Commission votes to cut trout limit at Antero

By Charlie MeyersDenver Post Staff Writer

Meeting in emergency session, the Colorado Wildlife Commission on Monday cut the trout limit at Antero Reservoir to two fish, any size.The emergency rule, for 90 days, came in response to what was perceived as excessive fish mortality in the wake of the celebrated July 17 reopening of an impoundment drained since 2002 after the Hayman fire.

The previous regulation - four fish, only one more than 16 inches in length - was viewed as a major factor in the inadvertent loss of many large trout, many seen floating dead in the reservoir. Denver Water, which owns the impoundment, had expressed particular concern about additional abuses that included overcrowding, trespassing, parking and trash.

Colorado Division of Wildlife staff Monday proposed an alternative regulation of four fish, two more than 16 inches, but a half-dozen citizens delivered opposing testimony supporting the eventual commission ruling.

The unanimous 5-0 commission vote means the regulation becomes effective immediately. The DOW also will take action to post signs to assist anglers on the proper handling and release of trout.

Dark goose limit raised

Responding to more liberal guidelines released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the commission also approved a boost in the dark goose daily bag limit for eastern Colorado to four - one more than a year ago.

The commission also added eight days to the length of the season, adding the dates Oct. 8 and Nov. 17-23.

In a separate move, the commission allowed western Colorado to have two canvasback ducks in the daily bag of seven.