Fishing limits lifted at Harvey Gap
Colorado Parks and Wildlife has authorized an emergency fish salvage at Harvey Gap Reservoir, located north of Silt, starting today.
Minimum size, bag and possession limits have been removed for all species in the reservoir, including tiger muskie, northern pike, channel catfish, black crappie, trout, yellow perch, bluegill, largemouth and smallmouth bass. On Colorado’s Western Slope, there are no bag limits for northern pike and smallmouth bass in most bodies of water unless otherwise posted.
All other fishing regulations are in effect and will be enforced. Anglers 16 and older must have a valid fishing license. Overnight fishing is allowed to encourage the take of channel catfish. CPW officials advise anglers that the shoreline is extremely muddy and to be cautious when approaching the water. Fishing from the dam is a good option to avoid these muddy conditions.
The Silt Water Conservancy District will lower water levels in Harvey Gap Reservoir this fall to allow the inspection of the dam’s outlet structure. Although lowering operations have not officially begun, the water level has dropped considerably in the last few weeks.
Silt Water originally planned the outlet inspection during fall of 2016; however, due to the unexpected collapse of nearby County Road 237, the district postponed operations until this year.
According to the district, the reservoir will remain mostly empty until the dam is thoroughly inspected and any maintenance issues are addressed. Once the reservoir is permanently refilled, Colorado Parks and Wildlife will restock the popular fishery with approved species; however, when that will occur is undetermined.
At the request of the district, Harvey Gap Reservoir remains closed to any watercraft normally requiring an aquatic nuisance species inspection, including boats and trailers. Although watercraft exempt from such inspections are permitted, the extremely low water level may make it impossible to launch.
Harvey Gap State Park is a day-use area only, except when fishing. Overnight camping and pets are prohibited.
A valid park pass is required, available at self service stations at Harvey Gap State Park or at the visitor center at nearby Rifle Gap State Park.
Farmers Irrigation Co. owns Harvey Gap Reservoir. The Silt Water Conservancy District is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the reservoir and associated irrigation water delivery infrastructure. CPW leases the surface of the reservoir and manages the park’s trails, day-use areas and fishery.
For questions about the reservoir lowering, inspection and repairs, contact the Silt Water Conservancy District at 970-876-2393 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For questions about the fish salvage, contact Northwest Region Senior Aquatic Biologist Lori Martin at 970-255-6186.
For more information and directions to Harvey Gap State Park, call 970-625-1607, or visit http://cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/parks/HarveyGap.
July 3rd and 4th will probably never be quite the same for residents of the mid-Roaring Fork Valley after the events of 2018.
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