Friday, October 16, 2009

Losing another great fishing spot due to public pressure

One of the elements that I illustrate quite a bit on this blog is the affect of human pressure on public water. Some people have no qualms with going all yackity-shmackity about their favorite fishing spots on fishing forums or other sources. At first, I was in a similar frame of mind. Nowadays I have a very contrasting view after seeing the damage done by less than respectful recreational users. As the population continues to accelerate in Colorado, more anglers join the fray and the public waters are seeing the increased damage from this activity.

Most anglers are respectful and the damage is minimal. Others are much less so and taking a serious toll on our public water. The smaller percentage that leave trash and wads of fishing line are forcing some agencies to throw in the towel and close the lake to public access altogether. Case in point…one of my former favorite fishing spots: Wellington.

The place is shutting down for the winter and possibly for good as the owners have seen significant loss of quality due to increased recreational use. Beyond the article recently released by 9news (link below) I have had personal conversations with Della (the manager) over the years expressing some of the owner’s concerns. Revenues have been up but so has the extent of damage. The trash and non-respectful visitors pushed them over the edge in my opinion.

Over the last three years there has been more exposure to Wellington on fishing forums and a few articles in Colorado Fishing and Hunting News (discontinued publication). According to the owners, the last few years have been intolerable in regards to the trash, fishing line and rule violators. This is not about money. The owners have been considering alternatives for a few years now. Sadly they can’t stand by and let it continue. The damage is done and now the owners are looking to go another direction. Most likely it will move to exclusive\higher priced access on a yearly membership basis (that is my guess anyway).

Once again this was one of my favorite fishing spots that has lost its former fishing quality and now being shut down. If it does reopen…for the love of nature…keep the place on the down low. Take the lesson learned at Wellington and keep more water to yourself. Is it selfish to horde fishing locations? Maybe? But how selfish is it to expose fragile waters to the countless masses if it results in losing the place to everyone virtually forever?

More on the recent news release below.

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