Elkhead Reservoir Could be Drained and Poisoned

ELK-HEAD-MAIN-SIGNThe Moffat County Commissioners were told yesterday that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Colorado Parks and Wildlife want to talk with the Colorado River Water Conservation District about draining Elkhead Reservoir and poisoning the water to get rid of non-native fish species. The non-natives are escaping the reservoir into the Yampa River, and those fish are attacking and eating the native fish in the river. Avid fisherman Burt Clements says he was told the groups are planning a secret meeting in Craig next month, without the presence of the press or the public, to talk about the plan. Craig Daily Press Editor Noelle Leavitt Riley confirmed she had also been told by Dan Birch of the Colorado River Water Conservation District that the press and public would not be invited. The move has local fishermen upset, mainly because they don’t think the plan will work. Clements says years ago, when the reservoir was declared a fishery, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agreed to put a screen over the spillway that would stop the non-natives from entering the river, but that was never done. He says without that screen, poisoning and draining the lake would be a waste of time, resources, and recreational opportunity.

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