Fish

Following spawning operations, Colorado Parks and Wildlife will conduct giveaway days for kokanee salmon at Lake Nighthorse in Durango and at the Roaring Judy Fish Hatchery north of Gunnison.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has kokanee salmon giveaway days planned for November at Lake Nighthorse in Durango.

CPW will conduct three giveaways at the boat ramp at Lake Nighthorse at 3 p.m. Nov. 5, 12 and 19. Parking will begin no earlier than 2 p.m. each day. The giveaways will start promptly at 3 p.m.

To be eligible for the giveaway, a 2021 Colorado fishing license must be presented. Up to four youth may receive kokanee if accompanied by a license-holding adult.

Fish quantities for the giveaway will be determined by the number of kokanee collected by CPW staff during spawning as well as the number of people in line.

There will not be a giveaway at Vallecito Reservoir this year. A giveaway in Dolores is unlikely but will be determined after CPW has finished spawning work for the season.

Giveaways have already started at the Roaring Judy Fish Hatchery north of Gunnison. Additional giveaways at that location are scheduled for Oct. 22, 29 and Nov. 5. Those attending the giveaways at Roaring Judy must be in line by 9 a.m. to receive fish.

Those interested in receiving kokanee should bring their own small cooler or other container. Most of the kokanee are 10 to 13 inches in size.

Kokanee are a freshwater, land-locked Pacific sockeye salmon. Though not a native fish to Colorado, they are well suited to Colorado’s large reservoirs. 

Anglers are reminded that snagging kokanee at Lake Nighthorse is prohibited. Those fishing at the reservoir must stay at least 100 yards from the salmon-spawning platform.

For more information and for details on legal snagging of kokanee across Colorado, go to: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bP_9WRDKgX_am9UT7pidol8OKdbYvo4EDtKgP8OgJx8/edit.

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