Sunday, May 26, 2013

Stonefly heaven

     I don't have a lot to report on this week. I was on the river all day (for fun) and I'm somewhat fried now. The giant stones are popping on the Colorado. Such a wonderful thing to see. I went down and checked on Friday and didn't see a thing, but today they showed up. At Pumphouse they were still seeming a little groggy and unsure, and I suspect tomorrow will be the big day. It's uncanny how often they hit at Pumphouse right on Memorial Day weekend.
     This week we finished up pike trapping at Wolford and Green Mountain. Got 14 out of Green Mountain, none of which were smaller than about 24" - a good sign. At Wolford we ended up with about 66 fish, all but one of them from last year's spawn.
     We also ran our standard gillnet survey at Wolford this week. From that, and from the pike trapping, I've got a couple of observations on Wolford this spring. First, the kokanee are still looking excellent and we should see another great year for summer kokanee fishing once the water clears. Second, I have seen more large (20" and larger) brown trout in Wolford than I've seen in my time here. Should be a good year for large browns there also.
     I'm about to nod off. Please make comments and let me know what you want to hear about. Ron Fletcher - you had asked about Muddy Creek below Wolford. I'll just say this: It's a nice place. That is all.


  1. Jon,
    It is a nice place, unless the road is muddy or the notorious biting flies are about. I was hoping to hear more.....has the addition of Wolford improved the water quality and fishing in the creek below the dam? Any fish sampling data? How has the dam effected water quality in the Colorado River? Any plans for fish habitat improvement in the tailwater below the dam, or do conditions not warrant improvements? Questions, questions.

  2. Ron - I know you were hoping to hear more; I was giving you kind of a tongue-in-cheek response. I really love that place and it's one of the spots in my area that I would have a hard time publicizing too much. It's completely different than any other stream around. The water quality questions you ask I don't know the answers to - I wasn't around before the dam was built. I suspect that it's more of a trout stream now than it was prior to the dam being built, because of cooler temperatures. I've thought a lot about what habitat improvements could be done there and it's kind of a tough nut to crack on that stream. It's not your classic cobble/boulder freestone stream that is more typical for the area. There are a lot of exposed banks dumping into it that could definitely be stabilized. My hope is that eventually we can come up with a habitat project on the public water portion. Maybe not so much right below the dam, but farther downstream, below the private property. The first step in that would be to rebuild two big irrigation diversions on the creek, so that they better allow for passage of fish at all flows. We've been having some preliminary conversations with various folks to try to get that going. Fingers crossed.

  3. Last year my friend caught a pike in Green mountain about 25 inches. Informed the people at the store near the lake, they thought we were crazy and didnt know our fish species. Would you suggest we keep any pike caught there? Unfortunately at the time we didnt know they werent supposed to be there so he released it.