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CPW Orders Public Fish Salvage at Wahatoya Reservoir in Huerfano County
Submitted by: TBC Press
Posted on: 10/15/20
Colorado Parks and Wildlife on Wednesday ordered an emergency public fish salvage at Wahatoya Reservoir just east of La Veta in Huerfano County due to declining water levels related to intensifying drought conditions.
Wahatoya Reservoir, a coldwater lake known for rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout, is in imminent danger of a catastrophic fish kill due to extremely low lake levels. Hoping to avoid the loss of a large number of fish, a public fish salvage was authorized, effective Oct. 19, by CPW Director Dan Prenzlow.
“A public salvage allows us to optimize use of the fishery resource in accordance with Parks and Wildlife Commission regulations,” said Brett Ackerman, CPW Southeast Region Manager. “The emergency salvage order applies only to Wahatoya Reservoir and only during daylight hours.”
An emergency fish salvage means bag and possession limits, as well as fly-and-lure restrictions, are suspended for Wahatoya Reservoir until this order is lifted. Anglers must use legal fishing methods and a valid Colorado fishing license is required.
Notification of the salvage opening and closure will be made through news releases. And signs will be placed at the reservoir.
This emergency salvage does not include adjacent Daigre Reservoir. All bag limits and fly-and-lure restrictions are still in place and being enforced at Daigre Reservoir, Ackerman said.
The two reservoirs are part of the Wahatoya State Wildlife Area. Drought has caused water levels in Wahatoya to fall to about 40 percent of capacity.
CPW is working with the city of Walsenburg, which relies on the two reservoirs for its water supply, to protect the remaining water in Daigre so both fisheries are not lost. CPW and the city plan to pump remaining water from Wahatoya into Daigre.
Publishers Notes: OUT OF STATE HUNTERS, FISHERMEN & OUTDOOR ENTHUSIASTS; Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, there could be limitations for OUT of STATE hunters, fishermen and other outdoor enthusiasts to include a 14-day quarantine requirement or negative COVID-19 testing alternative. Please check with the State's Department of Natural Resources BEFORE you travel or apply for the 2020 Fall Hunts.
As OUR COUNTRY REOPENS AGAIN (from the COVID-19 pandemic) and continue to enjoy outdoor activities, ALL outdoor enthusiasts (man, woman, child) should follow the guidelines set by nps.gov. These guidelines include; social distancing, the Leave No Trace principles, including pack-in and pack-out, to keep outdoor spaces safe and healthy.