Avoid Wildlife Attacks – Aggressive Bear Bites Woman

It’s interesting to me that people have become so separated from their instincts. Days ago humans understood that wild animals are just that — wild. Our instincts told us to pay attention, to be aware of our surroundings, to carry protection, and to avoid potentially dangerous situations.

I’m not saying that this hiker did anything “wrong.” What I’m suggesting is that you be prepared and avoid a potentially life-threatening situation.

In all things you do in life, learn to connect with your instincts. Avoid aggressive humans and wild animals. Learn to protect yourself, and remember that black bears are not teddy bears.

Search underway for aggressive bear, bit woman as she hiked near Aspen Monday morning

ASPEN, Colo. – Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers are looking for an aggressive bear that bit a woman on the thigh as she and her husband hiked on the Hunter Creek Trail near Lone Pine Road in Aspen at approximately 9:15 this morning.

The woman reported that she and her husband were walking back to Aspen when they saw a bear walking toward them on the trail. The woman says they tried to give the bear space and stepped off the trail.  As the bear walked by, she says it suddenly turned, charged and bit her before it ran off and disappeared from view.

According to investigating officers, the bite wound did not appear serious. CPW is not releasing the identity of the woman.

CPW officers have called in experts with the USDA’s Wildlife Services to assist with tracking the bear, described as light brown and weighing approximately 200-300 lb. As of Monday evening, the bear had not been located.

CPW officials say considering the attack occurred near Aspen, it is possible the bear may enter city limits before it is found. They urge all residents to be cautious.

“This is an aggressive bear and by policy, we will put it down if found,” said CPW Officer Matt Yamashita.” But until we find it, the public should remember what to do if they see any bear. If it appears aggressive or shows no fear of humans, do not approach it. Haze it away by yelling or banging pots and pans, then call CPW or 911 immediately.”

Yamashita says bears usually stay away from people but if a bear has been fed or has lost its natural fear of humans, they can be extremely dangerous.

If you see a bear, CPW officials offer these basic tips:

  • Do not run from a bear, stand your ground and talk firmly to the animal
  • If it continues to approach, throw rocks and sticks, wave your arms and yell loudly
  • If the bear attacks, fight back as aggressively as possible and do not stop until the bear runs off

“Fortunately, these incidents remain very rare,” said Yamashita. “But when people and bears interact, it can increase the possibility of  a dangerous conflict. This woman was lucky that she was not seriously injured.”

The section of the Hunter Creek Trail up to the Lani White Trail remains closed until further notice while officers search for the bear. For more information about the closure, contact Pitkin County Open Space.

CPW will conduct a full necropsy on the animal if it is found.

For more information about bears in Colorado, including hiking in bear country, visit cpw.state.co.us/bears


CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including 41 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW’s work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.

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Outdoor-Skills Weekend for Women – Colorado

If you or a lady you know would like to learn a variety of outdoor skills, there is a weekend planned for you in Western Colorado. I volunteer to help with a similar event in my area and I must admit it’s a great place to learn, socialize and get outdoors. Try to sign up for one in your area.

Women only outdoor-skills weekend planned for Western Colorado

Womens-outdoor-clinic-CPW-792ce026-65b6-46d7-952b-6c7af213504dMONTROSE, Colo. – Women who want to gain valuable outdoor skills, learn about wildlife and receive an introduction to hunting and fishing are invited to attend a “Cast and Blast” weekend workshop, July 13-15, sponsored by Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

The event is limited to 15-20 women and those interested must submit an application.

At the event, women will learn the basics of fly fishing, shotgun shooting, archery, wildlife watching and camping. Participants will also learn about the basics of wildlife management.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife will supply all sporting equipment — shotguns, ammunition, bows and arrows, and fly rods and tackle. Those who have a 20-gauge shotgun, fishing or archery gear can bring their own.

“This program is designed for women and provides a very supportive atmosphere for those who want to learn about fishing, hunting and wildlife,” said Kelly Crane, district wildlife manager in Ouray. “We especially invite women who have little or no experience to join us.”

Participants must have a current Colorado fishing license.

The event will be held at the Jim Olterman/Lone Cone State Wildlife Area, located about 25 miles south of Norwood. Participants will need to bring their own camping gear; they can camp in their own tents or sleep in a cabin. All food will be provided. Those with dietary restrictions, however, should bring their own supplies. A $40 deposit will be required from those chosen to participate.

To obtain an application for the workshop, please contact Dawn Bresett at 970-252-6000, or via email at dawn.bresett@state.co.us.

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CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 41 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW’s work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.


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CPW Kills Bear Suspected of Attacking Girl

CPW officers kill bear suspected of injuring girl in Sunday morning attack

CPW_SiteLogoGRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers killed a bear overnight, believed to have been the bear responsible for injuring a young girl in an early Sunday morning attack in East Orchard Mesa.

CPW officers will transport the bear’s carcass to the agency’s Wildlife Health Laboratory in Fort Collins for a full necropsy.

Wildlife officers placed three traps in the area overnight, actively monitoring them and continuing the investigation, when they observed the bear walking up to a residence approximately a half-mile away from the location of the attack. Officers killed the bear before it entered the trap.

Based on the description of the bear and its behavior, wildlife officers are confident the dead bear is the same bear involved in the attack on the girl.

“The necropsy, along with DNA results will provide the confirmation, but we are confident we have the right bear,” said Area Wildlife Manager Kirk Oldham. “However, we will leave all three traps in place for the time being out of an abundance of caution.”

CPW will release the results of the necropsy when they become available.

In addition to the traps, CPW officers and USDA Wildlife Services personnel will continue searching the area for any additional bears.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife advises the public to avoid attracting bears, and all wildlife, to their residences by removing attractants, including trash, bird feeders and other potential sources of food.


CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 41 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW’s work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.


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Mussel-Free Colorado Act signed into law by Gov. Hickenlooper

I spent multiple years working for Colorado Parks and Wildlife doing education and inspection for Aquatic Nuisance Species. This is an effort to preserve our clean waters and native fish. It’s good news to see the new law signed by Governor John Hickenlooper.

Governor John Hickenlooper signs Mussel-Free Colorado Act into law

CPW_SiteLogoDENVER, Colo. – On Tuesday, April 24, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed the Mussel-Free Colorado Act into law in a short ceremony at the Colorado State Capitol Building in Denver. The new law provides a stable funding source of $2.4 million for Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Aquatic Nuisance Species Program for 2019 and beyond.

In February, the House passed the bill 44 – 20. The bill passed the Senate 24 – 10 in March.

“This is a huge win for protecting Colorado’s water,” said CPW Director Bob Broscheid. “Stable funding for the ANS program means a stable future for Colorado.”

The law requires Colorado residents to purchase a $25 ANS stamp for their boat. Non-residents must purchase a $50 stamp. The new law also:

  • Continues Tier 2 Severance Tax appropriations, when available, to cover the remainder of the $4.5 – $5 million annual cost of ANS program implementation
  • Increases fines for ANS-related violations. The fine for unlawful boat launches without inspection will be raised from $50 to $100. The fine for knowing importation of ANS into the state will be raised from $150 to $500 for a first offense.
  • Allows CPW to charge labor/costs incurred to store and decontaminate intercepted vessels.
  • Encourages federal partners to take responsibility for ANS inspection funding at their reservoirs.

CPW-Gov-HickenlooperWhy do we need a mussel-free Colorado?

Zebra and quagga mussels are not native to the nation’s rivers, lakes and reservoirs and are considered our most serious invasive species threat. Adult infestations harm aquatic ecosystems and fisheries by disrupting the food web and outcompeting native species. They cause enormous problems for water infrastructure used for municipal, agriculture and industrial purposes by attaching to, clogging and impairing water storage, treatment and distribution systems.


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Eradicating an adult mussel infestation in an open water body is nearly impossible. Controlling infestations becomes a permanent and expensive part of normal operations post invasion. Colorado has implemented an effective prevention program to stop mussel introduction by inspecting and decontaminating watercraft before they enter our waters and ensuring that users clean, drain and dry their own watercraft in between each use.

Almost all the states east of Colorado have a zebra or quagga mussel infestation. A mandatory watercraft inspection and decontamination program, coupled with monitoring and education, is the best approach to keep Colorado free of the invasive mussels and other ANS.

In 2017, Colorado inspectors intercepted 26 boats infested with adult mussels coming in from out of state – a new record. Colorado has intercepted more than 145 boats infested with adult mussels since the ANS Program began in 2008. The number of infested boats increase each year and there have already been six infested boats intercepted in 2018.



Colorado’s ANS Program was in Jeopardy

The Colorado ANS Program was authorized by the Colorado Legislature in 2008 utilizing severance tax funds. CPW has leveraged those funds with federal and local grants to fund the ANS Program since inception. However, severance tax is a fluctuating source and federal funds have been reduced in recent years. The Mussel-Free Colorado Act is essential to providing a stable base of funding for the ANS Program to be leveraged with other dollars for the continued protection of water infrastructure, natural resources and maintaining recreational access to lakes and reservoirs. This funding source is critical to protecting our waters and water infrastructure from irreversible invasion.

For more information about CPW’s ANS Program and the Mussel-Free Colorado Act, visit http://cpw.state.co.us/aboutus/Pages/ISP-ANS.aspx.

CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 41 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW’s work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.


Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Apply for Hunting Licenses

I’m sitting in the Hunter Ed classroom waiting for the students to arrive and I thought I’d better tell you why you shouldn’t wait to get your Colorado hunting applications in.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife implemented their new licensing system a few weeks ago and ever since they’ve been encouraging hunters and angels to get into the system, update their profiles, and buy their licenses a.s.a.p.. Since I sit on the Colorado Sportsman’s Roundtable, attend CPW public meetings, teach hunter ed, and mentor others, I did just that. I got on the website right away. I updated my profile. I made sure my preference points were still listed as they should be, and then I waited for the day license sales opened.

CPW-upland-blaze-orange-5fbffe5c-9133-4aec-b28a-b7a9421d9be2
Do not wait until the last minute; apply today for your Colorado limited licenses.

I immediately bought and applied for all my licenses. I had no problem, and heck it’s much less expensive than it used to be. (Now — What to do with all that extra dinero? <winking of course>) I ran into no hic-ups and had zero problems. I even have my small game hunting and fishing combo license with me as I type. Yep! It’s already here.

That leads me to a friend and her husband. She asked that I stop by and help her navigate the system as she’s a bit wary and they’re actually some of the few who, until now, has always applied using the paper mail-in applications for her hunting licenses. I agreed to help and met her after church.

We sat down to purchase and apply for her husband’s tags. Logged in. Applied. Purchased. Done. The process went as smooth as silk.

Next, my friend logged in to her portal and we began, with her information verification screen. Everything looked good. She clicked the save button only to be stopped by the system, which displayed an error message something like “the name cannot be found in the system.” She logged out and then in. The same error message popped up. She pulled out her old hunting license to see if she used to have her maiden name on them. Nope. The name on the screen read exactly the same as the old hunting license, but the system wouldn’t allow her to proceed to even look at a species or tag for which to apply.

The moral of my story is if you have a problem similar to my friend’s you may not have time to go to the CPW office and get it taken care of. Get online NOW and buy or apply! Learn more below.

CPW urges hunters, begin applying online for a limited license today, do not wait until the last minute

DENVER – Colorado Parks and Wildlife is urging hunters planning to apply for a limited hunting license to begin the process as soon as possible. The agency says waiting until just before the application deadline, midnight, April 3, could pose challenges for hunters due to staff availability and support. Getting in early will ensure successfully completing and submitting an application.

This year, CPW launched a new, integrated online purchasing system designed to streamline the limited license application process. Agency officials say so far the majority of transactions have been successful; however, as is the case with the rollout of any new computerized system, there are always challenges.

“As advanced as our new system is, and regardless of how well it has worked so far, there is no system in existence that will work perfectly out of the box,” said Cory Chick, License Services Manager. “Especially this first year, we urge hunters to do their part by logging on today and making sure any holdups are addressed right now, not at the last minute.”

One recommendation CPW officials have for hunters is to be sure and read all directions on the website before applying. There are video tutorials and step by step guides for setting up accounts.

“One of the primary challenges customers are facing is when they create a new profile rather than looking up their CID number.” said Bradley Gabrielski, CPW Call Center Coordinator. “The information to make the online application process work is there, but it is critical that people take the time to read it before they start.”

Gabrielski says hunters with questions, or those that may not have experience with computers, have several options to get help with their application. They can come into one of CPW’s offices located across the state, contact the CPW Call Center at 1-303-297-1192 or by calling the agency’s 24-hour hotline at 1-800-244-5613.

Agency staff are asking for customers to be patient when calling into an office, the CPW Call Center or the Aspira Call Center. Call volume is extremely high this time of year which is also why it is important to start the application process earlier rather than later.

“We cannot stress enough that waiting until the last minute to apply is not recommended,” said Chick. “Begin your application today.”

For more information, call your local CPW office, or you can go to the CPW website for detailed information.

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CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 41 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW’s work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.

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Durango Offers Turkey Hunting Seminar

Last week I let you know about an opportunity to learn to hunt turkeys plus apply for a mentored hunt opportunity. Now I’ve received notice that there will be another “Turkey Hunting 101” class offered for you. I hope you can make it to one of the events. Pursuing gobbling toms is so much fun.

Turkey hunting seminar in Durango, April 7

DURANGO, Colo. — If you want to learn how to hunt turkeys or improve how you hunt these wily birds,  plan to attend a “Turkey Hunting 101” class in Durango, 8:45 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., April 7, at the Durango Public Library, 1900 East 3rd AVE.
The class is free and open to all ages and experience levels. Please, register online for this event at: https://www.register-ed.com/events/view/121144.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife staffers, who are also avid turkey hunters, will provide expert tips and instruction. Turkeys are abundant in southwestern Colorado. Licenses can be purchased over-the-counter, so no special application process is necessary. Spring turkey season lasts six weeks which also allows hunting during a time of relatively warm weather. Season dates for 2018 are April 14 through May 27.
The class will cover key concepts for turkey hunters, including: biology, bird identification, laws and regulations, equipment, scouting, hunting tactics, turkey calling, tracking, how to set up a blind, field-dressing and more. The first part of the class will be held indoors and in the afternoon it will move outside for a field session.
For more information, call the CPW office in Durango at 970-247-0855.
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CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 41 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW’s work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.

Connect with Mia – Twitter  Facebook  +Google Pinterest YouTube Instagram

Help me create better videos for YOU by showing your support at Patreon – https://www.patreon.com/MiaAnstine.

Advertisements on this site do not express or represent the opinion of MAC Outdoors or Mia Anstine. This article may include affiliate links.

How To Apply for Colorado Big-Game Hunting Licenses

This will be the first year that hunters will not a have a mail-in option when applying for their Colorado big-game hunting licenses. With the introduction of the new online system, there is concern that some hunters may have difficulty with navigation. CPW will have call centers open to help those in need, but they’re also holding seminars throughout the state to help curb the potential problem.

CPW holding seminars to help hunters with CPW’s new automated online system

CPW_SiteLogoGRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – As the April 3 limited license application deadline draws near, hunters with questions or concerns about Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s new automated online licensing system can get help in a variety of ways, including asking questions over the phone, visiting a local CPW office to receive personal guidance or getting information on CPW’s website.

In addition to these options, hunters will have access to one-on-one help by attending one of seven seminars scheduled during the month of March in CPW’s Northwest Region.

“More and more people are purchasing from a number of online retailers, from shoes and clothing to food, music, furniture, and so on,” said Northwest Regional Manager JT Romatzke. “It was inevitable that CPW would one day sell its products online with an automated system, and that time has come. That said, we understand some people will need a little personal guidance and we are happy to help.”

In early January, 2018, CPW introduced its new integrated online purchasing system to streamline the sale of all hunting and fishing licenses and required stamps, annual parks passes, camping reservations and merchandise.

Although CPW recommends all applicants for limited licenses apply online, hunters still have the option of applying over the phone by calling 1-800-244-5613 .

At each seminar, computers will be available so hunters can go through the process with the help of CPW customer service representatives.

In CPW’s Northwest Region, the agency will hold seminars in the following locations:


Steamboat Springs
March 14
6 – 8 p.m.
CPW’ Steamboat Springs Office
925 Weiss Drive, Steamboat Springs


Frisco
March 18
1 – 5 p.m.
County Commons – Buffalo Mountain Room
37 Peak One Dr, Frisco

Glenwood Springs
March 19
6 – 8 p.m.
CPW’s Glenwood Springs Office
0088 Wildlife Way, Glenwood Springs, CO


Granby
March 21
6 – 8 p.m.
Granby Library-Community Room
55 Zero St, Granby


Granby
March 24
1 – 3 p.m.
Granby Library – Study Room
55 Zero St, Granby


Kremmling
March 25
4:30 – 7 p.m.
CSU Extension Hall
210 11th St, Kremmling, CO


Grand Junction
March 27
6 – 8 p.m.
CPW’s Hunter Education Building
711 Independent, Grand Junction
Registration is required – Call 970-255-6100.


For more information about the new integrated purchasing system, visit the CPW website.

For more information about hunting in Colorado, visit the hunting page on the CPW website.

Shed Hunting Restrictions in Colorado

If you’re a fan of wildlife and a fan of collecting the antlers bucks and bulls leave behind every spring, you need to read this update from Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission approves shed antler and horn collection seasonal restrictions at January meeting

CPW_SiteLogoDENVER, Colo. – On Thursday, January 11, 2018, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission voted unanimously to approve the creation of a seasonal closure on shed antler and horn collection on all public lands west of I-25 from January 1 through April 30 annually. Today’s decision will take effect on these public lands beginning March 1, 2018. Additionally, in order to maintain protection for the Gunnison sage-grouse, the new regulations include a closure to collection of shed antlers on public lands May 1 to May 15 from sunset to 10 a.m. in the Gunnison basin (Game Management Units 54, 55, 66, 67, 551).

CPW staff have been examining the issue for months, first introducing an antler and horn collection issue paper in September of 2017 that suggested a closure be put in place on all public lands west of I-25 from January 1 through April 30 annually. The purpose of this request was to reduce the recreational impacts from shed hunting on wintering big game animals during the time of year when deer, elk, pronghorn, and moose are most vulnerable to stress. The result of this stress can be decreased body condition, increased mortality, and decreased fawn/calf survival.

The CPW Commission discussed the pros and cons of implementing these changes at its January 11 meeting. Much of the debate between commissioners at Thursday’s meeting revolved around the potential for including an associated license/permit for shed antler and horn collection. Wildlife is synonymous with Colorado and their health and sustainability is a primary focus for CPW staff. The seasonal closure, also being discussed, was met with broad public and agency support.

During the discussion on whether to approve just the seasonal collection closure, or a closure with a fee-based permit, Commissioner Alexander Zipp said, “I’d like to start with just a time restriction, without the fees. This is not a money-making decision. This is a wildlife regulation matter.”

Winter can be extremely difficult on wildlife as body weight is down and access to food is very limited. The survival of wildlife relies heavily on keeping as many calories as possible until the green shoots pop up, heralding spring’s return.

Commissioner Robert Bray summed up the discussion, saying he’d like CPW staff to further research a fee or registration option, but more importantly to create an education campaign on why these new regulations are being put into place and how all recreational can play a role in helping wildlife get through the winter.

Complete background information on this agenda item can be found on the CPW website.

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CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 41 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW’s work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.


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Things To-Do for Sportsmen and Wildlife

I began the morning reflecting on the year and got sucked into a tangled political and religious rant, which I’ve decided not to share. I chose to push the re-start button and do some more positive reflecting on the last year. I began with, “What have I done and what things will I do?”

I’ve sat on the Colorado Sportsman’s Roundtable Committee for several years and am nearing the end of my second term. I wonder what I can do to further my outreach and speak up for sportsmen, wildlife, and the future generations. Last year I submitted an application for the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commision. I know I can make a difference on the panel. I also know I have much to learn.

 

CPW-NAVAJO-LAKE-boats-in-the-mist-4203Web
Boats in the mist at Navajo Lake State Park. CPW Photo

 

This year I plan to continue my work and learn as much as I can about the vastly complicated inner workings of the Colorado Parks and Wildlife(CPW) organization. As I attend public meetings and meet face to face with hunters and anglers, many of them present complaints and objections to or about items of which they don’t fully understand.

What I’ve learned is that before we become staunch in our objections or criticisms, the thing to do is educate ourselves. Many complaints are about the management of funds. (I find it a bit amusing because it seems people always think they know what other people’s financial situations are. Why shouldn’t they be the same with a huge organization like CPW?)

I attended several Commission meetings last year and while some consider the meetings mundane, I learned a plethora about the organization and what they’re doing with our funds. The meetings are held somewhat bi-monthly and in areas throughout the state. What I recommend is that you attend one when it’s in your area. You may be surprised when you learn about all the projects CPW has going on, how funds are allocated, and when and how they’re allowed to use them.

The thing-to-do is get involved. The next meeting is January 11 in Denver, Colorado. I’ve shared additional information about the meeting below. If you can’t make that meeting, here is a link to the year’s schedule. MEETING DATES

Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission to meet January 11 in Denver 

DENVER, Colo. – The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission will discuss a citizen petition allowing the launching of paragliders from Smelter Mountain in the Bodo State Wildlife Area, a citizen petition on a new type of wildlife educators license, adding hand-operated foldable plastic boats to the list of exempted vessels that can be hand-launched without a boat inspection, implementing an antler and horn collection closure on public lands west of I-25 from January 1 through April 30 annually, and CPW’s new purchasing system at its January meeting. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, January 11 and adjourn at 5 p.m. at 6060 Broadway, Denver, CO 80216.

Additional items include:

  • Annual review of big game regulations (including annual changes to season dates, limited license areas, quotas and manner of take provisions for bighorn sheep and mountain goat)
  • Lake Licenses and related regulations
  • Annual review of small game regulations
  • Annual review of wildlife properties controlled by the Division of Parks and Wildlife, including State Trust Lands leased by the Division
  • Herd Management Plan Process

complete agenda for this meeting can be found on the CPW website, http://cpw.state.co.us.

The commission meets regularly and travels to communities around the state to facilitate public participation. Anyone can listen to commission meetings through the CPW website. This opportunity keeps constituents informed about the development of regulations and how the commission works with Parks and Wildlife staff to manage the parks, wildlife and outdoor recreation programs administered by the agency. Find out more about the commission on the CPW website.

The next commission meeting will take place February 7 and 8 in Denver.

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CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 41 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW’s work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.

 

Counting Fish for Conservation – Colorado

For many of us catching a fish means recreation, conservation, and catch and release. For others, it means counting on landing one to fry up for dinner. My, oh my, how I love a fresh brookie at my high mountain camp.

When you purchase a license to fish or hunt do you ever wondered where your money goes? I’m currently serving my second term on the Colorado Sportsmen’s Roundtable  (CSR) committee, and what I hear from sportsmen I run into around the state is that they want to know what Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) does with the money.

I’ll tell you that the organization is doing a TON, and in order to truly understand where the money goes you need to become involved. I have learned a lot sitting on the CSR, but I’ve learned even more by attending the Commission meetings. This is an intense and deep topic, “Where does the money go?”

Today I want to share a research method that CPW biologists are using in a river near Pueblo, Colorado. It’s pretty extensive but should reveal more accurate numbers than standing in a body of water and trying to count fish as they swim by. I think it’s very interesting, and thought you might like to learn about it too.

Here is a small snippet of where your money goes.

Cold, wind can’t stop CPW biologists bent on surveying fish for conservation

CPW_SiteLogoPUEBLO, Colo. – Temperatures were below freezing and winds were gusting to 40 mph when aquatic biologists from Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Southeast Region set out on the Arkansas River, and in it, to conduct their annual fish survey early Monday, Dec. 4.

A team of six biologists, some hatchery staff and seasonal employees spent the first week of December catching, weighing and measuring as many fish as they could find in the Arkansas, working from two small rafts and starting at the base of the Lake Pueblo State Park dam.

As winds whipped violent waves and whitecaps on the reservoir above, heavily bundled biologists gathered at dawn and set out in the tailwaters below. The brutal conditions couldn’t stop the important conservation work that needed to be done.

The first raft was guided by a biologist who walked behind it in the frigid river water. It carried three biologists who took turns tossing an electrode into river and quickly reeling it back in. The device gently charged the water with electricity and attracted any fish in the vicinity, allowing the two others to quickly scoop them up in long nets and deposit them in live wells.

The crew of a small chase raft then took the fish for precise measurements. A small hole puncher was used to mark the tail fin in order to accurately calculate a population estimate during this mark and recapture survey. The team expected to handle about 500 fish per day.

“We are trying to get a an accurate population estimate of the number of fish per mile in certain sections of the river,” said Carrie Tucker, CPW aquatic biologist based in Pueblo. “This fish survey is important because it helps us determine if our fishing regulations are working and how many fish we need to stock”.

“We are looking for rainbow trout and brown trout, particularly. But we are also weighing and measuring suckers and any other game fish we find. We’ll get bass, saugeye and carp.”

The first survey was conducted in 2011 to assess the population of the tailwaters of the river and half-mile sections through Pueblo. It was repeated in 2015 and now is an annual event.

Josh Nehring, senior aquatic biologist, participated in the survey and said similar surveys are conducted on rivers across Colorado as part of the agency’s conservation work maintaining healthy fisheries and ensuring plenty of game fish exist for anglers.

“Despite the weather, this is a good time of year to conduct the survey because river levels are low allowing us to safely enter the river and do our work,” Nehring said. “And it’s kind of fun because we get to see so many big fish.”


CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 41 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW’s work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.


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