Fish threatened as east Colorado reservoir is irrigated

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BRUSH, Colo. — Citing a high irrigation demand in the area, Colorado Parks and Wildlife announced a public fish salvage at Jumbo Reservoir beginning Tuesday.

Demand for the reservoir’s water was created by a severe drought in the region. The salvage is being ordered due to the extreme irrigation efforts that are expected to be employed, which will likely leave the reservoir (also known by some as Julesburg Reservoir) at a point where it will lose its entire fishery resource.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture declared all but two of Colorado’s counties natural disaster areas due to the referenced drought on July 3.

The CPW stated in a release that it cannot perform any translocation or salvage operations as an organization due to the existence of quagga mussles, an invasive species in the reservoir.

Anglers are being encouraged to heavily fish the reservoir, which is off Highway 76 northeast of Sterling, so long as they have a valid Colorado fishing license. No commercial angling will be allowed.

The end date of the salvage has not been announced, but current size, bag and possessions limits for all species will be removed until that time.

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