Fishing The Blue Mesa Reservoir

It is no surprise that fishing is one of the main attractions of Blue Mesa Reservoir. It is the largest lake in Colorado and supports many species of fish, including Kokanee salmon, lake trout and rainbow trout. The lake is one of the most productive fisheries in Colorado.

While the lake supports many species of fish, Kokanee salmon is the main priority of the Game and Fish department. The lake is also a prime habitat for lake trout which grow to enormous size. These huge fish are a big attraction to fisherman but they also threaten the species balance of the lake. Lake trout are predator fish and since their introduction to the lake they have thrived taking a devastating toll on the Kokanee salmon. Blue Mesa is not a natural lake and the species did not evolve together. This presents a constant challenge to the Game and Fish of balancing the large trophy fish against the habitat of the salmon. To learn more about this interesting challenge visit the fisheries management website.

Fisheries Management

The New License - Licenses are valid April 1 through March 31 annually for small game, combination fishing and hunting, Colorado waterfowl stamp and habitat stamps at any license agent, CPW office, online or by phone at 1-800-244-5613. Purchase of a $10 Habitat Stamp is also required with the purchase of the first hunting or fishing license of the 2013 season.


Blue Mesa Reservoir requires a mandatory boat inspection for non-native Zebra and Quagga mussels. Inspection stations are located at both marinas and the boat ramps. The visitor center at Elk Creek will have up to date info on hours and locations.