Saturday, June 18, 2016

Air show mishaps are no strangers to Colorado

Though it was the worst, the Flagler incident was not Colorado’s last air show mishap.

By Rob Carrigan,

Watching the crash landing of one of the Thunderbirds a few years ago, and with the death of Blue Angel Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss, from Durango, on the same day, I couldn’t help but recall other air show mishaps with links to Colorado.
Since the advent of airplanes, stretching nearly back to the Wright brothers, there have been air shows in Colorado. And almost since then, distinctively in Colorado, there have been air show disasters. Ralph Johnstone, who was trained by the Wright Brothers at Wright Flying School, established the pattern when he dropped from the sky to his death in front of thousands of spectators at Overland Park in Denver in 1910.
Arch Hoxsey, the other half of the “Stardust Twins” as he and Johnstone were known for their exploits in Wright Exhibition Flying Team, was killed in a very similar crash about a month later on New Year’s Eve in Los Angeles while trying set the altitude record.
Just a few hours before taking off in that effort, Hoxsey had telegrammed his condolences to the family John Bevins Moisant, who died in air crash near New Orleans the day before.
Flying was hazardous in those early days. And it was still deadly 40 years later.
“Flagler, Colo. – As the single-engine plane roared toward the crowd, Lyle Stone saw his parents each grab two children under their arms, jump off the low airfield fence, and run as fast as they could. Moments later, virtually everyone left on the fence was killed as the plane cut through the crowd like scythe. Twenty were killed including the pilot,” according to Kit Miniclier of the Denver Post in an article commemorating the 50th anniversary of the tragedy. Of the 20 victims, 13 were children. “Rhynold Fager remembers seeing a friend on her knees, dying, impaled by a propeller blade. Charlie Keller, whose wife and two children were killed that day, was able to identify his wife’s remains only by a birthmark on her leg.”
Today, a granite memorial with the names of those killed on Sept. 15, 1951, rests in a park across Interstate 70 from the airfield.
William Barker, a Denver Post reporter who was covering the event at the time, described it this way in the Post and the weekly Flagler News the next day:
“The plane crashed into the stunned mass of spectators from an altitude of less than 200 feet, cutting a bloody swath and strewing gasoline-drenched wreckage over a 150-yard area.
“The chaos that followed is beyond description . . . it was like the end of the world. Bodies were everywhere. The blood was everywhere too,” wrote Barker in 1951.
"I stopped as the scene ravaged my senses. Cars crushed. Bodies . . . and parts of bodies. Blood on staring faces. People milling like sheep around the fallen. Voices rising and falling oddly, without hysteria. Without panic. Stunned. Too stunned yet to believe what we were all seeing.”
Flagler, a town of only 600, had a hospital, but only two doctors, John C. Straub and William L. McBride. McBride, it was said, had delivered nine of the 13 children killed in the disaster. Medical personnel from miles around soon arrived to help out.
Though it was the worst, the Flagler incident was not Colorado’s last air show mishap.
In June of 1997, and Korean War-era F-86 fighter jet performing before a crowd estimated at 50,000 at air show in Broomfield, crashed in a massive fireball after failing to pull out of a steep dive. Retired Col. “Smiling Jack” Rosamond, 63, the pilot of jet was the only casualty when the plane plowed into the ground 300 yards from the nearest spectators.
In October of 2000, again it was only the pilot killed, when the Russian-made Sukhoi 26X, spun out of control at the Telluride airport during an air show, crashed near the runway and burst into flames, killing pilot Kent Pfleider, of Grand Junction.

Photo information: 
1. A memorial in Flagler, Colo., reminds us of the 20 killed at an airshow on Sept. 15, 1951. 

2. Denver doctor bending over and trying to save Ralph Johnstone on Nov. 17, 1910. He was the first American pilot to die in an airplane crash.

Whiskey and water: Can’t fight over either without history

Ditch diverting water from Monument Creek by use of a small dam and reservoir solved the water problem for the railroad at the time

By Rob Carrigan,
One of the universal truths of living in the West is the idea that “whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting over.”

An important distinction that needs to be noted is that you can’t make whiskey without a lot of water. And some folks won’t drink it without ice.

Also, you can’t fight over water without history.

Sam Hackett was described in Marion Savage Sabin’s 1957 book, “Palmer Lake: A Historical Narrative,” as a young Scotch-Irishman looking for a way to get up in the world.

“There was a very odd thing about Sam Hackett, ” wrote Sabin. “His was an unmistakably Irish physiognomy and his rich, deep brogue matched his face — yet there was little or nothing of Irish in his inner makeup. The genial gift of gab had been left entirely out of his composition; he was taciturn and cautious, like a Scotchman. His humor — few guessed he had any — was the sly, self-contained sort and his habitual aspect was dour. He was frugal and a confirmed woman-hater. Yet he was never a mean man and stories are told of his generosity to visitors and harvest hands in later years.”

Hackett worked, ate and slept at the railroad section house managed by Camillus Weiss. Among his early duties there was pumping water from Palmer Lake for the engines. Because of his general standoffishness and other reasons related to economics, he eventually decided to reside elsewhere.

“He went some distance away to the west of the railroad, nearer the mountains, and made himself a dug-out. It was just a hole in the ground, a low mound set in a hillside. The entrance which faced south, was held up by logs; and a few pine planks hewn in the woods, chipped out by himself and secured overhead in his cave, kept the roof from falling in…” according to Sabin.

At the time of her writing in the 1950s, the ruin of that abode could still be seen on the very edge of the field to west of the Little Log Church.

In order to augment the amount of water available in Palmer Lake to use to fill the 12 or so daily train engines that required water to push over the hump, Weiss, as the section boss for railroad, asked Hackett to dig a ditch.

The ditch diverted water from Monument Creek by use of a small dam and reservoir and solved the water problem for the railroad at the time.

“On Dec. 29, 1882, Samuel Hackett filed, in the Office of Clerk and Recorder of El Paso County, an affidavit describing his ditch and claiming water rights for domestic, mechanical and irrigation purposes,” wrote Lloyd McFarling in footnotes to Sabin’s book in December of 1956.

“He said the ditch was constructed about the year 1872. Two other ditches were also important in establishing water rights, which were later acquired by the Town of Palmer Lake. One was the Anchor Ditch, dug in 1867, and the other was the Monument Ditch, dug in 1868 and enlarged in 1875. These ditches were downstream from the Hackett Ditch. Their headgates were within the limits of the town as established at the time of incorporation in 1889,” wrote McFarling.

In time, Hackett eventually left the employ of the railroad, purchased Weiss’ property and turned to raising potatoes. His prowess at that activity helped create an industry — and a dominant one at that — in this area for several years and earned him the title “the potato king.”

He became very prosperous. Much of his success in the potato farming business, however, was heavily reliant on his ability to irrigate. His irrigation, of course, relied mostly on the Hackett Ditch.

Water was also on the minds of the founders of Monument.

“The citizens of Monument were very concerned about water for their community,” wrote Lucille Lavelett in “Through the Years at Monument, Colorado.”

“For several years, each family had dug a well in their back yard with hand-drawn buckets to bring the water to the top. In the early 1880s, the citizens had civic progress and created a bonded debt. It was small at first, but it grew and was cared for, extended and kept alive for 20 years until the interest payments exceeded the principal more than 50 percent,” she wrote.

“Old records show a ditch was being promoted by a stock company in 1874 to bring water into Monument for irrigation. News reports were that the ditch was partly dug in 1875. Apparently it was abandoned within a few years,” Lavelett said.

But in September of 1881, the Monument Town Council took another run at it by calling a special election for issuing bonds to bring water into town.

By November, the council passed a resolution issuing $2,500 worth bonds dating Jan. 2, 1882, and by March, George Newbrough was awarded a contract for construction of a ditch for $1,650 and soon other contracts were made for installing a flume in the upper end of the ditch, and for building bridges.

“On March 27, 1884, Charles D. Ford and Henry Limbach were appointed to make a plan and have the ditch recorded. On May 22, 1885, a plat and statement of the priority of the Monument ditch was recorded in book 60, pages 35 and 36. The ditch ran in an easterly direction from a point on Monument Creek about two miles northwest of Monument and within the present limits of Palmer Lake, to a reservoir in the southwest quarter of Section 11, then turned southwest to another reservoir in the northwest quarter of Section 14,” Lavelett wrote.

By 1892, according to photographs recorded, water began flowing through the pipes for the first time from Monument Reservoir. Ed Limbach, (Henry’s oldest son) was described as the engineer of that project.

Of course, there were many other important water events in the next 100 years, or so, but following are some highlights.

Monument Lake Dam was authorized by an act of the General Assembly of the state of Colorado approved April 16, 1891, for the purposes of flood control and irrigation. It was one of three built by the state of Colorado in 1893. Since that time, one dam has been taken over by a water district, one has been breached and one remains in disrepair (Monument).

April 7, 1899, the Legislature adopted an enactment under the provisions of which the Board of County Commissioners of any county in which a state reservoir was situated were charged with the duty of controlling and maintaining the same without expense to the state and providing for the storage of water as contemplated by the statute authorizing its construction and also for its distribution under the direction of the water commissioners for the district in which the reservoir may be situated. El Paso County government was given an unfunded mandate to control and maintain the dam.

On June 7, 1937, the Colorado State Legislature authorized the governor to execute a deed of conveyance to the Board of Trustees of the town of Monument of all the interest of the state of Colorado in and to the land under the reservoir. The act authorizes and directs only the conveyance of the right, title and interest of the state in the land and makes no reference of any kind to the dam structure itself or the right to store water in the reservoir.

Flash forward to the turn of the next century:

Betty Konarski, chair of the Monument Lake Preservation Committee at the time, describes what happened then, and the process to save the lake.

“I got involved in 1999 when the state engineer notified the town of Monument that it was going to ‘poke a hole in the dam’ because it was leaking and the town would have to pay the approximately $2 billion to do it,” she said.

“Once we decided to save the lake, I began digging into the history. Long story short, it would appear that Monument never owned the water in the lake (even in the 1800s when ice was cut and sold along the Front Range or when it leased fishing rights to a sportsman group) and still doesn’t until the state engineer issue is settled,” says Konarski.

“Monument had not annexed land under the lake until a few years ago when we had a drought and were afraid of bears being hunted as they came down to drink, endangering people who lived next to the lake. Then the town annexed the land and posted it for no hunting. The town still doesn’t own the deed to the dam (see Dam Story about legislation). The town has now been in water court for 16 years to get the right to store its own water behind the dam (we pay an annual evaporative loss fee to Colorado Springs Utilities for their allowing us to hold primarily their water behind the dam so as to have a lake).”
And other challenges cropped up in the process.

“Then there was the issue of the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse mitigation and what I call the ‘bra’ that we had to put on the dam (a mylar layer under dirt so plants could grow over the west side of the dam for protection for the mouse, but so the roots would not again destabilize the dam structure). The dam, alone, and its redesign to accommodate the sewer pipes coming from Palmer Lake, as well as its reconstruction, have several interesting elements. But the water issue is even more interesting as it fits into the need for renewed focus on potable water for the town and the new water rates.”

In the case of local water, it seems, there is still an opportunity to sit down, perhaps with small bottle of single malt and appropriate glassware, maybe some ice, and discuss history of water in the area. Or at least get the fight started.

Photo information:
1. Monument Lake was threatened by disrepair and other problems at the turn of the Millennium.
2. Monument pioneer Mary Schubarth goes to the well to draw up her bucket of household water in her backyard.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Go ahead and tell your story, but no need for details on entire 300 years


2016 Messages from Paradise and the Ponderosa Pines

By Rob Carrigan,

Looking out the front window, across Paradise Circle, I noticed them working on several of the big Ponderosa pine trees in the lot that will eventually be the new Goodwill location in Woodland Park. The lot was part of the old Paradise Guest Ranch at one time, and has seemed like a dirt-moving school at times in the last 20 years, as McGuiness Realty yielded to Walgreens, and suggestions of bowling alley and other operations have come and gone.
At the Courier, we have on numerous occasions, used the big, beautiful giants as backdrops in our “outdoor studio” when we need to photograph someone in a story for the next week’s paper. Deer, bear, fox, wildflowers, snowstorms, classic cars, and cloud formations have all been subjects over there, as well. 
All those years, perhaps as our five-person insert crew took a break or finished up a fist fight, out there on the back platform in the early days, I would wonder about all of the history, those 300-year-old trees had probably seen in their lifetime.
I was wondering again last week, and suggested to Laura Meyers, in bookkeeping, and who had been here off and on, an equal amount of time as myself -- that she should go ask them to cut a round to make a coffee table or something.
She did, and a day or so, later, a beautiful 208-pica (about three feet in normal-people measurements) storyteller round arrived out front, courtesy of Scott Donlon of Tiptop Tree Cultivation.
And what a story. Though we don’t know for sure what it is telling us.
A rectangular spike, perhaps a foot long and three-eighths inch thick is embedded in the tree. It has what looks like links of a chain connected and embedded as well, and it has been in there for awhile because the tree has grown in around it. How long?
“I counted the rings,” said Donlon. “And my best guess is about 1893.”
But the spike and the links were only part. “On the other side, I think those two are bullets, because the saw went right through them, like they were lead,” he said.
I asked him to speculate on what they used for. “Not really sure,” he said. “That was a long time ago, and they could of been doing anything.”
He noted that other trees in that batch had embedded electric insulators and had apparently been used as a makeshift powerline of sorts, one of them perhaps leaking power into the ground and killing the tree slowly from the inside-out.
But the story is not over. Donlon took the downed tree carcass over to Johnny Busby at Buzzsaw Busby’s Chainsaw Art, and Busby says that most of the pieces will be used to make a custom totem pole. Busby does mostly on-site chainsaw art now, at about $100 per foot for custom carving, all over the area.
In fact, he is working on possibly going into the former Andrew’s Candy building, with room for his own work and other artists displayed.
For about 10 years now, he has produced and sold all of his stuff to Bill Fee, at the Nature of Things, on Manitou Avenue in Manitou Springs, on contract basis. But because Fee’s recent health problems, he has been forced to find new outlets.
Busby says his favorite pieces are eagles, but he does a lot of bears, wolves, Jayhawks, and an occasional bobcat or other animal. Recently he was working on a custom Wyoming bucking horse and rider. “If I can draw it, I can carve it with a chainsaw,” he says.
Perhaps a piece of that big pine will be reincarnated, and come back to life as bear, or an eagle, or some other beautiful animal — or a storyteller.


Photo info: 
The round shows the spike with link attached on the right side and bullet holes and lead fragments on lower left.


Timber! A smaller tree leans to the right as it drops in the lot across Paradise Circle to make way for Goodwill.
Johnny Busby is hard at work last week shaping the image of bucking horse Steamboat, and rider, into a custom piece for a client.

Photos and story by Rob Carrigan

Friday, June 10, 2016

Father of a lot of things, Pring moves to local history forefront

He found the place a barren waste, without, apparently, enough upon it to keep a rabbit alive. 

By Rob Carrigan,

Timing is about right to talk about John William Pring.
I say this because it is close to Fathers Day, and this fellow's local history as the father of Pring Station, the first John Deere Hand Corn Planter, the Colorado draft horse industry for dairies, the beginnings of the gold rush in Cripple Creek, and (with his wife Mary Jane Beer), nine children.
"Pring Station was three miles south of Monument," writes Lucille Lavelett in 1979, in her book Monument's Faded Neighborhood Communities and Its Folklore. "The land was bordered on the east by the Santa Fe railroad, and on the west by the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad. The only public buildings it has were the depot and and the one room school."
In today's world, if my calculations are correct from Second Street in Monument, that puts it right about where the new roundabout is at the intersection of Baptist Road, Wood Carvers, and Old Denver Highway. It is a happening place with the new Forest Lakes development, the new railroad overpass improving access out through Hay and Beaver Creek.
John Pring was able to get a lot done in his lifetime. Apprenticed as a carpenter, and later a contractor and builder in Devonshire, England at 15,  as a young man he built stores, houses, hotels and even became the personal cabinet maker for Queen Victoria.
But by 1871, he had migrated to America, bought the Utility Works in Rock Falls, Illinois which manufactured wooden items, but sold that after two years. By the Centennial year (and statehood for Colorado) he purchased, sight-unseen, a 240 acre tract that was later to become the area around Pring Station.
According to obituary accounts in local papers, "He found the place a barren waste, without, apparently, enough upon it to keep a rabbit alive. Although making up his mind that he had made a most unfortunate trade, he determined to settle here. He at once began to cultivate and improve the land, upon which he engaged in stock-raising and general farming. Since then he has brought the tract under irrigation, built fences around it, and erected substantial farm buildings, so that the place has been made one of the best farms in El Paso County. It is situated fifteen miles north of Colorado Springs, on both the Santa Fe and the Denver & Rio Grande Railroads, at Pring Station, which was named for him. His specialty has been the raising of graded Shorthorns. Prior to his removal to Colorado Springs he engaged in the dairy business and for seven years furnished the milk for the Antlers' hotel, whose bill amounted to more than $18,000. Shipments of milk were made over the Rio Grande road. In addition to this place he owns a farm at Gwillimville, five miles east of Monument, where his son superintends the cultivation of the four hundred and forty acres comprising the estate; and he is also the owner of three other farms in the same vicinity, all of which were improved by himself."
Lavelett said he invented the first hand corn planter and sold his invention to the John Deere Implement Company. I called Archivists at John Deere, an so far, haven't be able to secure the details of that transaction, but  because of relationships with Utility Works (mentioned earlier) and John Deere strategies at the time, it is no surprise. "The money he obtained from selling the invention he used to purchase more land," Lavelett said.
"Since coming to Colorado he has given his attention principally to raising draft-horses, graded stock, and to the dairy business, in which he has been successful. His home is now at No. 318 West Kiowa street, Colorado Springs. When the Cripple Creek excitement began, he was among the first in that district, and is still interested in mines there, owning the Bonnie Nell and Raven Hill, and having an interest in other claims there. In political views he is a Republican. He takes an interest in public affairs, but has always refused to accept public office," obituary accounts said in several local papers in November of 1922, shortly after his death.
Ranches on Hay Creek and Beaver Creek continued to prosper in the last century and at one-time the 1065 acre ranch on Beaver Creek belonging to Barry Hill then, was being considered as a purchase by Town of Monument for water rights.  It is not clear to me from Lavelett's records, but possible, that a railroad tank from Pring Station might have still been in use by Town of Monument as recently as 1979.
"When the railroads stopped using the steam engines and no longer needed the water, the town of Monument bought the water tank and is the tank the town uses it for water storage," she said in 1979. "This storage tank is near the Number Two well near the Lamplight restaurant."


Photo information:

Photo 1: A herd of Elk inspect the new bridge built on the edge of what was once Pring Station.

Photo 2: Three-quarter view of left side of engine, AT&SF locomotive, engine number 3612, engine type 2-8-8-2, from front end, new engine, parts missing. Photographed: Pring (El Paso County), Colorado, 3 miles south of Monument, June 22, 1930, by Otto Perry. Western History/Genealogy Dept., Denver Public Library.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Of fairness, community and communication

There has been trouble before

By Rob Carrigan,

I don't even like talking about the upcoming election, but there has been trouble, of course, in the past.

 The whistle-stops were uneventful until his noon arrival in Miami, where Yippie activist Jerry Rubin and another man heckled and interrupted him repeatedly. The Senator at one point tried to answer Rubin's charges that he had once been a hawk on (Vietnam) war measures. He acknowledged that he had made a mistake, as did many other senators in those times, but Rubin did not let him finish. "Muskie ultimately wound up scolding Rubin and fellow heckler Peter Sheridan, who had boarded the train in West Palm Beach with press credentials apparently obtained from Rolling Stone's Washington correspondent, Dr. Hunter S. Thompson." ___ Miami Herald, 2/20/72

Before 1900, press fairness was not even an issue.
As late as the 1930s, the partisan roots of most newspapers were very much in evidence. And who would expect anything but a largely partisan press, writes Lawrence T. McGill, director of research at the the time for the Freedom Forum, a nonpartisan, international foundation dedicated to free press, free speech, and free spirit for all people.
"By most accounts, such professional values as fairness, objectivity and balance did not become press priorities until the early part of the 20th century," McGill contends.
He points to a number of significant events in first part of the last century as signs of change.
• The first journalism degree program was established at the University of Illinois in 1904, and the University of Missouri in 1908.
• National Press Club was founded in 1908 and Sigma Delta Chi (now known as the society of Professional Journalists) in 1909.
• The fact-base reporting style of the Associated Press after 1900 was exerting a powerful standardizing influence on its member papers.
• The American Society of Newspaper Editors published journalistic code of ethics first in 1923.
So fairness and objectivity is a fairly new and much-debated endeavor for newspapers and media in general.

Both the Washington Star and Women's Wear Daily reported essentially the same tale: A genuinely savage person had boarded the train in West Palm Beach, using a fraudulent press pass, then ran amok in the lounge car -- getting in "several fist-fights" and finally "heckling the Senator unmercifully" when the train pulled into Miami and Muskie went out on the caboose platform to deliver what was supposed to have been the climactic speech of his triumphant whistle-stop tour.
It was at this point -- according to press reports both published and otherwise -- that my alleged friend, calling himself "Peter Sheridan," cranked up his act to a level that caused Senator Muskie to "cut short his remarks."
When the "Sunshine Special" pulled into the station at Miami, "Sheridan" reeled off the train and took a position on the tracks just below Muskie's caboose platform, where he spent the next half hour causing the Senator a hellish amount of grief -- along with Jerry Rubin, who also showed up at the station to ask Muskie what had caused him to change his mind about supporting the War in Vietnam. Rubin had been in Miami for several weeks, making frequent appearances on local TV to warn that "Ten Thousand naked hippies" would be among those attending the Democratic National Convention at Miami Beach in July. "We will march to the Convention Center," he announced, "but there will be no violence -- at least not by us." To questions regarding his presence in Florida, Rubin said he "decided to move down here, because of the climate," and that he was also registered to vote in Florida -- as a Republican. Contrary to the rancid suspicions of the Muskie staff people, Sheridan didn't even recognize Rubin and I hadn't seen him since the Counter Inaugural Ball which ran opposite Nixon's inauguration in 1969. When Rubin showed up at the train station that Saturday afternoon to hassle Muskie, the Senator from Maine was apparently the only person in the crowd (except Sheridan) who didn't know who he was. His first response to Rubin's heckling was, "Shut up, young man -- I'm talking."
"You're not a damn bit different from Nixon," Rubin shouted back . . .
. . . And it was at this point, according to compiled press reports and a first-hand account by Monte Chitty of the University of Florida Alligator, that Muskie seemed to lose his balance and fall back from the rail. . . . 
__ Hunter S. Thompson account of same event of what happened on the Sunshine Express.

As a community newspaper person, I, of course, have my own ideas on what we should strive for here in our own papers.
"The editor of a community newspaper cannot avoid being a community relations specialist. He or she, must listen to, deal with, put up with endure all kinds of confrontations," wrote longtime newspaper executive J. Tom Graham in "A Checklist for a Community Newspaper." He talked about from his own experience in the newspaper business over seven decades.
"He will take abuse when he does not deserve it, so he must be long suffering by nature. He must not take issues in the community personally or become so tied into one cause that he fails to do a complete and fair job."
The important thing to remember in this business, is that communication and community is not that far apart in the dictionary. We need to talk to each other. We need to listen. We need to take responsibility for each others' training. If we do, the community gets a newspaper that accurately and fairly represents them. And as journalists, we get to continue practicing the craft.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Fishing Derby returns to Palmer Lake

For the first time in years, the local fishing derby returned to a freshly-stocked Palmer Lake and officials expected hundreds of pole people to line the lake. They weren’t disappointed.
“We stocked about 600 Rainbow trout from a truck yesterday that came up from the Pueblo Hatchery,” said Steve Cooley, Wildlife Officer for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, during the derby Saturday morning. He said they will likely stock several more times before hot weather in July. Several other areas locally also received fish, he said.
The Palmer Lake Fishing Derby traditionally was held at Palmer Lake until drought and lack of water in the lake forced relocation to Monument Lake. Now sponsored by the Tri-Lakes Lions Club, the event coincides with the Statewide Free Fishing Weekend June 4 and 5. A fishing license is not required this weekend.
“We are glad to build on what the Chamber has done in the past, and we are also happy to see it back here in Palmer Lake,” said David Prejean, Tri-Lakes Lions Club President. Prejean said that at least 15 of their members were volunteering at the derby Saturday and the group had gathered a lot of donated prizes from Bass Pro Shop, Sportsman’s Warehouse and other places. “We hope it will continue to grow,” he said.
​Colorado residents and state visitors had the opportunity to fish without a license on June 4 and 5 as part of the annual “Colorado’s Free Fishing Days.”
The free fishing days are set aside each year for the first full weekend in June as part of ongoing efforts by Colorado Parks & Wildlife to introduce people to the sport of fishing.
During the free fishing days, anglers may fish without licenses. However, normal bag limits, possession limits and regulations will remain in effect. For more information on state fishing regulations, participants should consult the Colorado Fishing Brochure.
The CPW’s weekly Colorado fishing report​ has a list of where interested parties can take advantage of the free fishing days. The report contains angling information on bodies of water across the state, a list of recently stocked waters, weekly hotspots, and techniques that have proven successful for the state’s most productive lakes, reservoirs, streams and ponds.


Photo information:
1: Kevin Zeller, 7, and his mother, Meladee Zeller, cast out for prize winners in the derby, Saturday morning.
2 and 3: Sky Davaris, 12, who just moved here this summer from California, lands a beauty just north of the center platform, a little before 10 a.m. Saturday, when his sister abandoned her pole for a few minutes.
4 and 5: Fishing wasn’t the only fun with face painting, tree climbing, people watching and more. Hailee Tafoya, 8, sports a turtle painted by Angela Nussbaum. Nolan Ryan Hazuka, 5, emerges as Spider Man at the hands of his Grandmother, Annette Hazuka.
6: Dogs and kids lined the lake with Hannah Pershica, 7, giving attention to Casey Jane, a five-month-old Basset hound.
7: Miles Teger, 8, drops the bait in just the right place, as his grandmother, Sally Shaw, smiles for his precision.
8: Wildlife Officer Steve Cooley is lining up equipment for his fishing friends at the lake. Colorado Parks and Wildlife required no fishing licenses this weekend and hooked up 250 new poles with young fishing buddies at the derby Saturday.