As warmer weather approaches, everyone is looking forward to spending time
outdoors – especially Colorado anglers.Resisting the state’s
assortment of over thirty different fish species, which range from stunning
rainbow trout tohard-hitting northern pike,along with the state’spublic
access to 9,500 miles of streams, 2,000 natural lakes, and 800 reservoirs,
is nearly impossible.
Unfortunately, however, a surprising number of anglers remain unaware of
the numerous regulations that the state places on fishing. For example,
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) releases a myriad of rules each year
that address everything from permissible bait to protected species. Furthermore,
the regulations may vary depending on the water body, and there is no
guarantee that last year’s standards are the same as this year’s.
As a result, many well-intentioned fishermen can find themselves inadvertently
outside of the law at the start of a new fishing season.
To prevent paying significant fines – or even losing their fishing
rights altogether –Colorado anglers should ensure they understand
all relevant CPW regulations before casting out their first lines. Such restrictions
includebag limitations, species length requirements, proper licensure,
fishing time limits, waterbody-specific rules, and more.
Many of these rules can be found in the
2017ColoradoFishingBrochure, an up-to-date guide on the subject. As its numerous pages illustrate,
there are various regulations pertaining to specific fishing areas. For
example, Cherry Creek Reservoir, located in Arapahoe County, has a CPW
special regulation that limits the take of walleye to only one fish longer
than twenty-one inches per day.Conversely, Stagecoach Reservoir in Routt
County also has a special regulation that puts
no limitation on walleye takes for individuals.
For someone attempting to abide by the state’s fishing laws, the
number of requirements necessary for compliance can be daunting. Furthermore,
the CPW tickets individuals for rule violations, such as using live bait
in a waterbody that only allows artificial flies and lures or unlawfully
taking and possessing a fish species during a closed season.
Notably, the odds of committing a violation increasefor individuals fishing
in unfamiliar waters. Also, because these laws vary widely from state
to state, it can be easy to fail to recognize a violation. For these reasons,
making sure you’ve received reliable information before embarking
on a fishing trip in Colorado is highly recommended.
Colorado’s 2017 fishing license sales began on March 15, and the
upcoming season promises to draw many of us out to the water in search
of a trophy catch. But, like any fishing season, it’s important
to know what regulations you and your companions must abide by, especially
considering that Colorado Parks and Wildlife Officers check for proper
licenses and compliance with daily bag limits all season long.
At Feldmann Nagel, we can assist you in ensuring compliance with all applicable
laws on your next fishing trip. From expedition compliance planning to
protecting your rights if you’ve received a ticket, our experienced
team of wildlife attorneys can help you get the most out of the 2017 fishing
season – and enjoy it legally.
For additional consultation on Wildlife, Hunting, or related matters, please
contact an experienced professional at Feldmann Nagel, LLC at 866-477-8616
Picture: Cherry Creek Reservoir: South End (3/12/17)