Colorado Parks and Wildlife is ordering an emergency fish salvage operation at Crystal Creek Reservoir on the north slope of Pikes Peak as water is being released in preparation for maintenance to the dam.
To perform repairs and modernize the 84-year-old dam, Colorado Springs Utilities expects to release most of the water from the reservoir. Based on the projected dead pool water level, it will not maintain a viable fishery through the 2019 fishing season.
Rather than let the fish die, CPW ordered the emergency fish salvage, offering anglers a unique opportunity to catch and keep as many fish as they like beginning when the North Slope Recreation Area opens May 1.
The order lifts bag and possession limits for any member of the public holding a valid state fishing license. Signs will be posted at the reservoir announcing the order.
Anglers must use legal fishing methods. And emergency fish salvage is only permitted at Crystal Creek Reservoir during daylight.
All harvest limits and method of take regulations are still in effect at nearby North and South Catamount Reservoirs. The emergency fish salvage will continue until the order is lifted.
Crystal Creek Reservoir covers 136 surface acres, has 3.3 miles of shoreline and sits at 9,230 feet elevation in the Pike National Forest on the north slope of Pikes Peak. To learn more about the dam maintenance project, visit the Colorado Springs Utilities website.
It is one of three Colorado Springs Utilities reservoirs that store drinking water and are used for recreation in the North Slope Recreation Area. It is located along the Pikes Peak Highway, west of Colorado Springs off U.S. Highway 24 in Teller County.
CPW will issue a notice and post signs when the salvage operation ends.