Grand Lake Overview

Colorado River Headwaters Chapter, Trout Unlimited

Grand Lake Committee

The Colorado River Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited has formed a new Grand Lake Committee to focus on the needs of fisheries along the Northern Headwaters of the Colorado River.  This includes those tributaries originating in Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Lake, Shadow Mountain reservoir, and the Colorado River above Granby Reservoir. 

The initial focus of the committee will be on improving Grand Lake as a fishery.  Well-known to many as a lake fishing destination, we believe that improved focus on Colorado’s largest and deepest natural lake can improve tourism in the region and attract a new generation of fishermen and women into our sport.  Our vision for Grand Lake is to improve the fishery to enable better success for first-timers wanting to catch trout #1, fostering the development of strains of trout most suitable to our high-altitude environment, and sustaining the existing lake trout fishery for those anglers wishing to capture trophy fish.

So far an ad hoc committee of a critical few, we have been able to arrange for some changes in the DOW stocking plans for 2012.  First, the stocking location for catchable trout will be changed to a location more proximate to the public docks.  Second, the stocking allocation will be shifted to favor this location with greater numbers.  Third, DOW will experiment with stocking 50,000 Hofer-Harrison fingerlings in the East and North Inlet streams, ideally establishing a sustainable population of aggressive trout that have been observed to grow quickly over the past few years.  DOW has also agreed to reconsider the lake trout regulations for Grand Lake to require the release of smaller lake trout entering their spawning prime.

With DOW approval, Jim Gassner of Rocky Mountain Outfitters in Grand Lake has begun marking lake trout when first caught and released.  Data from his work will enable us to better understand the population of lake trout in our fishery, and help us sustain the population that currently exists.  Jim is also coordinating the first catch-and-release ice fishing tourney for Grand County, to be conducted the weekend of March 3 and 4, 2012.

Finally, we have begun to conduct a bench marking exercise by which we can compare Grand Lake to other comparable high altitude glaciated lakes.  The object of this is to understand both the potential and the possible limitations of improving our fisheries. 

                                                                                                K. John Stahl   

                                                                                                Grand Lake Committee Chair

For much more information about Grand Lake, please see the additional pages under the Grand Lake tab.