Colorado Parks and Wildlife Lifts All Bag and Possession Limits for Two Reservoirs

By author of The Realblog with Stephanie Mallory

Both bodies of water are in danger of drying up and killing all the fish

Anglers fishing Colorado’s Queens and Jumbo reservoirs are being encouraged to capture and keep all the fish they want.

CBS News reports that the two reservoirs are in danger of drying up and killing all the fish, so Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) has lifted all bag and possession limits, as well as fly and lure restrictions. All that's required is a valid Colorado fishing license.

CPW authorized the hauls for Queens Reservoir beginning on July 21 and Jumbo on July 25. 

"Due to declining water levels and increasing temperatures, Queens Reservoir is in imminent danger of suffering a catastrophic fish-kill," said Mitch Martin, acting CPW southeast region manager.    

Queens, located north of Lamar, is part of the Arkansas River and Great Plains Reservoir systems and contains crappie, catfish, bass, saugeye, walleye, and wiper. 

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The reservoir is a storage reservoir for agricultural use and demand from surrounding farms has increased over the last several years. Queens was dry between 2005 and 2015 before it was refilled and restocked.

Jumbo Reservoir, located near Julesburg, is also a storage for irrigation water. CPW predicts its water levels will fall below the boat ramp in early August, eliminating access for trailer-launched boats.

 "It is very unfortunate to possibly lose such an incredible and popular fishery," stated CPW fisheries biologist Mandi Brandt in a press release. "The fishery plays an important role in the local economy. This public salvage provides a great opportunity for anglers to take advantage of the current resource in Jumbo Reservoir, which includes walleye, saugeye, crappie, yellow perch, smallmouth bass, bluegill, and channel catfish."

According to CPW, Jumbo was first filled in 1907, but recent drought conditions and high irrigation demand have taken a toll. It was drained in the fall of 2006, and fish salvages were ordered there in 2012 and 2020. 

A 22-mile earthen canal that flows from the South Platte River through the towns of Proctor and Crook provide water to Jumbo Reservoir. 

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