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Smallmouth bass tourney set for Ridgway Reservoir in July

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Anglers can vie for $5,000 in cash prizes and actively participate in an important wildlife-management activity at this year's smallmouth bass tournament at Ridgway State Park, July 7-28. The tournament is sponsored by Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

The purpose of the annual tournament is to protect native fish and water users downstream of the reservoir. Smallmouth bass, introduced illegally at Ridgway Reservoir more than a decade ago, are predator fish than can survive in Western Slope rivers, including the Uncompahgre River which flows from the reservoir.

"By participating in the tournament and removing smallmouth bass, anglers will be actively helping with wildlife management in Colorado," said Eric Gardunio, aquatic biologist for CPW in Montrose. "Anglers are far more efficient at removing these fish than any type of mechanical method that we could use."

Participants have a chance to win cash prizes ranging from $250 to $1,500 with categories for most caught, largest and smallest. There are also prizes for kids 12 and under. All anglers are encouraged to enter.

If you've never fished for smallmouth bass, or if you want to improve your chances of catching them, visit http://cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/parks/Ridgway/Pages/Smallmouth-Bass.aspx.

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