Late fall brings about a snagging season in Colorado for kokanee salmon. Snagging, the act of hooking a fish without bait, is legal during certain periods of the year in Colorado to help control carcass litter. As the salmon spawn in the fall, they slowly die. Therefore the point of snagging this kind of salmon, is to catch it while the fish is still fresh, thus eliminating the possibility of this waste in our streams and rivers. According to Examiner.com, “Take care, however, when you do snag a kokanee, to look over the fish for large white spots. These are signs that the fish is in the more advanced stages of its death and has actually already begun to rot.” During the spawning run, anglers can take ten salmon per day with twenty in possession.
Snagging Season Dates:
Vallecito Creek (from Weminuche Wilderness down to the road 501 bridge) - Nov. 15 to Dec. 31
Grimes Creek (from water line of Vallecito Reservoir upstream) - Nov. 15 through Dec. 31
Life cycles for Kokanee salmonare consistent year after year. In this part of the state, mature Kokanee adults depart Vallecito Lake each fall and swim upstream, battling the Vallecito Creek and Grimes Creek currents to spawn eggs (females) and milt (males). Spawning begets a new generation, but also means the end of another. Just weeks after the orange bloom of salmon eggs are released and fertilized, the circle of life for the adults is complete and they die.