Something to grouse about
The Colorado Division of Wildlife is seeking volunteers willing to commit three days to participate in a survey of the sharp-tailed grouse breeding site.
Volunteers will be assigned to a breeding site, called a lek, in the early morning and count the population of the birds. The DOW is looking for people who will be comfortable working in cold conditions and have an interest in identifying birds.
Volunteers are encouraged to brings snowshoes because many of the survey routes are snowy.
Training is provided from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday and 5 to 10 a.m. Saturday in Steamboat Springs.
Surveying will take place between March and May. Volunteers are required to give at least a three-day commitment to the project.
Interested parties should call (970) 255-6145 or 871-2841.
Winter kill hurting mountain fishing
Low water levels and early ice have contributed to poor fishing conditions in several of Colorado's best-known mountain lakes in North Park, according to the Colorado Division of Wildlife.
Fisheries biologist Ken Kehmeier is warning anglers that large numbers of fish were killed because of low oxygen levels at Lake John, Cowdrey Lake, South Delaney Lake and Seymour Lake. He is not recommending ice fishing in Lake John or Cowdrey Lake. Oxygen levels at Seymour and South Delaney are such that fish may still be available in the top four feet of water.
The full extent of what scientists call winter kill will not be known until ice comes off the lakes in the spring.
East Delaney and North Delaney are in somewhat better condition and anglers could expect fishing trips typical of late winter slow, but at least catching fish, Kehmeier said.
The DOW is already planning a strategy to recover the fisheries in the spring, according to the division.