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CPW Rambling...

by: Eric Allee , Colorado 4/12/2017

The past couple month's there's been no shortage of critique thrown towards the CPW's direction. Some of it I agree with... some of it I don't. One thing I haven't read though is about some of the amazing things the CPW does and really gets little credit for.

The CPW cares about kids getting involved in the outdoors. They run their own programs, donate rods and reels to programs put on by cities, counties, non-profits, etc... They'll also send park rangers to elementary schools and their usually well represented when a store like Bass Pro Shops has an event. They put in the time, money, and effort to get kids interested in the outdoors. You don't see them posting on the CPW's social media pages about it a lot... One of the reasons I think they might not post a lot about it is it's second nature to them. Once upon a time I was one of those bright eyed kids walking around the ISE and left with a free tackle box loaded with goodies from the CPW (back then DOW) and I spent hours upon hours studying the maps inside those free tackle boxes.

Walleye. Do I need to say anything else? Each year the CPW staff along with awesome volunteers from all over the state do their thing to make sure not only our bodies of water stay filled with eyes, but also to use in trade with other states. In my eyes it's an extremely successful program that brings the entire walleye fishing community together with the CPW staff spearheading the entire deal. You arnen't out catching walleye because mother nature put them there for you... That's all the CPW and local walleye anglers working together.

Rock Star Biologists: There's been a noticeable difference in some of the areas I fish the past handful of years. Fisheries that used to be better known for wiper are now booming with amazing populations of walleye, saugeye, and crappie! Up north and in the metro area there's a few bass spots that have changed to catch and release. As an added bonus if you do enough poking around you'll notice we have pike in quite a few bodies of water near the Denver metro area too! The biologists do an amazing job around here and don't seem to get much credit for it at least not from what I've seen. I don't want to name one and possibility leave someone else out hopefully those who deserve credit here will read it and take a bow. Salt Taken (inside joke)

PS: Social Media Person for the CPW give these biologists some love! I get that fly fishing and trout are important but so is highlighting all the great work these guys are doing. Show us a picture of a Sterling Crappie, a Jackson Saugeye, or a Lon Hagler bass before showing us a picture of a dude taking his cat on a walk.

Park Staff: I live near Barr Lake. Michelle and company do an amazing job of taking a reservoir and turning it into a huge part of the outdoors community. Barr lake is bigger than just a reservoir it's a pillar in the community and a reminder that regardless of how far the city extends towards the plains we still have areas that will remain pristine for us to enjoy and wildlife to call home. I don't have as much experience with the other parks like I do Barr Lake, but they do such an amazing job if other parks do even half of what Barr does they're kicking butt too.

To be brutally honest I'm scared. I'm afraid that throwing more money at the CPW might not fix anything. I'm afraid it might be systematically broken and when they merged it didn't help anything it actually further complicated things. I'm afraid even though the sportsmen will shoulder the increase we'll still be facing the same issues like ANS while non-consumptive users enjoy what we pay for without having any of the worries we do. I'm afraid that the people who say they won't pay another dime to fish or hunt in Colorado than they already do will hold true to that statement. One thing we (sportsmen) can't afford is to have license sales to drop more. Each and every person that doesn't hunt or fish that used to will have a negative impact bigger than themselves. Conversely I'm afraid that if there's enough opposition to this increase it won't go though... then the CPW will have their hands tied and we'll lose quite a few things in the outdoors we've grown to expect and that could have a negative impact.

In the end I'm going to have to trust that the CPW will do amazing things with the increase to their budgets, and we'll all benefit from it. After all the good that the CPW does far outweighs the bad and I do feel that even the big wigs want to do the best they can for all of us. The reason I wrote this blog wasn't to try and sway your opinion one way or the other. I wrote it to hopefully remind all of us (myself included) to look at the big picture with the CPW and the positive things they do, not to only focus on the things we feel they can do better.

I still want to help fix a few things I feel need attention, but until the fee increase is figured out that will all have to sit on the back burner. Sorry for the long winded somewhat rambling post guys. This entire process has been a roller coaster and I'm still not sure what the best answer is moving forward, but like I mentioned earlier out of all the options we have the one I'm most comfortable with is supporting the CPW with the increase and trusting that they'll do great things with a bigger budget. This might not be the most popular take on the increase, but after months of thinking it's what I'm most comfortable with. I hope I'm right...


Blog content © Eric Allee
Member comments
Flyrodn, CO   4/12/2017 2:47:59 PM
You are correct that CPW does some great work. That there are areas we'd like to see improve, on that point we all agree. As to what they should improve on, well, I think on that point we're all like a herd of cats. Nice piece.
JOHN_COSprings, CO   4/12/2017 3:36:33 PM
Great article Eric. I for one come from the belief that by charging less for something, you can actually sell more and generate greater income in the long run. In the end, I will pay my fees, whatever they may be, and enjoy the wealth of great fishing and wildlife opportunities we have in our state. I do hope that these funds are spent in a wise and accountable manner.
FISHRANGLER, CO   4/12/2017 4:06:58 PM
I agree with everything your saying Erik. I have a had time thinking my teenage son who I pay for his license now will be able to afford it at all with out dads help. I'm a bit saddened by that because I can help buy my kids license thousands of people cannot. Those younger anglers between 16 and 28 probably won't be buying a seasonal license. Sad Those price increases really should be devided between others that use the resources and don't pay a cent.
Smelly, CO   4/12/2017 4:12:09 PM
I try not to bash the CPW. In truth I FEEL for them. Seems on this site. You are either on one side of the fence, or the other. The DOW was better funded than the Parks and Rec.people were. And (IMO) were able to do more as a separate entity. This combination thing was a WELL PLANNED fiasco from the very start. Like most sportsman. I will bite the bullet ,and pay the extra $.But I won't be at all surprised to see 50 c of every $1 in increase go toward "park Improvement " ( trails,benches, playgrounds,ect ). And the rest used to "Maintain" the fishing and hunting opportunities we already have (like funding for ANS). I'm not at all optimistic about seeing real value added for our license dollar.
Goosehunter82, CO   4/12/2017 6:14:33 PM
Good read Eric. I agree in part and disagree in part. They pump the kids because they know that's there only chance of staying a float in the future. As for Barr Michelle is doing good work out there. I too live near the lake and enjoy spending time there. As for the hunting and fishing in Colorado if licence fees double I'll get my bull tag I've been putting in for for 18 years and I'll never buy another hunting licence in this state again. You can go to Wyoming or Nebraska and hunt much cheaper as an out of stater if prices are raised here. For that matter you can probably buy game meat cheaper. Tags are way easier to get there also. I hope they can get it together soon. As far as fishing goes I'll continue to buy my license. It will still be cheaper than a lot of other hobbies.
redleader, CO   4/12/2017 6:22:42 PM
Nice post Eric. I'm still changing my residency to Alaska, Lol.
Toadfish, CO   4/13/2017 7:38:27 AM
Great read Eric! I agree with you completely, while you may not realize it we've met and spoken several times, almost every time you come to BassPro to buy gear. I think the merger is what really set everything back and like you I am just hoping that a fee increase will lead to great things being accomplished. But I am also scared because CPW at the end of the day is a government entity and like so many before it the politics tend to get in the way of true progress. I'm sure the CPW wants to do great things, but they also want to be paid, get raises etc. just like everybody else. I'm hoping the increase will be put more towards sportsmen and positive change than lining some politicians pocket. Just my .02 cents
esoxrocks, CO   4/13/2017 11:43:08 AM
I've already chimed-in on a couple posts on this issue but... in a nutshell...if we pay 50% more for OUR hunting and fishing licenses, that increase should go directly to OUR hunting and fishing services. If others want their services to be improved (or maintained)...THEY can help pay. I think, with few exceptions, that the CPW does a very good job for sportsmen with the resources they have... but the funding piece needs to get worked-out...and not just by raising fees from the quickest / easiest place to go for the
D-Zilla, CO   4/13/2017 8:11:13 PM
I am still on the fence over the pending increase. I think they DO need more money, but there has to be a compromise. You raise fees less people can afford them, meaning less sales......meaning less money. I think other users SHOULD help foot the bill for maintnance/upkeep. I think ANYONE in the park should need a pass. Bicycles, runners, whatever. You come in and use the resource you pay a fee. I won't lie, I am not a huge fan of the bikes/joggers/walkers all over the road, but if they are paying too, that would soften the blow. Maybe they should ask for some of the pot money too, since a LOT of it seems to get consumed on park land.
Abel1, CO   4/13/2017 9:12:25 PM
I will be fishing out of state this year and patronizing their businesses. They have boat rentals/hotels and restaurants just like we have here and the driving distance for better fishing isn't any further. The one big difference will be my license fees won't be paying for the slaughter of the fish I choose to pursue. If the CPW wants to make a difference in a big way and at no cost to them or anyone else then put a maximum size limit on every species of fish. This will afford more fisherman the opportunity to catch a trophy. I think the potential for this state is there to become a nationwide destination for quality fishing but it seems like we are content to have places just good enough to offer a 50% chance or less of catching something.
Whelenman358, CO   4/14/2017 12:07:12 AM
I think the CPW does reasonably well with fishing. They do need to show more love towards warm water species and less emphasis on stocker trout, but fishing is still reasonable here. However, we have absolutely the worst big game seasons in the country. Five days to get an elk or deer or both? Yea right. Big game licensing seems to be just a huge money grab in this state...ridiculously short seasons to ensure low success numbers to allow for large quantities of licenses to be sold. Translates to $$$.
redleader, CO   4/14/2017 6:02:56 AM
This is who they work for not us.
malty falcon, CO   4/14/2017 4:27:28 PM
Good one, Eric. The CPW is the only official agency managing our outdoor resources. I'm tired of the CPW bashing that I sometimes see---it just isn't constructive! Since they may be mired in bureaucratic red tape, we can only try to give them directions on where we'd like to be in one to two years.
ADub TT, CO   4/15/2017 8:46:53 PM
Great stuff as usual E. Lil change of direction but on same subject, I listen to Wickstrom Outdoors show every Saturday on 104.3 The Fan and then listen again to podcasts to make sure I heard everything correctly and understanding everything that was said. Point being, Terry, his staff and guests do an awesome job of information dissemination every week, they always have at least one CPW park attendant, and or park ranger and or CPW biologist on the show to say what is happening, what CPW Is or isn't doing, should or shouldn't be doing. My 2 cents worth. I know CPW is doing an awesome job and commend all involved there!!
Fordo, CO   4/16/2017 8:27:01 AM
Spot on Eric. I have my disagreements on management of lake trout at BM and the middle park reservoirs, and no protective bag limits for brown trout at Dillon. And I know many other anglers that have their disagreements on various management practices as well. But it is important for all of us to understand and acknowledge that aside for the problems, there is also alot of things done right that benefit the sport of fishing in Colorado.
Fishful Thinker, CO   4/17/2017 8:12:08 AM
I interviewed CPW Director Bob Broscheid on Terry Wickstrom Outdoors on Saturday. He freely acknowledges that changes need to be made in many areas. He's in only his third year as the head of the agency and I feel like after several conversations with him both in person and on air, that he will make changes consistent with fixing many of the common gripes I see on this site. You can listen here...(interview with Director Broscheid starts just after the 14:00 minute mark) CL
Fishful Thinker, CO   4/17/2017 8:12:08 AM
I interviewed CPW Director Bob Broscheid on Terry Wickstrom Outdoors on Saturday. He freely acknowledges that changes need to be made in many areas. He's in only his third year as the head of the agency and I feel like after several conversations with him both in person and on air, that he will make changes consistent with fixing many of the common gripes I see on this site. You can listen here...(interview with Director Broscheid starts just after the 14:00 minute mark) CL
Eric Allee (TigerHunter), CO   4/17/2017 9:21:24 AM
Listening now: I'll gladly pay to launch my kayak! I feel like that's long overdue anyone that's on or in the water in Colorado should have to pay something.
Fishful Thinker, CO   4/17/2017 9:46:04 AM
I'm taking Director Broscheid bass fishing shortly...looking forward to showing him why our cool and warm water fisheries are just as important in the long run as our trout. Based on my conversations with CPW folks, we are going to see an increase in largemouth stocking/protection going forward. Largies don't piss off the Feds like smallies do so they can even be mentioned out loud on the western slope without fear of federal gov't retort. CL
Abel1, CO   4/17/2017 9:33:21 PM
.he will make changes consistent with fixing many of the common gripes I see on this site Gripe -express a complaint or grumble about something, especially something trivial Trivial - of little value or importance: Really??
Fishful Thinker, CO   4/18/2017 8:22:37 AM
Abel, so maybe my word choice was weak, so let me rephrase and be specific Within his power, I believe he will attempt to work with other decision makers and persuade the to enact change consistent with many concerns and requests I've observed on this forum and from anglers statewide, including but not limited to revamping the entire ANS system, lengthening and strengthening leases to maintain access on SWA's, spreading costs around more evenly to all user groups rather than having hunters and anglers tote the bill, and pushing back against Federal mandates meddling in our CO fishery management. Better? CL
redleader, CO   4/18/2017 8:38:29 AM
CL. Good to here you are in a good position to help. Sounds like you'll be doing more talking than fishing, good luck on both.
Abel1, CO   4/18/2017 9:42:55 AM
Thank you Chad and yes much better but you didn't owe me an explanation and I didn't mean to direct my comment at you specifically and I hope I didn't disrespect you. The word gripe is really how I feel those in charge look at our opinions and maybe rightfully so. I guess I need to adjust my attitude and try to understand the reality of their decisions over the utopia I am hoping for. Thanks for all you do.
Fishful Thinker, CO   4/18/2017 1:51:46 PM
Abel you didn't bother at all me but you did point out that if I'm going to be involved and try to help others understand the realities of the situation rather than the misinformation and misconceptions that flood the WWW, I ought to make my points clear. Besides, after hosting a TV show for 16 seasons, my skin is pretty thick even to those that are trying to get under it! Redleader, you are correct...Director Broscheid and I have already done a lot of talking and he is earning my respect for his views on a lot of very controversial topics. I seriously hope his leadership can positively affect all those under him. One last thing hit one of the nails on the head...we all want to achieve our utopia but the problem is each of our ideas of utopia is different, making compromise on almost all fronts necessary. CL
Eric Allee
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