Contents:

  • CALENDAR
  • MAY MEETING: PERRY EDWARDS
  • CPC thanks the Anonymous Donor and all the Buyers for their generous bids.
  • SALIDA THIRD GRADE FIELD TRIP
  • BUENA VISTA HIGH SCHOOL FISHING DAY
  • NEWS: ZEPHYR MINING WITHDRAWS APPLICATION!
  • UPDATES FROM TRCP
  • FLYGALS MEET FOR A BUG CLINIC
  • CONEJOS CAMPING TRIP
  • WATER ACROSS CHAFFEE COUNTY
  • COLORADO RIVER CONNECTIVITY CHANNEL GETS GO-AHEAD AFTER ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT
  • FISHING QUOTE
  • COLORADO SCHOOL CHILDREN RAISED TROUT.
  • THE STATE HAD TO KILL A LOT OF THE “POOR BUGGERS” FOR TESTING
  • FLASHBACK
  • GROWING THREAT OF CLIMATE CHANGE
  • FLY FISHING THROUGH A WESTERN DROUGHT

Click here to read the full issue.

By Keith Krebs

The final month of school in our valley is May and CPC-TU Youth Education programs came rapid-fire in the last half of the month. Three very successful collaborative events were completed by our volunteers.

SALIDA THIRD GRADE FIELD TRIP

CPC-TU members Gene Milus, Jerry Wright and Keith Krebs joined GARNA and CPW in assisting a large group of third grade youngsters at O’Haver Lake first thing in the morning on Thursday, May 12th. The fishing station was located at the pier. Sean Shepard and Tyler Kersey from CPW met us and brought a truck-load of spin-casting reels and rods in sufficient number to provide a rod for each student to use. The five adults rigged the rods just prior to the arrival of the first rotation. “Lures” were Powerbait eggs. There were four rotations over a five-hour period of about two dozen students each. A total of 94 students participated. Casting was successful for most fishers after a short lesson.
Prior to fishing, Tyler gave a posterboard illustrated fish and conservation presentation to each rotation. There were three other stations including fish dissecting demonstrations.
Bright sunshine and bluebird skies accompanied us most of the day but so too, the blustery to gusty winds. Needless to say, the volunteers spent significant time untangling line. The fishing was enjoyed by everyone. The catching was disappointing.

BUENA VISTA HIGH SCHOOL FISHING DAY

Ms. Lea Ann Johnson’s literature class for juniors and seniors read and discussed A River Runs Through It as the last assignment for the year. For the good work they were rewarded with several hours of fishing activities on Wednesday, May 12th at Wrights Lake.
The event started with Kevin Madler, CPW District Manager who reviewed fishing regulations and wildland behavior for the teenagers present. Mr. Madler negotiated an agreement to allow all the students to fish the lake without purchasing a license – a one-day only deal. Mr. John Woolmington, the previous land owner announced that the sales deal for Wrights Lake and the adjacent wetlands closed a few days prior. This little gem is now owned and managed by CPW and will be conserved as public land in perpetuity. CPC-TU sent a letter of support for the acquisition of this property in May, 2020 with little optimism for success. Hooray! for John.
Gene Milus, Jerry Wright and Keith Krebs along with a new volunteer Tom Bell who is a certified casting instructor, provided basic rod assembly and care instructions along with a casting lesson and practice time to develop proper technique. Eleven rods with reels were provided by CPC-TU. Tom brought five more. Flies were donated by Jerry and Tom.
We broke the students into groups for better instruction efficiency. Fishing gear was shared among the groups. We were able to practice tying the basic attachment of leader/tippet-to-fly knot. Some discussion of fish handling and fisher etiquette was had with most of the group. Many students continued to fish until the wind whipped whitecaps emerged.
Ms. Johnson reported that students were very excited and talked about the outing on the bus all the way back.

BUENA VISTA SIXTH GRADE CONSERVATION CAMP

On Tuesday, May 24th six volunteers from Collegiate Peaks Chapter and one from GARNA participated in the annual conservation camp for Buena Vista Middle School sixth grade students. CPC-TU has assisted with the camp for more than a dozen years. This year, like previous years, we taught two Water Quality stations – Macroinvertebrates and Water Chemistry. Six rotations of approximately 12 students each were completed in the early afternoon for a total of 70 students.
The camp is usually held in the upper meadow of 4-mile Creek, but this year’s spring snows forced a decision to move all stations to the nature trail along Cottonwood Creek behind the school. After a few hours of weather trepidation, the camp reported success at all stations with activities that were fit into a three-hour window of nice weather.
Participants were properly engaged in the activities and expressed their thanks for an enjoyable and educational time. It’s refreshing to know that the youth of our area stand ready and willing to become the river stewards of the future.

A shout out of appreciation to the CPC-TU members Reed and Karen Dils, Gene Milus, Barb Keller (FlyGals), Bryan Ward and Keith Krebs. Also providing valuable assistance (and test kits) was Cat Anderson from GARNA.

By Linda Schuckert, CPC-TU member

Collegiate Peaks Chapter of Trout Unlimited (CPC-TU) is the oldest non-profit conservation organization in the upper Arkansas River valley. CPC-TU sponsors FlyGals, a group of women who either want to learn to fly fish, want to improve their skills with fly fishing, or just want to fly fish with other women. CPC-TU has been offering fly fishing activities for women since 2002.

Ten FlyGals met with Ken Iwamasa the first week in May for a fun, informative, and hands-on Bug Clinic on the Arkansas River. Ken, an expert fly fisherman and fly tier, led a discussion on the life cycle of the macroinvertebrate insects that we normally see on the river this time of year. In order to collect samples of these insects, Ken showed us how to seine in the river, using a special seine net to collect the bugs so we could see them up close. We learned to identify specific insects and their stage of development. Based on the abundant smiles and excitement, all of us were fascinated and in awe of the many life forms in our river. The attending FlyGals look forward to applying what we learned at the bug clinic. This knowledge will help us make better choices for which fly or flies to tie on our line on any particular day, time and place to help us catch that elusive fish!

The group coined the name FlyGals in 2009. In addition to the Bug Clinic, our FlyGals group is holding several events in 2022 following less activity in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. In 2022 we are offering a beginner fly tying clinic, an evening tour of a local fly fishing shop (after visiting a local brewery), two different fly-casting clinics, fishing at private ponds followed by a potluck luncheon, and a multi-day camping trip to O’Haver Lake. Through these events, FlyGals not only learn about fly fishing and water quality, they learn to appreciate the need to protect our cold water fisheries. They also learn skills to enhance their outdoor fishing experiences and enjoy meeting other women interested in fly fishing. Many events are free and some have minimal fees to cover expenses. To learn more about FlyGals and their events, contact co-chairs Barbara Plake (719-221-5196) or Linda Schuckert (719-221-4044).

For more information about Collegiate Peaks Chapter including our events and projects visit our website at www.collegiatepeaksTU.org.