Voluntary fishing closures on the Animas River and other Southwest Colorado streams put in place in August because of dangerously high water temperatures that posed a risk to fish were lifted Friday.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife said in a statement that water temperatures have cooled, and anglers can now fish at all times throughout the day. The fishing closure had asked fisherman to stop at noon as the heat of the day kicked up.
“We want to thank those who honored the voluntary closures,” John Alves, senior aquatic biologist for CPW’s Southwest Region, said in the statement. “We know it’s tough to curtail fishing activity, but we also know that anglers know the importance of helping to sustain Colorado’s trout populations.”
At the time of the closure, the Animas River was reaching temperatures nearing 70 degrees – a threshold that can cause trout to become incredibly stressed, sometimes resulting in death.
While water flows in most of the region’s rivers and streams remain below normal, temperatures have decreased. As of 4 p.m. Friday, the Animas River was at about 63 degrees.
Still, anglers are asked to carry a thermometer, and stop fishing if temperatures reach 70 degrees or more.
The closure applied to these waterways:
Animas River through Durango from the 32nd Street bridge downstream to Rivera Crossing bridge near Home Depot.Conejos River from Platoro Reservoir downstream to Broyles Bridge.Lake Fork of the Gunnison River from the Fifth Street bridge in Lake City downstream to Blue Mesa Reservoir.San Juan River through Pagosa Springs from the intersection of U.S. Highway 160 and Colorado Highway 84 intersection downstream to the Apache Street Bridge.Tomichi Creek in Gunnison from Colorado Highway 114 downstream to the confluence with the Gunnison River.Rio Grande from Rio Grande Reservoir downstream to the town of Del Norte.South Fork of the Rio Grande from Big Meadows Reservoir downstream to the confluence with the Rio Grande below the town of South Fork.