CDOW’s New Invasives Regs

“The spread of aquatic nuisance species is a serious problem that threatens to disrupt our fisheries and potentially restrict angler opportunity,” said Colorado Division of Wildlife commission chairman Tim Glenn. “We are going to deal with these things aggressively.” During the final discussion on the new fishing regulations, commissioners adopted a recommendation from the Fish Health Board to make it illegal to transport live crayfish anywhere on the west slope of Colorado. The regulation is designed to prevent the spread of non-native crayfish, including rusty crayfish, an aggressive, invasive species that was found in the Yampa River near Steamboat in 2009 and more recently in Sanchez Reservoir in the San Luis Valley. If anglers want to use crayfish for bait, they are required by regulation to catch it and use it at the water where they are fishing and not move any live crayfish between waters. In a second major change to statewide fishing regulations, Commissioners approved regulations which restrict transport of bait fish from one body of water to another to prevent movement of fish diseases or invasive species. People fishing in most of the eastern part of the state will only be allowed to collect bait fish for use in the body of water where the bait fish are captured.