Large cutthroats to be had at Trappers Lake |

Large cutthroats to be had at Trappers Lake

One of the most scenic lakes in Colorado, Trappers Lake east of Meeker lies at an elevation of 9,627 feet above sea level and boasts some of the best cutthroat trout fishing in the state.

Tucked into the pine tree forests of the Flat Tops Wilderness, the lake sits below an immense rock formation known as the amphitheater, towering 1500 feet above the water and creating spectacular scenic backdrops for photographs.

The cliffs formed over 10,000 years ago, and the melting alpine glacier formed the 180-foot deep lake that is one of Colorado largest natural lakes with a surface area of 320 acres.

Trappers Lake is home to a population of cutthroat trout that is also a natural hatchery for the Colorado Division of Wildlife. Each year eggs are harvested from the trout and the fry are raised in hatcheries to later be planted in over 140 Colorado high country lakes.

Cutthroat in the lake average 12 to 15 inches long, but sometimes can reach over 18 inches.

Angling is limited to artificial flies and lures, and fish over 10 inches must be released. A bag and possession limit of eight cutthroat trout under 10 inches is allowed, and fishing is prohibited in all inlets and upstream for one half mile. There is no limit on brook trout.

The ice on Trappers Lake thaws about the first of June, and fishing is excellent for the first couple of weeks after the thaw.

Trappers Lake is 41 miles up Rio Blanco County Road 8 out of Meeker, and 8 miles up the Trappers Lake Road.

There are more than 100 campsites within two miles of the lake, and all are on a first come basis. The Trappers Lake Lodge is scheduled to open this summer, with cabins and boats for rent and meals served.

For reservations call (970) 878-3336.

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