Author Archives: Matty Valdez

About Matty Valdez

Proud to be an American. Proud to be a Coloradan. Proud to be a Valdez.

Colorado Voluntary Fishing Closures

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has issued two new voluntary fishing closures around the state. They are asking anglers to stop fishing from noon through 6:00 am for the Conejos River and the Arkansas tail water below Pueblo Reservoir.

Extremely low flows combined with overly warm temperatures has raised the water temperatures in each river to dangerously high levels for trout survival.

Any time a river’s water temperature reaches 68 degrees and above that is the threshold to where all anglers should cease trout fishing. It is at that point that there has been too much oxygen dissolved in the river for a trout to be successfully released. Carp, bass, walleye and other warm water species are still good to be targeted but catching a trout at that water temperature will likely end in their death.

Voluntary closures remain in place in the following rivers: The Eagle, Roaring Fork, White River, Colorado from State Bridge to Rifle, Fraser River, Crystal River, Tomichi Creek, and Rio Grande River.

Please stay tuned for the latest updates on all rivers.

Colorado Elk Hunting

In the heat of the moment bull elk can be tough to distinguish from a bull moose

It’s time to head to the high country and fill the freezers because Colorado elk hunting season has begun!

The Archery Season began on August, 25th and will run until September, 23rd. Muzzleloader Season will run September, 8th through September, 16th. Riffle Season has four separate seasons to draw tags in:

  • First Season: October, 13th through October, 17th
  • Second Season: October, 20th through October, 28th
  • Third Season: November, 3rd through November, 11th
  • Fourth Season: November, 14th through November, 18th

Elk hunting not only fills our freezers but it provides an incredible boost to the Colorado economy. But, when we head up the to hills searching for that perfect 6 by 6 bull, we want to make sure that that is what we’re actually targeting. There have been a few reports of hunters accidentally taking down moose– archery and muzzleloader season for moose does not start until Sept. 8th– instead of the intended elk.

Please watch this video, produced by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, in helping make the sometimes subtle distinctions between bull elk and moose.

Fishing The Big Thompson River

Anglers please beware, as of this writing, the water temperature measured on the Big Thompson river is peaking at 71 degrees. We want to give notice to the entire Colorado fishing community that the river is reaching critically hot water temperatures. Please do not fish this river, or any river, once the temperature reaches 68 degrees and above.

As we reported earlier in the month, monitoring the water temperature of your river is very important in these types of conditions. The fact is, Colorado is in a severe drought so there isn’t a lot of water flowing through our rivers and the current heat wave we find ourselves in is exacerbating the situation.

When the river does reach the breaking point, 68 degrees and above, it does not mean that you have to hang up the rod. High alpine lakes and small creeks are still great options, with half of the angling pressure to boot.

For the sake of our river’s entire eco-system, thank you for your consideration.

Happy Colorado Day!

Our beautiful state is celebrating it’s 142nd birthday today! Colorado Day is a day for Coloradans to come together and celebrate our unique history as well as our beautiful outdoors that we all love and cherish.

one of our many beautiful state parks that will have free admission on 08/06/18

There are numerous museums offering free admission through their gates today, such as: The Colorado History Museum, El Pueblo History Museum in Pueblo, and the Fort Garland Museum down in the San Luis Valley.

In honor of Colorado Day, Colorado Parks and Wildlife will be offering free admission to all state parks on Monday, Aug. 6th.

Today is a good day to get out on a hike or hit one of our many rivers and give a friendly hello and wave to your fellow Coloradan.

Happy birthday, Colorado!


Animas River Fish Kill

The 416 Fire, which up to this point has burned nearly 54,000 acres in the Durango area, reared it’s ugly head again this week. Massive rains hit the area on Tuesday causing mudslides to hit the river and fill the beautiful Animas river with ash, mud, and all sorts of debris. This has sparked a massive fish kill in the Animas River as rainbow and brown trout, along with flannel mouth and blue head suckers, struggle to find oxygen in the depleted river.

The affected section of river spans 15 miles north of Durango all the way down into New Mexico.

The fish of the Animas River are fighting for every breath they take right now

At this point, biologists are estimating the kill to be in the thousands of fish, but a clearer picture will not be available until the river’s flow subsides and clarity returns– which could be as late as September.

The cause of the 416 Fire is still under investigation but this travesty is the result of a wildfire in a very dry part of the state. Unfortunately, we are seeing way too many of these wildfires in our beautiful state. From one Coloradan to another, heck, from one human being to another– please do not have any camp fires this Summer and please exercise extreme caution when in Colorado’s outdoors this Summer. There is too much on the line for every one of us that live here, and our wildlife included, for reckless and irresponsible behavior.

Poached Mountain Goats

CPW is investigating the poaching of two young male mountain goats near the summit of Quandary Peak. The animals were killed at approximately 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 3. Investigators are hoping someone on the popular trail has information that can lead to the person or persons responsible.An up to $1,000 reward is available for information that leads to an arrest or citation of those responsible. If you were hiking in the area July 3 and saw anything unusual, or have any information that may help investigators find these poachers, please call or email Operation Game Thief at 1-877-COLO-OGT or You may choose to remain anonymous.

Basin and Bend

Colorado’s hunting and angling community has a new shop to call home. Basin and Bend, located in Evergreen, has opened as a retail shop that not only provides the newest and best products but also has a direct focus on outdoor, environmental and wildlife conservation.

Basin and Bend works with environmentally friendly manufacturers and they themselves go above and beyond by donating 11% of their total revenue to conservation projects. Not only does Basin and Bend offer the finest hunting and angling gear, they also provide guided fly fishing trips on Bear Creek, Clear Creek, and the Deckers section of the South Platte river.

In a world where environmental degradation has become more of the norm rather than the exception, it’s refreshing to see a local business doing their part to give back to our country’s natural beauty.

Stop by the shop at 27985 Meadow Dr Suite 200, Evergreen, CO 80439 and help support local business and our own beautiful state.



High Temperatures Along the Front Range

Temperatures along Colorado’s Front Range are soaring well into the 90s and in some cases into triple digits. This is 100% having an affect on our trout population in our local streams and rivers, in particular the South Platte river.

A combination of very low water and hot outside temperatures has the water temperature of the Deckers and Cheesman Canyon stretches of the South Platte reaching 66 degrees Fahrenheit. That is right on the border of where we should not be fishing.

Warmer water contains less oxygen so trout are already stressed. When we hook them and put them through a good fight they have a much tougher recovery ahead of them because of the lack of oxygen in the water.

Please avoid fishing mid-day when the water is at its warmest. Rather, fish Deckers and Cheesman Canyon in the early mornings and late afternoons when the water is colder so we can have a healthy trout population when the flows come back up.

Trout Conservation

In an ever-changing world where urban sprawl often takes priority over environmental and wildlife habitat, it’s refreshing to see the great work that Trout Unlimited is accomplishing.

The Lahontan Cutthroat’s population is rebounding due to conservation efforts

TU has been given a three year grant from NASA– yep, our very own National Aeronautics and Space Administration– to help fund trout conservation.

With this partnership, the Lahontan Cutthroat was chosen as the first conservation project. Along with funding, NASA has provided space monitored data which has helped researchers study snowpack, stream vegetation, and fire occurrence in relation to the cutthroat’s habitat. All of which have proven invaluable to helping develop new conservation methods that have helped grow the rare cutthroat species’ numbers.

Stories like this give us all hope that conservation efforts in the future for Lahontans, as well as many other different types of species, can produce positive results in the growth of endangered species.

Why Hunting in Colorado Matters

Let’s all hug a hunter!

The Colorado Wildlife Council rolled out a marketing program in late 2017, for the purpose of bringing awareness to the importance that hunting and fishing bring to our great state of Colorado.

Colorado sees a $6.1 billion boost to our economy from hunting and angling, much of which goes to small towns like; Meeker, Gunnison, Salida, Kiowa, San Luis and many more.

Hunters are also responsible for environmental conservation and animal protection. Hunters (and anglers) fund more than 70 percent of Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s wildlife management programs which has gone on to help protect and sustain Big Horn Sheep, the Shiras Moose, Lynx and many more species. Hunting and fishing license fees have also gone on to help keep Colorado beautiful– recycling and cleanup programs as well habitat restoration projects– have all been funded by these funds.

Long story short, hunting and hunters have an immeasurable impact to Colorado’s benefit. So, get out and go hug a hunter!