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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I received the following e-mail yesterday, it has been sent to all members of the Colorado Bass Federation. Interesting stuff. It's time we stand up against a DOW that is poorly run and knows better what we want than we do. Case in point, removing (or at least trying to) the smallmouth from the Yampa River and the "scented" soft plastics ban on lure and fly only water. I personally am tired of a DOW that ignores bass (the fastest growing segment of the fishing population in CO.) and still does not do enough for other warmwater species. They spend entirely too much time, effort and moolah on stocking 8" trout and removing other species (pike and bass) to protect a couple overgrown minnows that NO ONE cares about.



Eric Yonts writes...

Suggestion regarding SAG Meeting

I would like to suggest that we discuss at the SAG meeting and be very
active in
setting up a few more Anglers Roundtable this fall. We could lay down some
dates that these Angler Roundtables will be discussed. We could also set
places that we would like to have them. Denver, Colorado Springs, Grand
Junction, Montrose, Rangely, and Durango must be included in these locations.

We also would like to make sure that the meeting is run by us, the Colorado
Sportsmen and Colorado Anglers, and that we get at least equal time,
better yet
more time than the CDOW aquatics staff. The last meeting in Grand Junction was
virtually completely run by the CDOW. The more than 60 anglers in attendance
were silenced before we even walked in the door. We were forced to
listen to 3
hours of CDOW Biologist powerpoint presentations and were barely allowed to
speak during this. It was a 3 hour filibuster designed to bore the pants off
of everybody there and force them to leave early and the "plan" was extremely
successful.

We want to have the opportunity to voice our concerns on a listening
ear instead
of being silenced and intimidated by DOW officers with guns standing behind
those who are speaking like at the last Anglers Roundtable in Grand Junction.
That was very cowardly and uncalled for. Not sure why this happened but I am
sure it's because the CDOW was preparing for the quick removal of the people
who are extremely outraged by the CDOW's plans for the destruction of our
angling opportunities. (stocking 8" rainbows isn't cutting it)

We want the truth brought out on the part of the DOW and not just sugarcoated
and agenda laden, pre-written speeches on why we can and cannot do
something. Nothing like what was stated regarding the removal and
destruction of game fish
in the Yampa and Colorado Rivers. I believe the statement was along the lines
of, ~~if we don't protect the endangered suckerfish and chubs and
squawfish(yes, I called it a squawfish and not the new elegant name), Colorado
will lose water development. You all know what water development is
don't you? That's when you go to the faucet and turn the spigot.~~
That is a big lie and
the CDOW knows it. If the water gets shutoff, California will nuke us. That
is just a blatant lie. We want the TRUTH, not lies designed to protect jobs.

We would also like to discuss what we have heard regarding the CDOW's
boycott of
the largest retail outfitter in Colorado due to an employee taking a
stance and
calling the CDOW out on these lies and demanding answers. That sounds like
somebody is trying to hide something and meting out punishment in order to
silence people.

We would like to arrange for Wildlife Commission members to be in
attendance at
these Anglers Roundtables so that they can hear our concerns for
themselves and
not paraphrased reports back to them stating that everything went hunky
dorey. We want the Wildlife Commission to be involved in every aspect
of our angling
and hunting opportunities. Not just a meeting once a year. Every aspect.

We all pay for fishing and hunting licenses and we deserve to have our needs
heard and heeded by the tax payer funded Colorado Department of Wildlife.

Another thing to discuss is the proposed plan on destroying the elk population
with silencers in the middle of the night. Not sure why this is
necessary when
the CDOW could quickly fill up their coffers by offering special tags
to hunters
and allow them to cull the population and feed their families at the
same time. I guess spending 18 million dollars of taxpayer money is
pretty easy to get
approved. Instead of spending the money and say build a reservoir, the CDOW
could make tens of thousands by selling/raffling tags to bow hunters!!

Oh well, I guess I could ramble on forever so I think that may fill up some of
the agenda for the upcoming SAG meeting. Hope this helps and I hope it gets
discussed.

Best Regards,
Eric Yonts
Co-Founder
www.WesternSlopeAnglers.com


Quoting "Velarde, Ron" <[email protected]>:

> I just wanted to make sure that you have July 29, 2006 marked on your
> calendar for our next statewide SAG Meeting. We wanted to have it in
> Silverthorne at the LaQuinta but it was booked completely for that day.
> Instead we will have our meeting at the Holiday Inn at Frisco I-70 exit
> 203 from 10:00am to 3:00pm in the Lakeview Room.
>
>
>
> We are in the process of developing an agenda and I am looking for
> suggestions for topics. If you have any please either call or e-mail
> them to me.
>
>
>
> In addition some of the regions have set up regional SAG Meeting. Scott
> Hoover has set one up for the Northeast Region on June, 20, 2006 in Ft.
> Collins starting at 6:30pm at the Ranch (Larimer County Fairgrounds)
> I-25 and Crossroads Blvd, in the First national Bank Exhibition Hall.
> The Northwest Regional SAG Meeting will be on July 18, 2006 in Grand
> Junction at the Double Tree on Horizon Drive from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. As I
> get the dates from the other Regional Managers for there SAG Meeting I
> will forward those dates to you.
>
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Here is one more e-mail...

This was sent to me by someone (don't know his name) in Durango who is supposedly working on a petition to revoke the "no scent" rules.



Robin Knox and most other persons in power in the CDOW are incompetent, corrupt, and care nothing about the will of those that pay their salaries. All these usurpations and damages occuring to our fisheries is sealed by the current rubber stamp wildlife commission.
Robin Knox was perhaps the main person behind this scented plastics ban. I don't know how familiar you are with other things the DOW has done, but Robin Knox has presided over the following:

1. The removals and slaughter of smallmouth bass, pike, catfish, and other non native fish in the Colorado River, backwater ponds, and it's tributaries, all with no positive impact on native fish populations.

2. The removals of all bag limits and protections for pike statewide and the severe damage of some pike fisheries.

3. Blue Mesa Reservoir. The lake with the fastest lake trout growth rate in the lower 48 used to have legions of 20 - 45 pound lake trout. Now they are all but gone because the CDOW allowed and encouraged them to be harvested because they were seeking a scapegoat for lower kokanee numbers. Kokanee are their money fish. They bartter with others states with the fry and eggs blue mesa and other lakes produce, and the more eggs they sell, the more income for them. Data manipulation and forgeries are rampant, with Pat Martinez, Dan Brauch, and Sherman Hebein the biggest culprits.

4. The continued spread of flies and lures only regulations on good trout streams, leaving bait anglers with fewer and fewer options in terms of fishing good trout streams.

5. They have expressed willingness to poison or kill all non native fish in western slope lakes, besides of course trout, if there is even a remote possibility those fish might reach the river and "harm" endangered and native fish.

6. Having minimum length limits on bass instead of slot limits or maximum length limits. Once a bass is over 15", it goes into the cooler. Few things make me more angry than that. By allowing only the larger fish to be kept and not protecting these fish, they selectively breed smaller bass. Colorado would have legions more big bass if those rules were changed. Much the same can be said with walleye.

Western slope and many east slope anglers have had it. I am teaming with sporting goods stores and fishing fanatics who are actually planning on possibly suing the division for ruining many of our fisheries. We are dead serious. We are seeking a near total purge of the current CDOW staff and of course the wildlife commission. If you are serious about protecting fishing in this state you also need to push for these changes. Knox, Hughes, and the others must be shown the door.
 

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well said by all.
 

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Think about how upset you bass/walleye/pike fishermen on the Eastern Slope(I was born and raised one) would be if they cut the stocking rate of warmwater fish by 99% on your local lakes. They have here (Grand Junction). Out of 54 million warmwater fish to be stocked this year, the whole western slope will get 15,000, mostly babies at that. Even with lakes out of the Colorado River floodplain, not only about the ESA/endangered fish. So when you come on vacation on our side and want to catch bass/pike/walleye along with trout, better find the one or two lakes bigger than a pond that have them, then don't expect much. Courtesy DOW policy makers, not field officers.
 

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Very interesting information TC...THANKS! Cmon all you warmwater fishermen...we seriously need to stand up and speak our concerns and opinons about these regulations...we are the ones paying the state...we are the ones fishing...let us be heard!
 

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I agree that there may be some room for changes in the policies for soft plastics and even non-native vs. native species management, but I really don't think it's fair to trash CDOW staff, especially by name.
I know for a fact that many of the CDOW Fisheries management staff are dedicated, hard working indidviduals who want what all anglers want, a quality fishing experience for all of Colorado's anglers.
Keeping one faction happy often pisses off another.
I sure wouldn't want their jobs.
As professional biologists, they have the knowledge and resouces to make informed decisions that are aimed at protecting ALL of Colorado's species, native and non native.
Try keeping the USFWS, individual sportsmen's groups with a narrow interest, the Wildlife Commission, water commissioners, special interest groups, corporate interests, ranchers, outfitters, mining interests, politicians, individual citizens, the public at large and a myriad of other groups happy all of the time.
I'd say that would be impossible.
In an organization (CDOW) that has been increasingly politicized, what is good for the goose is not always good for the gander.
TC, you are posting "someone else's" email that trashes CDOW Staff by name who have worked hard to make Colorado's fishing good while trying to keep all of the above happy.
I cry "FOUL" here.
Sportsmen deserve good representation, and I fully support the need to speak for your interests and protect them when you can, especially when dealing with CDOW and the Wildlife Commission, but lay off with the name calling and slanderous comments about professional fisheries managers until you have walked in their shoes a while.

Thumper
 

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Thumper said:
Try keeping the USFWS, individual sportsmen's groups with a narrow interest, the Wildlife Commission, water commissioners, special interest groups, corporate interests, ranchers, outfitters, mining interests, politicians, individual citizens, the public at large and a myriad of other groups happy all of the time.
I'd say that would be impossible.



Thumper
I agree attacking people personally is a little over the top and even agree the above quote has some merit to it as well but, the DOW  >:D is not doing a good job as far as taking into account ALL fishermens needs and wants. We are paying for them to destroy some of are favorite fish. My favorite fish 1-3;

1) Pike- Enemy #1 with the DOW  >:D. How many great pike waters do we have? How many great trout waters do we have?

2) Smallmouth- Yampa river the second best smallmouth fishery in the state. They are going to ruin it!!

3) Largemouth- DOW  >:D is doing OK here but they could do better.

The reason I am so frusturated is this, I see a future where almost all fishermen could be happy with the state's population of their favorite fish( Not just trout fisherman  :mad: ) but, the DOW  >:D is not interested in what the fisherman in the state want. They could systematically go through the four regions in the state and have great fisheries for every species of fish. For every 5 lakes managed for trout have 5 lakes managed for pike and 5 lakes managed for bass and 5 for walleyes and so on. Place these designations on lakes regionally so billy bob the pike fisherman (ME LOL) doesn't have to drive all the way to Stagecoach from Lamar to get some good pike fishing. I know that you can't have pike fishing that is  as good as stagecoach in SE colorado but you can try and manage one as close as you can get to that region. ( That region is different from the other regions)

The bottom line is the DOW  >:D thinks they are under payed (I for one think they are overstaffed) and they are simply not interested in much more then bait and take trout lakes.
 

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waterwolves- the yampa is the BEST smallmouth water in the state. Several HUNDRED over 3.5 pounds were removed this year, and sadly most were in sections where they are euthanized :(
here's an interesting link. Keep going through the pictures. I think it is funny- bob burdick promised the non-natives would be taken out of the ladder, and placed in the river below. He broke his promise and just tosses them though, as can be seen....lol
http://www.rockypreps.com/art/slides/fishgallery/monday/3.shtml

http://www.rockypreps.com/art/slides/fishgallery/monday/2.shtml

it makes me sick. I was on the yampa once and saw huge pike and smallmouth littering the banks in some areas.
We have pictures also, and exposure to their lies also. It's all coming!
 

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That is sad. they are going to ruin it! That is sad. Is the fishing showing signs of slowing down? I have a 4 day weekend I can take when ever. I plan on fishing the Yampa is it still worth it?
 

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The fishing has only been impacted in certain areas, and even then, mostly on the pike. They just don't understand...less pike in there means MORE smallmouth...so there are MORE smallmouth. More small ones too, which isn't cool. I'm sorry, but the "brains" behind this have no logic at all and their reasoning is quite illogical and ridiculous. Last year in one day we could catch multiple 3-4 pound smallmouth along with many 30" or so pike, and a good shot at a pike over 40".
 
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TC - thanks for the information. Thumper, I don't think you're the minority here. There is a lot of balancing and juggling that goes on - just like any other beauracracy.

Personally, I have to believe everyone and every entity does something for a reason. While I'd like to see a large diversity of fish in various waters, I think the important term here is equilibrium.

The problem is the DOW has limited resources to work with and is constantly pounded on by special interest groups whether it be the trout organizations, the bass organizations, the walleye organizations, the nature organizations, etc., etc. Personally, it would break my heart if I heard that they took all the beatle kill up in the mountains, dumped into a lake out east, planted a ton of Largemouth Bass, and promoted it as such. On the other hand, I think it would be terrific to take the pressure off the larger metro area lakes (that would be ANY metro area from Grand Junction to Denver) and somehow promoted more of an interest in the ponds in the area like they did in the "Fishing Close to Home" publication they do.

I don't think the problem is what they are doing with the fisheries - I think the issue is that the marketing goes towards the wrong resources. There is a fish stocking report but it only lists trout. There are "Gold Medal Waters" but only for trout. The DOW stocks literally tons of other fish, but for whatever reason, they don't publish a lot of that information - understandable for conservation reasons most of the time. If I hear Musky are being stocked in Evergreen, I'm going to be tempted to go to Evergreen and fish for them.

Williams Fork and Stagecoach are pike flagship waters for the DOW - they tell you to go fish them. That is where they are managed. Chatfield and Pueblo are the flagships for walleye. That's where they send you for that type of fishing. Pretty soon, they'll be sending you to Pueblo for flatheads but they're going to wait until the population grows a bit.

Another factor you have to consider is a lot of warmwater fish are haggled for. Wiper from Texas, etc., etc. The chip the DOW uses to bargain and haggle for these fish are rainbows and kokanee. They are good at managing these fish. Without them, THERE WOULD BE NO OTHER SPIECES save a few cats, walleye and panfish out east. Let's say next year they stopped raising trout and kokes and moved to blugill and crappie. You think we'd have a chance? You think we could afford to retro-fit the hatcheries to handle the change? I don't - I remember the doldrums of the whirling disease years that weren't that long ago. Now we have another problem - how do get water to fill the lakes that have gone dry so we can trade trout and kokes and stock them with warmwater species? Say we have good (successive) water years - how are we going to stock those lakes? Are they going to be fingerlings or brood stock? How do they deal with the public on this?

I say let them come up with the equilibrium. Let them manage it with their resources (such as bag and posession limits). I feel strongly it is our job to provide OBJECTIVE opinions and support their efforts and to understand that many times, there is more to it than I know or will understand.
 

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      Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the head of the CDOW an ex high ranking official from Trout Unlimited and was appointed by Gov. Bill Owens, a self proclaimed avid trout fisherman?     ???    I seem to remember a squible about this after Gov. Owens was voted into office.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thumper said:
TC, you are posting "someone else's" email that trashes CDOW Staff by name who have worked hard to make Colorado's fishing good while trying to keep all of the above happy.
I cry "FOUL" here.

Thumper

The person named (Robin Knox) is appearently NOT doing a very good job. Otherwise, would we be having this discussion? When someone in Congress fails to do a good job, do you get upset when he or she is named publicly. I hope not! The fact of the matter is this; they are paid by US! They are undermining US! We have EVERY right to call them on the carpet!
 

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Thumper I do agree with you that the DOW is in a tough position in trying to make every user group happy and TC it is fine to say people are not doing a good job but the comments were slandorous and deserve to be backed up by some evidence to show that those folks really have something to gain and don't care about us. Just because they are not doing what you want does not mean they are malicious in their intent and those statements deserve some evidence. I am sorry but I do not think the email from MR. Yonts is evidence as I question his credability. I say this because he is misinformed on the whole elk hunt. That is the NPS and it is in RM National Park so it is not run by the DOW. As for running special tags, the plan of NPS is to cull cows to reduce the herd and slow down the damage the elk are doing to aspen regeneration. They are focusing on cows since that is how you alter elk populations. This means there would be no bull tags! Try selling that! Because of this misinformation I am led to believe that MR. Yonts is over exaggerating facts to sway our opinion. Wouldn't that make him guilty of the same charge you are giving the DOW? I think you should stand up for what you believe in and be involved but I also think you should do that with facts and not over exaggerated emotions.
 

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The person named (Robin Knox) is appearently NOT doing a very good job.  Otherwise, would we be having this discussion?  When someone in Congress fails to do a good job, do you get upset when he or she is named publicly.  I hope not!  The fact of the matter is this; they are paid by US!  They are undermining US!  We have EVERY right to call them on the carpet!
Knox has done a damn fine job managing Colorado's sportsfisheries, especially considering that Colorado's human population has grown from about 3 million to 4.7 million while he has held his current position. The numerous/expanded opportunities the anglers of colorado have today for the popular gamefish such as wiper, walleye, and tiger muskie have been made possible during the last 20 years. The DOW has had to manage around the illegal introductions of pike, and other warmwater fish made by idiotic and selfish fishermen, with the end result costing the DOW and US taxpayers millions of dollars. I am quite sure that money could have been better spent elsewhere.

Remember the DOW's first priority is to protecting the wildlife of the state, not satisfying recreational demands of the human element.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Remember the DOW's first priority is to protecting the wildlife of the state, not satisfying recreational demands of the human element.
Don't these two agendas go hand in hand?!? If you want to get real about the statement you just made, think about this. All bass species, walleye, perch, pike, tigers, rainbows, browns, most catfish, kokanee, macs and so on are not "wildlife of the state". We would only be fishing for greenbacks if this were the case. Robin Knox is a good guy in my opinion and means well. I do not personally believe that there is corruption involved. I posted the whole e-mail because I do agree with much of what was said in it and it would not be right for me to edit someone elses words. BUT... there are problems, they happened under Robins watch and these things need to be addressed.
 
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Don't these two agendas go hand in hand?!? In short, NO.

I'm all for conservation and such but many people don't understand sometimes conservation means cutting down trees and killing fish and wildlife.

The reason the DOW doesn't have a limit on pike is because they want you to harvest them. It's part of the conservation plan so they CAN make room for other things...remember, it's a balance.

There have been posts about Lake Powell in the fishing reports section - the striper are overrunning the lake and taking over the shad population. The DOW has a choice - increase bag limits or kill them off. What is the most politically correct option? Do you really think they are going to introduce another species without first taking care of the forage issue?

The same happened out west many years ago (remember biology 101?) - the deer population overran the grand mesa until there was a massive die off. Not enough food - bad management.

They have a plan and folks need to have patience - there is a reason why some lakes are catch-n-release and others are not. Look at our property directory we have to deal with when we go to a different lake - it's all about management - let them keep the balance.
 

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Generally speaking, yes, the two agendas can go hand in hand.  But specifically, if I use the Yampa as an example, managing for pike/SMB/channel cats cannot co-exist with the management goals of saving the ESA listed chubs, minnows and suckers.  

Hunters and fishermen a true conservationists should intrinsically care what happens happens to those endanged species.  Even if it is to detriment "my" recreational opportunities.  

Are many of you really saying that you would really like to see a native species basically eliminated so that you can catch a big pike for example?
 

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Following up to what Clackaram stated, the government and its entities are mandated to protect all species, no matter if they're viewed onerous or worthless. Promoting high level predators is contraindicated when they are living in the same watershed or body of water with "species at risk" or indigenous. Of course, I'd like to catch 20 lb pike and 4 lb smallmouth way more than those endangered or native species I'll never see. But it doesn't work that way. If the pendulum swings the other way then the door is open for replacing whatever fish exist in a body of water with the current favorite flavor. John
 
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