Routt County A discussion on whether warm-water fish should be stocked in Stagecoach Reservoir will be held at an Anglers' Roundtable Wednesday organized by the Colorado Division of Wildlife. The impact of whirling disease in Colorado hatcheries will also be addressed at the meeting.
Fred Bohlmann, who was recently named Stagecoach State Park Manager, is interested in stocking Stagecoach Reservoir with yellow perch. His purpose is to provide non-native northern pike with something to feed on besides trout. Also, the perch would provide anglers with more fish to catch in the lake, he said.
"I just want to make it the best possible fishery it could be," Bohlmann said.
Some anglers enjoy having the opportunity to catch 40-inch pike that live in the reservoir, Bohlmann said.
But some local anglers are against the stocking of perch.
"We don't want (Stagecoach) managed for warm-water fish," said Duncan Draper, president of the Yampa Valley Fly Fishermen.
He said the Fly Fishermen don't support steps to help northern pike prosper in the Yampa Valley.
But Bohlmann believes that the northern pike are here to stay, so some other course of action should be taken to protect the trout, like stocking perch.
"It could be a real bonus for the trout fishermen," he said.
DOW officials will have to give the final approval on the stocking proposal.
Also at the roundtable meeting, DOW officials will update local anglers about the summer fish-stocking schedule, which has been cut back because of whirling disease.
Recently, the DOW discovered that its hatcheries are more seriously infected with whirling disease than previously thought. The discovery left officials without millions of fish for stocking Colorado lakes and streams.
Officials also would like to hear input from local anglers about the possibility of a catch-and-release program for cutthroat trout in waters of the Colorado River that are known to be infected with whirling disease, District Manager Susan Werner said.
Right now, the DOW is preparing fishing regulations for the next five years. It's important for the agency to get input from local anglers to guide officials in developing the regulations, she said.
The meeting is at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Carpenter Ranch, three miles east of Hayden.
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