News in Brief |

News in Brief

A Westbank dog owner received a painful lesson in Colorado wildlife law recently.

On a Friday morning last month, Chelsea Challis’ 1-year-old Karelian bear dog, Koda, broke its chain and went for a run on Challis’ 250-acre ranch.

At least an hour later, a Colorado Division of Wildlife officer shot Koda to stop her from chasing 50 to 60 elk on the property.

Challis said she thinks the officer was hasty in shooting Koda. The officer, she said, made no attempt to contact her, even though he drove partially down her driveway to get to Koda.

She also said she thinks the officer was inhumane and insensitive in dumping Koda’s body at the Garfield County landfill without notifying her.

The DOW said it acted in accordance with the law and in the best interest of the elk. The DOW officer was able to get between Koda and the elk a few times, but each time an elk moved from the heard, Koda chased it back in, said spokesman Randy Hampton. The DOW couldn’t notify Challis because Koda had a collar but no tags, he said.

It’s almost spring, and rainbow trout are in the mood for love.

The Colorado Division of Wildlife doesn’t want the fish falling for anglers’ lines.

A ban on fishing spawning waters at the confluence of several tributaries along the Colorado and Roaring Fork rivers goes into effect soon.

From March 15 to May 15, fishing will be barred at the confluences of Four- and Three-Mile creeks along the Roaring Fork River, and Grizzly, No Name and Canyon creeks along the Colorado River.

The closures extend a half mile up the creeks, and 50 yards upstream and downstream on the rivers. The same areas are closed in the fall to protect spawning brown trout.

The closures first went into effect in 2001, after anglers told the Division of Wildlife some people were taking advantage of the fact that the fish were congregating at the confluences to spawn.

According to the website for Frying Pan Anglers in Basalt, females use their tails during spawning to create a nest, or redd, by stirring up a current that moves away gravel. The female and one or two males then simultaneously deposit eggs and sperm into the redd, which the female then covers up with gravel.

“It is terribly bad form to fish … the spawning trout, so keep an eye out for the redds and avoid them,” the website reads. “The fish will tend to stack up downstream from the redds, waiting to move in. If you see a fisherman near them who is unfamiliar with the sensitivity of the area, a kindly warning will not go astray.”

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