Saturday, February 4th, 2023
Saturday, February 4th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

CO: Woods Lake Native Trout Project Scheduled

MONTROSE, Colo. — The first phase of a native Colorado
cutthroat trout restoration project at Woods Lake will take place
from Sept. 6-12, Colorado Parks and Wildlife has announced.

The Woods Lake State Wildlife area will be closed during those
days, and the public is asked to avoid recreating nearby in the
surrounding Grand Mesa-Uncompahgre-Gunnison National Forest during
those days. Woods Lake is located in southeast San Miguel County,
just off U.S. Forest Service Road 618.

“This is an outstanding area for the native cutthroat,” said Dan
Kowalski, aquatic biologist in the Montrose area.”There are only a
few spots in western Colorado suitable for restoration. This will
help give the cutthroat a long-term foothold in southwest

Woods Lake was chosen as a location because the area is isolated
and the waters are pristine. The barrier of the dam at the small
reservoir will prevent non-native fish from swimming into the lake
and tributaries.

The lake and surrounding small tributaries will be treated with
an organic chemical that will kill non-native fish. The chemical,
Rotenone, is derived from the root of a tropical plant and is used
throughout the world for fish management projects. Rotenone is
fast-acting, only affects aquatic species, leaves no residue and
quickly degrades in the environment. The lake is expected to be
completely free of the chemical and suitable for fish less than a
week after the treatment. Native fish will be re-stocked once it is
confirmed that all non-natives have been removed, probably this
fall. Fish should reach catchable size — 10-12 inches — by summer
of 2013.

Until Sept. 6, the area is open for fishing. Licensed anglers
can keep all the brook and brown trout they catch–bag limits have
been temporarily lifted for these species. Fish must be taken by
hook with flies, lures or bait. Netting is not allowed.

Planned for several years, the Woods Lake project is part of a
cooperative effort by Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the U.S.
Forest Service to restore native cutthroat trout to waters on the
West Slope. Due to habitat loss, water quality impacts and the
introduction of non-native fish over many years, the Colorado River
cutthroat has been eliminated from most rivers and streams in
western Colorado. The fish, which has been petitioned for listing
as an endangered species, can now be found in only a small
percentage of its historic range in Colorado and in the Rocky
Mountain West.

To learn more about efforts by Colorado Parks and Wildlife to
restore native trout, see:

For more information about Division of Wildlife go to:


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