PUEBLO – If you’re taking a fishing trip to Lake Pueblo State Park for Labor Day weekend, Colorado Parks and Wildlife wants you to consider their voluntary fishing restrictions below the dam, extending east to I-25.
The whole goal is to protect the fish.
Low flows in the Arkansas River and rising temperatures have been stressing the fish populations and the park wants anglers to consider these factors before they head to the area.
Specifically, the park is implementing these voluntary closures in two sections.
The first is each day from noon to 6 a.m. spanning three miles from the dam to the Nature and Wildlife Discovery Center.
The second stretches five miles from the Nature Center to I-25 – that one’s around-the-clock.
And even though these are technically voluntary, fishermen that spoke to News 5 are all for it.
“We need to preserve the habitat out here in Lake Pueblo State Park. That way for our future, for the young children who are learning how to fish,” said fisherman Alan Martinez.
“Fisherman are a great group to work with,” added Doug Youngers, who works as a technician at Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
“They want the fish in the river, just not today but tomorrow and next year.”
One suggestion for anglers is to add a hand-held thermometer to their fishing kits so they can wrap up their trout fishing when temperatures come close to 70 degrees.
Also fish in the morning when it’s cooler and using barbless hooks also reduces the time needed to unhook fish.
When fish are hooked, they consume a lot of oxygen and they’re more prone to disease and death.
These voluntary closures will be in place until Tuesday.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is considering other measures, such as increasing waterflows coming out of the dam, to alleviate water levels for the fish population.