Controversial northern pike, wind shuts down Steamboat Resort: The top articles of the week at

Local angler Cody Lujan holding a massive northern pike he reeled in. Lujan recommends releasing pike back into the water but if you kill them, to eat them.
Cody Lujan/Courtesy photo

1. The northern pike: How to catch them and why they have become so controversial

Growing up as a fifth-generation Routt County native, Cody Lujan fell in love with fishing at a young age and has since traveled all over the country fishing and guiding. Above all, Lujan loves fishing with his children and advocates all anglers to fish with their families.

Lujan is a conservationist who has a passion for northern pike while maintaining a concern for native fish recoveries in the lower Yampa River. He looks to find a balance between recreation and appropriate conservation so Routt County residents and visitors can enjoy more trophy pike fishing. 

Pike were originally brought to Colorado as a way to lower the white sucker population and were stocked at Elk Head Reservoir in the late 1970s. The pike eventually escaped Elk Head Reservoir and then proliferated and migrated throughout the Yampa Valley river system. They were also illegally introduced to Stagecoach Reservoir in the 1990s. 

2. Colorado regulators are really tripping as they prepare to roll out “magic” mushroom legalization

The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies recently warned state lawmakers that it is unprepared for its assigned job of implementing the state’s new, second-in-the-nation legal “magic mushroom” industry, which voters approved in November. 

The department — which normally oversees sectors like insurance and banking — is tasked with quickly adopting a regulatory structure under which psychedelic mushrooms can be legally consumed by people 21 and older at licensed facilities. The facilities are set to open as soon as late 2024. 

Get the top stories in your inbox every morning. Sign up here:

3. Weather prevents Steamboat Resort from opening operations

Because of high winds and dangerous windchill conditions, officials at Steamboat Resort decided not to open on Wednesday, Feb. 15.

“We are trying to figure out how to deal with Mother Nature right now,” said Loryn Duke, director of communications at Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp., shortly after the the decision was made at noon on Wednesday.

4. Steamboat resident charged with extortion, theft and exploitation of an elderly at-risk victim

A 49-year-old Steamboat Springs woman is facing three felony charges for alleged crimes against an elderly at-risk individual. 

According to an arrest affidavit, Erica Louise Olson was charged with one count of criminal extortion, one count of theft against an at-risk victim and one count of criminal exploitation of an at-risk victim on Tuesday, Feb. 7. 

Eight-year-old Zach Hiatt uses his “tuck and pop” strategy to fly 35 feet, 11 inches to win the Donkey Jump at the Street Events as part of Winter Carnival on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023.
Dylan Anderson/Steamboat Pilot & Today

5. 8-year-old flies 35 feet to win donkey jump at Winter Carnival Street Events

Eight-year-old Zach Hiatt flew 35 feet, 11 inches about halfway through the Donkey Jump competition during the 110th Winter Carnival Street Events on Lincoln Avenue in downtown Steamboat Springs on Saturday, Feb. 11.

Event announcers John Shipley and Tom Whiddon were impressed with the jump, but knew it could be beat.

6. Letter: We’re grateful to call Steamboat home, but we can’t hang on much longer

Steamboat Springs, I’m begging you. My husband told me not to write this letter, and if I do, he made me promise not to read the comments. Please be kind because I’m not sure I can keep that promise.

The thing is, Steamboat, we’re losing our home.

7. Steamboat resident dies following crash on US 40

The Routt County Coroner’s Office confirmed Thursday, Feb. 9, that one of the people involved in a car wreck Monday, Feb. 6, on U.S. Highway 40 has died.

Cadence Tilton, 20, died in Larimer County after being taken to a hospital with serious injuries sustained in the wreck, according to the coroner’s office. Tilton died Wednesday, Feb. 8, two days after the collision. An official cause of death is not available at this time.

8. Former Steamboat Springs High School employee faces charges of child abuse, endangerment of at-risk student

A former Steamboat Springs High School paraprofessional was put on administrative leave and then resigned Feb. 3 following an alleged incident that led to charges related to crimes against an at-risk juvenile. 

Sylvia Rawlings, 61, faces three misdemeanor charges including one count each of crimes against an at-risk person, child abuse and reckless endangerment.

9. Steamboat Resort puts lifts on hold due to weather

Citing high winds and extreme windchill, Steamboat Report put all of its lifts on a weather hold.

“We’re experiencing high sustained winds and gusts this morning at the resort that will impact operations,” the resort wrote Wednesday, Feb. 15, in a Facebook post. “Stay tuned to the app and website for up to date info on lifts on the weather hold.”

10. Steamboat has identified 2,869 short-term rentals operating inside the city ahead of licensing, hotline rollout

The company working on the enforcement of new short-term rental regulations has identified 2,869 such rentals within Steamboat Springs advertised in more than 6,100 different online postings.

The company, Granicus, is still looking for more short-term rental advertisements as they are posted, but the number is relatively close to what City Council expected it to be when regulations were drafted last year.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.