Colorado Parks and Wildlife: No Lake Trout Tournament This Year
There's good news and bad news when it comes to the lake trout tournament held in Colorado at Blue Mesa Reservoir.
According to a press release from Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the cash-prize lake trout tournament that was held in 2020 and 2021 at Blue Mesa Reservoir has been suspended.
Why Was the Colorado Lake Trout Tournament Suspended?
Previously, the numbers of smaller lake trout were much higher and biologists created the tournament to help control the lake trout population.
Without lake trout population control, there was "significant predation on trout and salmon."
Smaller lake trout under 24 inches were reported to consume the most kokanee salmon, so the tournament encouraged anglers to reel in lake trout 24 inches or less.
“Through the tournaments, we invited anglers to be part of the solution of controlling the lake trout population,” said CPW senior aquatic biologist John Alves. “We’re suspending it because the science shows we have reduced numbers of smaller lake trout while still maintaining opportunities for trophy lake trout.”
Is the Colorado Lake Trout Tournament Ever Returning?
While this year's tournament has been suspended, there's still hope for the future. Biologists will continually monitor the lake trouts population and in the summer may make a recommendation for a tournament in 2023.
“We appreciate anglers' help in maintaining lake trout numbers at a level that allows for good survival of kokanee while continuing to provide opportunities for anglers to catch trophy lake trout,” said CPW aquatic biologist Dan Brauch. “Although numbers of small fish are lower now, continuing to harvest small lake trout will help us to keep the lake trout population at the right level into the future.”