PUEBLO – Low flows and rising temperatures contributing to another voluntary closure of a popular fishing area ahead of the Labor Day weekend.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife announced Friday the fishing closure below the dam at Lake Pueblo State Park. The closure extends east to I-25. The Arkansas River is flowing low in several areas which is prompting the closure in two be carried out in two sections.
For the three miles of river from the dam to the Nature and Wildlife Discovery Center the closure is an 18 hour voluntary closure each day from noon until 6:00 a.m. the following morning. For the five mile stretch of the river from the nature center to the interstate, the closure is around the clock for the entire holiday weekend.
The closure is expected to be lifted on Tuesday at midnight when more water is released.
“We recognize it is a drastic step to implement voluntary closures,” said Josh Nehring, CPW senior aquatic biologist. “But we feel we must do this to protect the fish, especially trout in the river. Conditions have become too dangerous.”
This is one of several voluntary closures across the state fueled by rising river temperatures and low water flows. The combination of those conditions depletes oxygen levels in the water and leaves fish vulnerable.
“CPW recommends anglers hit the water early in the morning to avoid the higher water temperatures in the afternoon and evening,” Nehring said. “Anglers are encouraged to seek out higher-elevation lakes and streams, where water temperatures are suitable and fishing does not cause undue stress.”
One thing anglers can do to check and monitor the conditions on their own is to test the water using a hand held thermometer. CPW officers said anglers should consider ending their trout fishing when water temperatures approach 70 degrees.
The CPW also suggests using a heavier tippet and line to reel the fish in quickly and to use barbless hooks.
To check for other closures across the state you can call the CPW regional office. In the Northeast Region, call the Denver office at 303-291-7227. In the Southeast Region, call the Colorado Springs office at 719-227-5200. In the Southwest Region, call the Durango office at 970-375-6708. In the Northwest Region, call the Grand Junction office at 970-255-6100.