Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Lake John…back on the board September 3rd

(Above: B&W photo from 1999 to give this article that rustic feel. Or maybe the Google satellite shot had a big #$%^ cloud over the lake right when I need a good screen shot.)
Once again I bring you news of another northern Front Range lake getting some much needed attention. Lake John is a fishery with an abundance of potential. Unfortunately common carp that entered the system began to overcrowd the situation and the stocked trout survived at a fraction of the quality that we regularly see here. Water turbidity and other elements that too many carp can bring to a water impoundment made it difficult for sport fish to reach their optimum.
Removing the carp and better controlling the water source could quickly remake Lake John a premier trout destination as the high level of plankton that exists here fatten the trout up quickly. It also sounds like they stocked a few serious brooder trout making a few of these catches in the OMG section. The summary stocking breakdown goes something like this…
130,000 rainbow trout in the 4-5inch range
50,000 snake river cutthroat 5-8inch range
40,000 rainbow trout in the 6-9inch range
35,000 cutbow\bowcutts in the 10inch range
1,500 trout in the 3-7lb range with most of the fish averaging 4pounds and 16-22”…that is what I am talking about!!!
Lake John is managed as a bait and take fishery with primitive camping sites on the shore. Boating is allowed and ramps are located at north and south ends of the lake. Species are mainly rainbow trout that are routinely stocked but the rumor of a few brown trout still persist. The keep is limit is 4 fish but I highly encourage everyone to cut this in half and only take out two trout especially if one or both is adequate size. If you see a stringer with four-7lb trout take and send me the picture so I can ridicule that fish monger on my blog. Legal don’t always make it right or the best thing to do and Lake John could use a little moderation now for future trout development. Just sayin’.
In my view Lake John is a great family\weekend destination but mostly for the folks that don’t mind a primitive camp setting and looking primarily for a stocked trout\baiting scene with big fish opportunity. Lake John also takes some of the angling pressure off of Delaney Buttes, a premier trout destination in the state managed as Artificial Fly and Lure only with very limited take restrictions.
Here is a peak at the news blurb from Colorado Parks and Wildlife Insider. To get these updates and more, go to their announcement website and enter your e-mail address into their DOW Insider feature. 
Start entry-
WALDEN, Colo. – Colorado Parks and Wildlife has completed a reclamation project at Lake John, setting the stage for a rejuvenated fishery that will be open for angling in early September.  Lake John is located northwest of Walden along CO Road 7A.

“The success we have had with the reclamation is like a reset button for Lake John," said Kurt Davies, aquatic biologist for the northeast region. "The lake will be back online by the first week of September and back to growing fish at its maximum potential. The fish we are planting now will see tremendous growth before the lake is even iced up and with the large brood fish we are putting in there, there's the possibility someone will hook into a real trophy.”
-End entry
Good luck and good fishing


Cofisher said...

Thanks for the heads-up on Lake John. I've had many enjoyable evenings fishing there, but it's been awhile. I've been told that trout grow 3+" a year there and I believe it.

John said...

An interesting article Matt. Unfortunately the carp will be near impossible to eradicate

Justin said...

I noticed this in my email the other day. That's great news. I'm new to both Colorado and blogging. Are you in the Grand Valley? I live in Junction.

Coloradocasters said...

@Cofisher: Not a problem at all and I scrambled a bit to be on of the first to post this up with the stocking info. Lake John offers an accommodating slice of fishing for some while taking public pressure off of others. The first few weeks of fishing should be HOT.

@John: They nuked the lake with rotenone and I believe improved the head gates in and out. You are correct that this will not eliminate the carp threat 100% but will possibly buy the lake a decade or two.

@Justin: Glad you stumbled across my blog. Truth be told I am on the east side of the slope between Boulder and Denver. I do journey to the west side of things when time permits.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Matt: Thanks for the visit. It looks like you are a dedicated fisherman.

Coloradocasters said...

@This is my blog: I am very pleased to find your fishing blog and greatly appreciate the return visit. Feel free to follow at your leisure.