DURANGO, Colo. – Because of the low flows and warm water temperatures on some southwest Colorado rivers, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is asking anglers to curtail their fishing activity early in the day and to observe a voluntary closure.
Recently, conditions at several rivers in CPW’s Southwest Region that receive a lot of fishing pressure have deteriorated to critical levels for trout survival. Water temperatures have approached or exceeded 71 degrees and daily flows are far below normal at less than 50% of average. Consequently, anglers are being asked to stop fishing activity at noon on these rivers:
Animas River through Durango from the 32nd Street bridge downstream to Rivera Crossing bridge near Home Depot.
San Juan River through Pagosa Springs from the intersection of U.S. Highway 160 and Colorado Highway 84 intersection downstream to the Apache Street Bridge.
Conejos River from Platoro Reservoir downstream to Broyles Bridge.
Rio Grande from Rio Grande Reservoir downstream to the town of Del Norte.
South Fork of the Rio Grande from Big Meadows Reservoir downstream to confluence with Rio Grande below the town of South Fork.
This voluntary closure is effective from now through Sept. 25 or until river conditions improve significantly, said John Alves, senior aquatic biologist for CPW in Durango.
“We’re asking for cooperation from anglers on this voluntary closure to protect our trout resources in these rivers,” Alves said. “Anglers are encouraged to fish high-elevation lakes and streams. But there might be some streams in the high country that also become too warm. We encourage anglers to carry a thermometer to check the water temperature. If it’s 70 degrees or above, please stop fishing.”