According to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife the Blue River section North of Silverthorne to Green Mountain Reservoir (19 miles) has lost it’s designation as Gold Medal Water. After fishing this river for the past 10 years I can certainly understand why. While the fishing on this stretch of river can be great there have been times when it is difficult to even find a fish. Compared to other Gold Medal rivers like the Frying Pan, this section of the Blue River doesn’t seem to even compare in numbers. Which was proven by the CPW. “Gold Medal status is reserved for state waters that produce a minimum of 60-pounds of trout per acre and 12 trout measuring 14-inches or longer per acre.” The reasoning behind the decrease in Trout numbers is due to “unnatural stream flows, sparse aquatic invertebrate populations, low nutrient content and degraded habitat.”
It is a shame for the river to lose it’s status but it may be an eye opener for anglers and local officials. “It does not meet Gold Medal criteria right now, but together with the Town of Silverthorne, Denver Water and local anglers, we will work towards re-listing this section as a Gold Medal water in the future,” said Sherman Hebein, a senior regional biologist with CPW.
It will be interesting to see how the removal of Gold Medal designation will effect the number of anglers on this section of river. The Blue River through Silverthorne has always been a hot spot for anglers trying to hook a trophy sized Mysis fed Rainbow Trout. And while these fish are certainly still there, apparently they are not there in the numbers that they used to be.