Impact of the Government Shutdown for Local Fishing
October 02nd, 2013
We are fielding a lot of questions in the shop since Tuesday morning with regards to the shut down and how it affects access to local rivers. We certainly don’t have all the answers at this point, as it seems like an evolving situation but, here is what we know so far.
We received an email notification from the BLM Colorado River Valley Field Office in Silt, that due to the shut down there would be impacts at some sites. In particular, any site with restroom facilities, those restrooms will be locked and not maintained for the duration of the shut down. Further, any site with a gate will be locked and access prevented to those sites via vehicle traffic. This would appear to include Wolcott and Gypsum on the Eagle River, as well as South Canyon on the Lower Colorado. While this would sound to be fairly restrictive for access, at this time of year it should have minimal impact, as flows on the Eagle are too low for floating the river, while down on the Lower Colorado, clarity has been an issue still, as it is taking some time to move the color down stream after our wetter than average September. Although, it is just getting to that level where fishing is once again viable. With current flows on the lower river hovering in the 2,000 range, there is still enough water in the system to make for an easy day on the river without the benefit of the South Canyon ramp.
On BLM land on the Upper Colorado, expect to find limited restroom facilities open, as many of them will be locked due to there being no staff to maintain them. Law enforcement will still be working, as they are deemed essential services and with that, make sure to pay the daily use fee at sites where it is required. Neither Pumphouse nor Radium, as well as most of the access points down to Dotsero, have gates and will not be “closed” so, we anticipate business as usual for this time of year on that stretch of river. If Tuesday was any indication of what to expect, there should be no real change for river users at this time of year.
Fishing remains strong across the central part of the state and thanks to plenty of State of Colorado owned land along with relatively self-sufficient federal land access, anglers should expect little to no inconvenience. Feel free to call us at the shop with any questions that you may have. 970.513.8055.