Colorado Parks and Wildlife Kokanee Salmon Giveaway in Dolores

November 1, 2023

After spawning kokanee salmon from McPhee Reservoir, Colorado Parks and Wildlife gives away salmon that otherwise would die in the Dolores River. Parks and Wildlife have been doing these giveaways since the 1990s. Two more giveaways are planned for November 2nd and November 9th. Hopeful recipients should line up an hour before the start time, as the salmon runs out quickly. By Ilana Newman. This story is sponsored by the LOR Foundation and Blondies Trophy Room

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Colorado Parks and Wildlife is hosting Kokanee salmon fish giveaways at Joe Rowell Park for Colorado fishing license holders. The first giveaway happened earlier than planned on October 19th due to an early salmon run. Two more giveaways are planned for November. You're watching the Local News Network brought to you by LOR Foundation and Blondie's Trophy room. I'm Connor Shreve.

So we have just finished spawning Kokanee salmon. The Kokanee run up out of McPhee Reservoir about six miles upstream and swim up into a small raceway where we trap them, and we take the eggs, fertilize them, and take them back to the Durango Fish Hatchery.

During the October 19th giveaway, over 110 recipients received about five fish each. White thinks they started the day with around 600 to 700 fish. All the fish were gone within about 15 minutes.

Parks and Wildlife wants to make sure that we're not wasting a good resource like these fish. They're going to die since they're salmon. They're going to die after they spawn, so we give 'em away to the public.

White does expect the fish to reduce in number during the later giveaway, since the Kokanee salmon run is already starting to diminish. There will be plenty of fish for the November 2nd giveaway, but there may be fewer for the ninth.

These giveaways have been occurring since at least the early 1990s. That's when Kokanee were stocked into the Reservoir, and the first egg takes were collected.

There are two more scheduled fish giveaways, which will be held at Joe Rowell Park on November 2nd and November 9th. Bring a cooler for your fish and a valid Colorado fishing license. Learn more about this story and others at Thanks for watching this edition of the Local News Network. I'm Connor Shreve.


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