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CPW to implement late season fishing closure on the Yampa River below Stagecoach Reservoir

OAK CREEK, Colo. – Due to decreased water flow from Stagecoach Reservoir, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) will implement a mandatory full-day fishing closure on a 0.6-mile stretch of the Yampa River between the dam at Stagecoach State Park downstream to the lowermost park boundary.

The closure is in effect beginning Saturday, Oct. 22 and will continue until further notice.

“We are trying to be proactive in protecting the outstanding catch-and-release fishery we have downstream of Stagecoach Reservoir,” said CPW Area Aquatic Biologist Bill Atkinson. “This closure is an effort to protect the resource by giving the fish a bit of a reprieve as they are prone to increased stressors related to these extreme low-flow conditions.”

When water flows are minimal, fish become concentrated in residual pool habitat and become stressed due to increased competition for food resources. The fish become much easier targets for anglers, an added stressor that can result in increased hooking mortality.

CPW works closely with the Upper Yampa Water Conservancy District (UYWCD), who owns and operates Stagecoach Reservoir, to stay informed on reservoir releases.

“We had great success providing environmental and flow maintenance releases from the reservoir this summer in collaboration with our partners,” said UYWCD General Manager Andy Rossi. “Late season inflows to Stagecoach Reservoir are currently at low levels and flow maintenance releases by the Colorado Water Trust ended last week.”

Like many rivers and streams in western Colorado, the Yampa River offers world-class fishing and attracts thousands of anglers each year.

“We are asking for the public’s patience and cooperation,” said Stagecoach State Park Manager Craig Preston. “It is very important that we do what we can to protect this unique fishery for today and future generations.”

The closure on this section of the Yampa is not related to the closure of the small section of the Yampa River at the Fish Creek confluence implemented to protect spawning mountain whitefish.

For more information or current fishing conditions at Stagecoach State Park call 970-736-2436.

For more information about fishing in Colorado, including current fishing conditions and alternative places to fish, visit the CPW website.

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