BassWestUSA - May/June 2009, Page 52

Pueblo Reservoir --

by Matt Massey

For

those of you who think Colorado is just a trout state, think again. Pueblo Reservoir, located in south central Colorado and has a very healthy population of Largemouth, Small mouth and Spotted Bass. The lake filled in 1974 by the Arkansas river, was built for water storage. It is 11.5 miles long and has the capacity to hold 243,755 acre feet of water and sits at an elevation of 4894 feet during full pool. Pueblo reservoir is located 100 miles south of Denver and 40 miles south of Colorado Springs. It is a great vacation lake with lots of things to do besides fish. There is the Royal Gorge less than 50 miles away. The Royal Gorge has the worlds tallest suspension brigde. The bridge hangs 1053 feet and spans over a quarter mile. They have tours and A RAIL road ride as well. Colorado Springs has Pikes Peak, The garden of the Gods and also the United States Air Force Academy. To find about more log on to www.springsgov.com During the last 6 years, Pueblo Reservoir has been hit by the drought. As the demand for irrigation grew and the lack of water

from low snow pack the lake shrank down to half its size. Last year the lake came up to an elevation of 4880, 15 feet from being full. This year the lake is expected to be at full pool at the end of March. Our snow pack here in the Rocky Mountains is well above 100% this year. The lake is expected to be at flood pool from the end of March through May. During the draw down due to drought, the lake shoreline has grown up with small cotton wood trees, willow bushes and brush. The shad population has exploded and the three species of bass have had excellent spawns and are very healthy. The lake also has wiper over 20 pounds, channel and flathead cat- fish, walleye exceeding 16 pounds, crappie, bluegill, and rainbow trout. I started fishing Pueblo Reservoir back in the early 80’s. My fa- ther and I would hook up the boat and head to Pueblo for the day. He would tie me on a crankbait and let me have at it. I can remember days of catching a hundred bass without even trying. Back then all they had was largemouth and a few smallies. In the last ten years the Colorado Division of Wildlife has stocked Spotted Bass in the

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May/June 2009