For the first time in nearly 40 years, a new source of water is flowing into the fish and wildlife conservation pool in John Martin Reservoir. That pool, which has historically been minimally maintained through the purchase of Colorado River water, is intended to provide a permanent pool of water to protect the reservoir's world-class fishery.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, in partnership with the Black Canyon Astronomical Society, will be celebrating the starlit skies of Western Colorado with their 8th annual Astronomy Festival June 21-24. Black Canyon was designated as an International Dark Sky Park in September of 2015 - one of a small number of National Park Service sites that are recognized for exceptional dark skies that are perfect for star gazing.
The Colorado Trail Explorer - a comprehensive online statewide trail map and a key component of Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper's Colorado the Beautiful initiative - is now live and available to the public in celebration of National Trails Day on June 3.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is planning to expand the use of an oral vaccine against plague for prairie dogs on the Charles M. Russell and UL Bend National Wildlife Refuges in Montana. The new plan would allow for vaccine distribution on wilderness areas within the refuges, and on nearby private lands when requested by cooperating landowners. The Service has completed an Environmental Assessment for this action and is seeking public comment on the proposal.
The road to the reservoir in Conejos County where Colorado Parks and Wildlife has authorized a fish salvage is still blocked by snow. It will probably be two or three weeks before the road is opened by the U.S. Forest Service.
Those who want to fish or access Trujillo Meadows Reservoir should go to the web site of the Rio Grande National Forest and check the road conditions report: https://www.fs.usda.gov/riogrande
Going out on the stand-up paddleboard is a great way to experience our state's waters, so Colorado Parks and Wildlife is urging boarders to stay safe while on rivers and reservoirs.
"Paddleboarding is easy to learn and almost anyone can have fun doing it," said Scott Rist, head ranger at Paonia, Sweitzer Lake and Crawford state parks. "But because it's easy, a lot of people don't realize that you can get in trouble when you fall off. We urge everyone to wear life jackets and use a tether."
Colorado Parks and Wildlife's annual free fishing weekend takes place June 3-4. Licenses are not required for the weekend, however all other regulations and fees including Bag Limits and the State Park Vehicle Pass apply.
Throughout the remainder of the season, a license is required and is valid for a full year from April 1. One-day licenses can also be purchased.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife has authorized an emergency fish salvage at Trujillo Meadows Reservoir located west of Antonito in Conejos County starting May 27. The salvage order removes all size, possession and bag limits for all species of fish.
The reservoir will be drawn down through the summer to accommodate dam repair. That work will start this fall. The reservoir is north of Cumbres Pass and Colo. Hwy 17 on U.S. Forest Service Road 118.