Colorado Parks and Wildlife has selected 11 projects to improve fishing around the state that will share in nearly a million dollars in matching funds as part of the 2012 “Fishing is Fun” grant cycle. Projects receiving funding this year include a partnership with the City of Pueblo to improve seven miles of aquatic habitat on the Arkansas River through Pueblo.

The Pueblo project is a continuation and enhancement of the Arkansas River Legacy Habitat Improvement Project that was completed in 2005. That earlier project resulted in the development of a high-quality trout fishery in the Pueblo metropolitan area. The new project will provide for in-stream habitat improvements from Pueblo Reservoir downstream to Dutch Clark Stadium.

“This is an important project for a section of river that has been recognized as one of the Top 10 trout fisheries in the United States,” said Doug Krieger, Colorado Parks and Wildlife Senior Aquatic Biologist for the Southeast Region. “We’re pleased to team up with the City of Pueblo, the Southern Greenback Chapter of Trout Unlimited, the Cheyenne Mountain Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Xcel Energy and the Packard Foundation to get this work done.

Other projects receiving funding include habitat work on the South Platte River in Denver, expansion of a community fishing pond in Kiowa County, aeration of Waneka Lake in Lafayette, an effort to build an ADA-accessible fishing platform on the Arkansas River at Canon City and projects to improve angler access to Clear Creek, the Swan River, Upper South Boulder Creek, Idaho Creek, the inlet to Lake San Cristobal in Lake City and three ponds in Loveland.

Five of the programs receiving funding are supported by non-profit fishing organizations. Major partners on the projects include six municipal and county governments, Denver Water, U.S. Forest Service, Union Pacific Railroad, Colorado Open Lands, Trout Unlimited and the Idaho Creek Homeowners Association.

“These funds are one of the ways Colorado Parks and Wildlife works with local governments and local groups to make it possible for more people to enjoy Colorado’s incredible fishing opportunities,” said Rick Cables, Director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “Outdoor recreation is a powerful driver for local economies and jointly building these projects is a win for everyone.”

A 2008 study by BBC Research and Consulting found that fishing recreation contributes $1.2 billion annually to the state’s economy and fishing supports more than 14,000 jobs in Colorado that provide direct and indirect services to anglers.

The complete list of projects funded in 2012 (with sponsors and amounts) is as follows:

Arkansas River habitat improvements, City of Pueblo, $206,000
Swan River angler access and habitat improvement project, Trout Unlimited, $135,000
Lake San Cristobal Inlet access easement, Colorado Open Lands, $133,000
HP-Agilent access to three new ponds, City of Loveland, $90,000
Construction of up to 15 access points on Clear Creek, Clear Creek County, $80,000
Improve angler access on Upper South Boulder Creek, Boulder Flycasters, $80,000
Improve habitat and access at Grant Frontier Park on S. Platte River, City of Denver, $76,000
Idaho Creek habitat and access improvements, Idaho Creek HOA, $45,000
Arkansas River ADA fishing platform, Canon City, $23,000
Shalberg Pond #2 expansion, Kiowa County Economic Development Foundation, $20,000
Waneka Lake aerator installation, City of Lafayette, $12,000

The Fishing is Fun grant program provides matching funds for projects to improve angler access, fish habitat and angling conditions. During the past 24 years, Fishing Is Fun has provided assistance with more than 270 projects statewide, including projects to open new ponds and lakes, improve fish habitat in streams and rivers and add trails, shade shelters and parking areas. Municipalities, counties, angler groups, and park and recreation departments are among those eligible to apply for community-based projects that will benefit anglers. Complete details on the Fishing Is Fun grant program are available on-line at http://wildlife.state.co.us/Fishing/ResourcesTips/FishingIsFunProgram/.

Fishing Is Fun funding comes from the sale of fishing licenses and from the federal Sport Fish Restoration Program. Projects selected to receive funding are subject to federal reporting, compliance and accounting requirements.

Logo courtesy of Colorado Parks and Wildlife

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