Recent sub-freezing temperatures have left layers of ice over area lakes and reservoirs, including Crawford Reservoir, where ice fishing is in full swing. Ice anglers are reporting catching all of the species known to be in the reservoir, including yellow perch, black crappie, rainbow trout, channel catfish, pike, large-mouth bass and carp, according to a Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesperson.
CPW recommends test drilling of holes as people venture out onto the reservoir in order to make accurate determinations of the ice's depth and integrity. According to CPW (cpw.state.co.us/learn/Pages/IceFishingSafety.aspx), the rules of thumb for ice fishing are:
• 2 inches or less -- STAY OFF
• 4 inches -- good for an individual to walk on
• 6 inches -- good for holding a snowmobile or ATV
• 8-12 inches -- enough for a car or small pickup
• 12-15 inches -- good ice for a medium-sized pickup
CPW will host a free crappie ice fishing clinic on Saturday, Jan. 23. Participants can learn about the best techniques and different types of gear available for a successful day of ice fishing. The clinic will focus on crappie. Following a roughly 1.5-hour clinic, the group will move out onto the ice for hands-on experience.
While the clinic is free, anyone planning to fish will need a current fishing license, available at the park office, and a valid state parks pass.
Following the clinic there will be cross-country skiing and sledding, as well as ice skating on a specially prepared section of ice.
Interested participants should plan to meet at the Visitor Center, 40468 Hwy. 92, at 9 a.m. For details, visit cpw.state.co.us or call 921-5721.