by Nina Wood
Colorado Parks and Wildlife Biologist Jon Ewert told members of the Blue Valley Sportsman’s Club in a recent meeting the fishery in Green Mountain Reservoir is not in good condition. Ewert, who takes care of the fisheries in area lakes told the group the lake is a challenge in several ways, at least one that is unique. Green Mountain yearly has the largest changes in water level of almost all lakes in Colorado. Types of fish that are particularly sensitive to certain temperatures and depths of the water can be negatively impacted by those changes.
Some that require a high water level to give them access to reeds and grasses in which to spawn don’t always get those conditions.
Collection of kokanee eggs at Green Mountain have ended, both because enough eggs to meet the requirement are easily taken elsewhere. Kokanee salmon in the lake also are infected with gill lice, which take a big toll on their health. The illegal introduction of northern pike by unknown members of the public has also had a negative impact. The $20 bounty on the fish remains in place.
Lake trout being taken are very thin, a sign they aren’t getting enough to eat. Ewert said he plans little if any stocking of fish in Green Mountain in coming months, as he is hopeful the lake itself will begin to rid itself of some of the problems.
The balancing act is very delicate to having a healthy lake and one having one not so healthy. The first stocking of 135,000 rainbow fingerlings has taken place this year at Shadow Mountain, which has the only open water. Gates for boating access will be open with continuing mandatory boat inspections in May.
by Nina Wood