by Nina Wood
Despite choppy water from the daily strong winds, Colorado Parks and Wildlife Aquatic Biologist Jon Ewert and his crew finished the semi-annual fish survey on the Williams Fork Reservoir on Tuesday. The testing includes setting nets in order to take samples of numbers of the fish, focusing on lake trout. The condition of the water and the availability of food are also analyzed. The head of the 16 pounder pictured will be frozen until a later date when sampling is complete in other area lakes. Then it will be encased in epoxy and sliced into thin layers for microscopic examination to determine age and tested further.
Ewert is knowledgeable and willingly shares that knowledge if one begins asking questions. Among the pieces of information picked up on Tuesday were that pike have been in that particular lake since the early 70’s, and lake trout were last stocked in 1987. Both species, as well as the German browns are selfsustaining fisheries. Only rainbow trout and kokanee salmon are stocked throughout the summer. The pike spawn is now over, so catches of those should pick up. The fish are partial to shallower water and are usually found in water 15 feet deep or less. While there is a bounty on them in Green Mountain and Wolford Reservoirs, at Williams Fork any pike between 26 and 34 inches must be returned to the water immediately.
Numbers gotten from the survey indicate no large changes from past years. Other finding will be available later on in the year when the summer flurry of activity slows down.