DENVER – Colorado Parks and Wildlife has awarded $400,000 to nine Fishing is Fun projects, all geared to improve angling opportunities in the state of Colorado. The approved projects include improved access, habitat restoration, lake renovation, new piers and new ponds.
“Colorado has world-class fisheries and angling opportunities, and maintaining and increasing access to those resources is so important,” said Bob Broscheid, director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “The Fishing Is Fun program is a powerful program to improve angling access for residents and visitors alike, leveraging angler dollars to assist in providing additional opportunities.”
A 2013 economic study found that angling contributes more than $1.9 billion annually to the Colorado economy through direct and secondary expenditures, and supports over 16,000 jobs statewide.
Jim Guthrie, the Fishing is Fun Program Coordinator, cited the Penrose Park project as a good example of the impact grants can have. “Penrose has no angling opportunities in the town and any alternatives are not easily accessible by many of the town’s residents, in particular youth, seniors and poorer residents,” noted Guthrie. “The project Penrose developed will open a new fishing pond in the heart of town, bringing angling to hundreds of people who cannot afford or are unable to travel to the more distant options. And the pond will be a great place to introduce kids to fishing through our angling clinics.”
Even smaller projects can have tremendous benefits. Guthrie pointed to the Silt boat ramp as an example. The new ramp will be a safer and more easily accessible put-in or take-out spot for anglers floating on the Colorado River. “In combination with other boat ramps on the river, including a new one in Rifle that we helped fund, more and more anglers will be able to take advantage of fishing opportunities on that stretch of the Colorado.”
Fishing is Fun projects awarded in 2017 include:
- Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks
Wonderland Lake fishing pier and access trail
- Hyland Hills Park and Recreation District
Clear Creek Valley Park Pond fishing pier
- Town of Akron
New pond project – Akron Pond
- Town of Green Mountain Falls
Gazebo Lake renovations
- Town of Limon
Doug Kissel Pond aerator
- Town of Penrose
New Penrose Park Pond
- Town of Silt
New Silt Boat Ramp
- Town of Vail
Gore Creek riparian habitat
- West Denver Trout Unlimited
Clear Creek Canyon Reach habitat and access restoration
Since 1987, the Fishing Is Fun program has supported more than 300 angling improvement projects of various sizes across the state, from the Eastern Plains and the West Slope to the major metropolitan areas along the Front Range. Fishing Is Fun funding comes from the Federal Sport Fish Restoration Program Matching funds are required, and the nine projects approved in 2017 included more than $600,000 in local support.
Additional Fishing is Fun program details and requirements can be found at http://cpw.state.co.us/aboutus/Pages/FishingIsFunProgram.aspx.