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 to hard-hitting northern pike, along with the state’s
public 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 waterbody, 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
include bag limitations, species length requirements, proper licensure,
fishing time limits, waterbody-specific rules, and more.
Many of these rules can be found in the
2017 Colorado Fishing Brochure, 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 wall eye 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 orunlawfully
taking and possessing a fish species during a closed season.
Notably, the odds of committing a violationincreasefor 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 todrawmany 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 Cantafio Margulis Gonnell PLLC, 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 Cantafio Margulis Gonnell PLLC at 866-477-8616
Picture: Cherry Creek Reservoir: South End (3/12/17)