As temperatures rise, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is asking all anglers to avoid fishing on parts of the Fraser River, Colorado River, and Eagle River starting Friday.
These voluntary closures go into effect Friday from noon to 11:59 p.m. daily for the following sections of these rivers, according to CPW:
- Fraser River from the County Road 8 bridge crossing at Fraser downstream to the confluence with the Colorado River near Granby
- Colorado River from the confluence with the Fraser River near Granby downstream to the confluence with the Williams Fork River at Parshall
- Colorado River from the Highway 9 bridge crossing at Kremmling downstream to State Bridge.
- Eagle River from the Eagle County Fairgrounds at Eagle to the confluence with the Colorado River at Dotsero.
A full-day voluntary closure is in effect for the Colorado River from State Bridge downstream to Bair Ranch in Glenwood Canyon, according to CPW.
CPW said these closures will continue until further notice.
If conditions worsen or anglers do not comply, CPW said it may implement a mandatory emergency closure.
The warm waters are the result of heat, drought and low water levels across Colorado, CPW said. This results in depleted oxygen levels for the fish and algae blooms. Once the water temperature reaches 70 degrees, fish typically stop feeding and become susceptible to disease.
CPW NW Region Senior Aquatic Biologist Lori Martin said the organization knows anglers care about the cold-water trout fisheries and called for their cooperation.
“We need their help to conserve these resources and that’s why we’re asking anglers to carefully consider the water and weather conditions when they go fishing," Martin said. "If water seems too warm or fish appear lethargic, it would be best to call it a day or find another fishing opportunity at higher elevations.”
“Get out early to avoid the higher water temperatures commonly seen in the afternoon and evening,” Martin continued. “Anglers are also encouraged to seek out high-elevation lakes and streams, where water temperatures are more suitable and fishing doesn’t potentially add additional stress.”
Martin recommended using a hand-held thermometer to test the water and to stop fishing if it reaches 70 degrees.