Colorado Parks and Wildlife has awarded $400,000 to eight Fishing is Fun projects, all geared to improve angling opportunities in the state of Colorado. The approved projects include improved angler access, habitat improvement, new piers and new ponds.
"Colorado has world-class fisheries and angling opportunities and maintaining and increasing access to those resources is so important," said Bob Broscheid, director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife. "Fishing Is Fun is a powerful program to improve angling access for residents and visitors alike, leveraging angler dollars to assist in providing additional opportunities."
Meeker Signage Project
Jim Guthrie, the Fishing is Fun Program Coordinator, cited the Meeker signage project as a good example of the impact grants can have.
"This project is on a 40-mile stretch of the White River where there is a variety of public land ownership," Guthrie said. "Some is county-owned, some is Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, some belongs to Colorado Parks and Wildlife. But people don't realize all the opportunities to fish here. Where are they? How many spots are there? How far upstream can I go before I'm on somebody's private property? New signs and education kiosks will spotlight this access that the public already owns. It's a low-cost way to advertise to anglers and visitors that there are some great public access fishing spots nearby."
Circle Park Pond Project
CPW is partnering with the Eastern Rio Blanco Recreation and Park District, the Town of Meeker and the White River Electric Association to construct a recreational trout-fishing pond at Circle Park in Meeker.
According to Area Wildlife Manager Bill de Vergie, the development of this fishing pond has been discussed for many years, but due to the complex nature of a project with multiple entities involved, it had not been accomplished. Now, with all the parties at the table, the project should be accomplished before the end of the year.
"There's good fishing there along a limited section of the White River," de Vergie said, "but there's steep banks and fast-flowing water. So, it's not ideal for kids. By creating this pond, we'll have a place where kids can ride their bikes to and families can have fun together. There will be a walking trail around it and signs about the kinds of wildlife you might see nearby."
A 2013 economic study found that angling contributes more than $1.9 billion annually to the Colorado economy through direct and secondary expenditures and supports over 16,000 jobs statewide.
Since 1987, the Fishing Is Fun program has supported more than 300 angling improvement projects of various sizes across the state, from the Eastern Plains and the West Slope to the major metropolitan areas along the Front Range. Fishing Is Fun funding comes from the Federal Sport Fish Restoration Program. Matching funds are required, and the eight projects approved in 2018 included more than $488,000 in local support.
Fishing is Fun projects awarded in 2018
Town of Elizabeth
Evans Pond Aerators, $2,700
City of Loveland
Willow Bend fishing pier and access trail, $30,000
Meeker Chamber of Commerce
Signage, kiosks and maps for White River public access, $32,700
Town of Berthoud
Roberts Lake fishing pier, habitat improvement, $18,750
Town of Akron
New fishing pond - Akron Pond, $69,000
Town of Minturn
ADA and angler access to Eagle River, $30,000
East Rio Blanco Parks and Recreation -- Meeker
New fishing pond - Circle Park Pond, $100,000
Moffat County -- Craig
Access trails, boat ramp, pond improvement - Loudy-Simpson Park, $116,850