endangered fish along the Yampa River, and Elkhead Reservoir is the focus of a discussion in which officials are looking at removing non-native fish and draining the 900-acre body of water located in Moffat County.

On Friday, several groups who have a stake in Elkhead Reservoir will meet at Craig Station to converse about various options for maintaining the reservoir and the endangered fish in the Yampa.

It’s the first of several meetings slated to take place on the issue, and although the public is not invited to the meeting, the media — including the Craig Daily Press and KRAI radio — will attend in order to keep the public abreast of the debate.

Non-native issues at Elkhead

Elkhead is home to non-native fish species, the northern pike and the small-mouth bass, that are seeping out of reservoir’s spill gates into the Yampa River and eating the endangered fish, making it difficult for Parks and Wildlife and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to maintain a healthy number of fish that are on the endangered species list.


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Elkhead Reservoir fish issues

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Elkhead Reservoir is home to two non-native fish — the small-mouth bass and northern pike — that pose a threat to endangered fish along the Yampa River. State and federal officials are trying to find a solution to the problem this fall.

The non-native fish were introduced to Elkhead in the 1970s, and it’s taken years to help them populate the reservoir, which has made it a world-class fishery, said Burt Clements, who has spent nearly three decades monitoring the fish activity in Moffat County.

Clements used to be the president of the Yampa Valley Bass Masters Association, hosting fishing competitions at Elkhead and bringing tourism to Northwest Colorado.

“My big thing is they cannot prove that the fish in Elkhead is affecting the fish in the river,” Clements said.

Parks and Wildlife officials disagree.

Sherman Hebein, senior aquatic biologist for the Northwest region of Parks and Wildlife, said he and his team have removed many non-native fish in the Yampa. The number of non-natives collected proves that those fish are increasing in numbers as the endangered fish population declines.

Parks and Wildlife thinks that non-natives are breaching the Yampa through Elkhead Reservoir’s spillway each year. Hebein highlighted that the reservoir hasn’t spilled into the Yampa in the past two years, however, because it has spilled in years past, the non-natives continue to reproduce and eat the progeny (younger fish) of the endangered species.

Additionally, the larger non-native fish eat and attack the natives, he said.

The four endangered fish include the bonytail, humpback chub, Colorado pikeminnow and the razorback sucker, which were put on the Endangered Species Recovery Program in 1988.

“The Colorado pikeminnow population estimates have been declining precipitously over the past few years,” Hebein said. “We were hoping to down list the Colorado pikeminnow in 2015. If we don’t down list it, that means things aren’t going very well.”

And they’re not, as the numbers are declining, putting pressure on the Parks and Wildlife to boost the population — a task that’s difficult to achieve when non-native fish eat endangered species.

Parks and Wildlife is poised to increase those numbers and has to answer to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which is a branch of the federal government that controls the listing of species throughout the United States.

Options for Elkhead Reservoir

Parks and Wildlife officials are looking at introducing a chemical called rotenone to Elkhead Reservoir that basically interferes with the fishes' ability to obtain energy from oxygen. It essentially would eliminate their population in the lake.

In order to make the task successful, Parks and Wildlife would have to drain the reservoir to low levels, administer the rotenone, kill the fish and clean them up. After the chemical is applied, officials detoxify the water by applying potassium permanganate to detoxify the rotenone.

Rotenone is obtained from trees in Central and South America and does not threaten the quality of water or the plant life that exists in the reservoir. It only targets the fish.

“What we purchase is a processed chemical that is poisonous to fish, and we apply it by one part per million,” Hebein said. “That will effectively remove all the fish from the water. The objective would be to remove all the fish so that we don’t have to deal with escapement anymore.”

The rotenone idea is extremely unpopular to fishermen, Craig city officials, tourism agencies and those who own water rights at Elkhead Reservoir.

“I don’t want them to drain it,” Craig Mayor Terry Carwile said. “I want them to do something a little different. I would like the Fish and Wildlife Service to put the brakes on this thing and say, ‘The heck with this poisoning.’’’

Another option is to put a screen over the spillway; something that Hebein doesn’t think completely will eradicate the problem.

“We have been working on screening options for the spillway channel,” Hebein said. “That is an ongoing activity that might bear some fruit. We need to be aware of dam safety. Whatever screen we use, it has to function without compromising dam safety.”

However, he thinks eggs and fish fry still would get through a screen, and he is leaning more toward the rotenone option at this point in time, he said.

If that’s the route Parks and Wildlife takes, it will need buy-in from various entities, including the public.

“I’m looking at the impact on the community. That’s water that belongs to somebody else,” Carwile said.

Reservoir water rights and upcoming meetings

Four groups own water rights at Elkhead — the city of Craig, Colorado River Water Conservation District, the Fish Recovery Program and Tri-State Generation and Transmission, which owns and operates Craig Station.

If Parks and Wildlife were to drain and poison the reservoir, it would need to have permission from all of those groups, which is why a meeting was called to take place Friday.

“How do we keep the people that own water in Elkhead whole if we lower the water surface elevation?” Hebein asked. “They have an expectation that they’re going to get that water. If there’s no water, what are we going to do?”

Parks and Wildlife is looking to take action this fall.

“What we’re aiming for is some type of answer that will meet everybody’s needs,” said Dan Birch, deputy general manager of the Colorado River District. “Craig has indicated pretty clearly that they have some issues. We don’t really want to do something that will upset Craig. This is a very big issue for anyone who uses water in the state of Colorado.”

After the Friday meeting, all concerned groups will host public meetings to get input from residents.

Economic impact and tourism

Last year, nearly 114,000 people visited Elkhead, not only for fishing but also for camping, hiking and sightseeing, according to Parks and Widlife numbers.

Previous Parks and Wildlife studies have shown that those who visit Elkhead spend in excess of $6 million in and around Craig each year.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife is driving this and telling Parks and Wildlife what must be done.

The reservoir offers motorized recreation, winter recreation, wildlife viewing, picnicking and camping to visitors.

It’s also where Clements and his longtime friend Norm Fedde spend their retirement days, fishing small- and large-mouth bass, northern pike and blue gill in Elkhead Reservoir.

“You’d be surprised how many people are going to be upset about this,” Fedde said. “This lake is just now really good fishing. We don’t have 10 years for them to" rebuild the fishery in Elkhead.

The two men want to live out their last years fishing the reservoir without having to wait for the state to rebuild the fishery.

Contact Noelle Leavitt Riley at 970-875-1790 or [email protected].
 

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I got so sick and tired of these regarded policies i moved. Now i live in fishing heaven and believe it or not we have very restrictive and complex regulations and it works.

CPW is so lame with their doublespeak policies and sadly it ain't gonna change anytime soon.

Snapper in the fridge for a tasty souffle in the morning. Snook season just opened yesterday Bam!
 

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Cool, someone should net as many pike as possible and dump them in antero, shadow mtn and Dillon reservoir. So sick of these assclowns. Nobody cares about your bitchass pikeminnows or suckers. Here's a news flash.... If the pike don't kill them, the thousands of burbots being washed out of flaming gorge will.
 

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You can easily screen outlet works intakes or canal intakes, as long as you have the money. A spillway would be very hard to do, unless you are okay with fingerlings getting through. You just need too much area for fine screens, and there isn't a lot of real estate on spillways.

Here is an example of a cylindrical-tee screen you can use on submerged outlet works or canal intakes:
http://intakescreensinc.com/


Most of western Colorado canal intakes, use flat, wedge wire screens. This is the Redlands screen, near Grand Junction:


 

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Discussion Starter #11
Update

I spoke to Norm Fedde last night and he told me that Burt Clements was invited to attend the closed door meeting on Friday. He said that there was a lot of support for the fish by the community and he thinks the meeting will have a positive outcome. If not, he is going to let me know and then we can get the wheels in motion for some civic action. Keep your fingers crossed...
 

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The question I have is:

How will they get rid of all the invasive species out of the Yampa River once they kill off the lake?

Will floating the river and shocking it get rid of ALL the unwanted fish? Or will that be job security for a few good men?

What about the pike in Stagecoach? Can they not make it into the river?

And what about the Burbot? Are they in the Yampa?

(Ok, so a few questions)
 

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another gobermnet welfare program for a few good shockers, millions upon millions thrown at it every year. clackaram is noticably quiet...........hummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
 

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A legit question I want to ask in that meeting...

What are they going to do when burbot start showing up in the yampa?
 

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lier lier Sherman Hebin, biggest fucking lier I have ever met! Cost for Rifle Gap screen was estimated at $300,000, take that $20 million number Shermin and stick it up your hinny, and they wonder why we dont trust them. Read about Rifle http://www.usbr.gov/uc/envdocs/ea/RifleCreek/Final-EA.pdf
btw they will still continue to spend $1 million a year shocking and killing so no cost savings there.
 

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Hey Bob, wasn't Elkhead Res one of the impoundments that they transferred pike shocked from Yampa to? If so why didn't the asswipes do their homework back then about them escaping from there back into the river system instead of wasting our tax money and game fish?
 

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Hey Bob, wasn't Elkhead Res one of the impoundments that they transferred pike shocked from Yampa to? If so why didn't the asswipes do their homework back then about them escaping from there back into the river system instead of wasting our tax money and game fish?
Tony..They tagged them and moved them to Elkhead in order to see how many would escape from Elkhead and turn up again in the river.

Looks to me like they've already made up their minds. Funny how they mention putting Tiger Muskie in the lake. What are they gonna do..? Keep shocking them when they escape and move them back up into the lake? Or just kill them when they reach the river? That would be an expensive species to stock if they can't keep them in the lake any better than pike.

The problem ..as always..is the stupid endangered species laws..What a joke..What did they say? Found a total of two hundred and some individuals of these particular endangered species in the entire river..all species combined. If they can't eliminate every single predator from the Yampa..including Pikeminnows..etc..I imagine all of them eat minnows/fry also..What's the point?

And even with the removals to date..they've had basically no success at all in increasing the numbers of the endangered species present..In fact, their research seems to suggest that they have declined even further. They can make all of the excuses they want to make..but their results show their methods to be an utter failure..

Stupid federal agency..Just a way to spend a ton of money on a losing cause...
 

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I have a buddy that lives on the West Slope.... He says it's simple, the real deal is, they are doing what they do to KEEP their jobs. See, if the CPW doesn't have an evil species to rid the state of, they have no purpose, if they have no purpose, they have no justification for their jobs....thus rendering them unemployed.

Yes, I know, that's a dogmatic, cynical view, but I bet it's not so far from the truth. Pike and smallies are self sustaining. So if they just let nature do it's job, why would we need them, other than making them glorified fish bowl managers (feeding trout to pike, like you would flakes to a goldfish).

Same with Lakers and any other large predator fish that is self sustaining.

It's pretty sad, because I don't think they can see the forest for the trees. How many people would rather travel WITHIN the US borders for a world class pike or macinaw trip? See if they changed their view, not only could we be a trout on a fly rod destination, but a large predator destination as well. I'd pay for a trip to South Park if I was some dude from the south that's only ever caught bass and cats....

Oh well, what do I know, I don't even have a degree... :rolleyes:
 
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