FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
May 4, 2005
Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge Offers
Anglers in the Denver area need look no further than their local national wildlife refuge to find great fishing. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service invites anglers of all ages and abilities to visit the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge and wet a line in the Refuge’s lakes, which hold trophy largemouth bass and northern pike, as well as channel catfish, crappie, and bluegill.
This year, the Service opened the Refuge for fishing on April 16. Anglers are welcome every Saturday and Sunday from 8 am to 4 pm through October 9. On designated days, fishing is permitted past 4:00 pm until sunset. All fishing is catch-and-release using barbless hooks. Anglers age 16 and older must complete a brief, one-time orientation, pay a recreation fee of $3 each day, and have a valid Colorado State Fishing License. For more information on the fishing program at the Refuge, including images of fish caught from the Refuge’s lakes, go to: http://rockymountainarsenal.fws.gov/fishing/fishing.htm.
To celebrate and promote fishing on the Refuge, on May 14 the Service will host “Fishing Fever,” a free special event featuring a wide variety of fishing and wildlife-related activities suitable for the whole family, from kids and beginners to experienced anglers. From 9 am to 3 pm, visitors to the Refuge can learn about fly tying, casting and proper fish handling techniques; spin the Refuge Fish Fact Wheel; take a tram tour to view wildlife on the Refuge; and, visit the Refuge’s wildlife learning lab, home to a live salamander and bull snake. Children can fish in the Small Fry Pond and make fish crafts. The Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Society will offer a light lunch for a minimal charge. Exhibitors at Fishing Fever include Sportsmen’s Warehouse, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Eagle Claw Fishing Tackle, 1 on 1 Fishing Experience, Colorado Division of Wildlife; Leadville National Fish Hatchery, Fish Art Taxidermy, the Raptor Rehabilitation Center (with a live eagle display), and more. The Refuge’s lakes will be open to fishing during the event and a limited amount of fishing tackle will be available for loan. Standard Refuge fishing regulations (see above) apply.
Voted the “Best Fun Free Family Place to Visit” by readers of Colorado Parents Magazine, the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge offers special nature programs; excellent wildlife observation and photography opportunities; and, nearly 9 miles of hiking trails. During the weekdays, the Refuge provides interactive environmental education programs for area schools. The Refuge is open each weekend from 8 am to 4:30 pm. The entrance is located at 56th Avenue and Havana Street. Parking is available at the Visitor Center.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign and Native American tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.
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