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Bombing the High Country with Fish

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August 04, 2009

Bombing the High Country with Fish

By Tim Romano

Here in Colorado we stock some of our high mountain lakes with airplanes. Seriously...

There are four DOW pilots in the entire state with the cajones to fly these missions in the late summer/early fall. Most of the lakes are very high and accessible only by hiking or climbing to them.  Hence the drops from airplanes to stock quantities of fish. If you listen very closely at the 1:15 mark you can actually hear the "bomb-bay" doors opening and making the drop. I can only imagine the streamer madness that would ensue if you happened to be at the lake right after a drop...

TR

Comments (10)

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from Koldkut wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

I've heard of a few guys in float tubes getting dropped on before, I'd love to be there to see it in action.

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from 2Poppa wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

Stocking the Sangre de Cristo (Blood of Christ) mountains lakes,takes on new meaning. I'm used to seeing a fish truck pull up and unload.

The peak of those mountains looks as if one could reach out and touch 'em. When that airplane dipped it's nose to go low,I thought I heard a warning sound from the cock-pit come on at .48 seconds ... interesting aerial stocking!

I would've like to have been videoing taping from the ground!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

Too cool. It makes me feel better paying the big bucks for out of state licenses knowing it's going to programs like this.

I guess it doesn't hurt the fish. In Ohio the truck stops in the middle of the bridge and throws a net load of fish into the water off the bridge.

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from timromano wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

buckhunter,

Actually I think a decently high percentage of fish die on impact. It's just part of the deal when dropping fish from 50 to 100 feet up. They take this into consideration though when loading up the fry...

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

TR,

Thanks for the info. You've given me an idea...fish parachutes!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from salmonquest wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

Wow flying fish. Could you imagine being in a survival situation crawling out of the bush only to have fish Literally drop in your lap...Mana fom heaven.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

I wonder if there has ever been a case where the pilot misses his target and his target hits land... i hope not but that would be something to see. I have never seen anything like this, it definitely would be great to see a pilot pulling one of these maneuvers.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from tourneyking734 wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

they do that here in maine too. Its pretty wild

P.S. give the lake 2-4 days before you fish it as the fish are dissoriented for a long time afterword (we've tried catching them after a plane stocking and the only one we got had swum into a log and was stuck).

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sidewinder wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

Whoever chadian is, please ban him and his posts.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from John L wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

Twenty plus years ago while living and fishing in the high country of Colorado, a Fish and Wildlife Officer (or whatever they are called there)told me that they stocked the high lakes (often well above timberline and no way for a trout to get there upstream) by using mules and tanks with fingerlings to walk them in. He said they were soon to start stocking with helicopters.
If you have the chance to fish those high lakes, thank them! I've seen BIG trout cruising those pristine waters, but I'm too old and gimpy to get up there now, and they were too smart for me then, but they are there.
Any plane or heli pilot that will fly those peaks deserves our thanks. Not sure I fished the lake in the video, but it looks familiar. It was above timberline on the crest between the Arkansas River and San Luis Valley, we climbed to the crest, looked like the top of the world.

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from Koldkut wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

I've heard of a few guys in float tubes getting dropped on before, I'd love to be there to see it in action.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from 2Poppa wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

Stocking the Sangre de Cristo (Blood of Christ) mountains lakes,takes on new meaning. I'm used to seeing a fish truck pull up and unload.

The peak of those mountains looks as if one could reach out and touch 'em. When that airplane dipped it's nose to go low,I thought I heard a warning sound from the cock-pit come on at .48 seconds ... interesting aerial stocking!

I would've like to have been videoing taping from the ground!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

Too cool. It makes me feel better paying the big bucks for out of state licenses knowing it's going to programs like this.

I guess it doesn't hurt the fish. In Ohio the truck stops in the middle of the bridge and throws a net load of fish into the water off the bridge.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from timromano wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

buckhunter,

Actually I think a decently high percentage of fish die on impact. It's just part of the deal when dropping fish from 50 to 100 feet up. They take this into consideration though when loading up the fry...

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

TR,

Thanks for the info. You've given me an idea...fish parachutes!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sidewinder wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

Whoever chadian is, please ban him and his posts.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from salmonquest wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

Wow flying fish. Could you imagine being in a survival situation crawling out of the bush only to have fish Literally drop in your lap...Mana fom heaven.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

I wonder if there has ever been a case where the pilot misses his target and his target hits land... i hope not but that would be something to see. I have never seen anything like this, it definitely would be great to see a pilot pulling one of these maneuvers.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from tourneyking734 wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

they do that here in maine too. Its pretty wild

P.S. give the lake 2-4 days before you fish it as the fish are dissoriented for a long time afterword (we've tried catching them after a plane stocking and the only one we got had swum into a log and was stuck).

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from John L wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

Twenty plus years ago while living and fishing in the high country of Colorado, a Fish and Wildlife Officer (or whatever they are called there)told me that they stocked the high lakes (often well above timberline and no way for a trout to get there upstream) by using mules and tanks with fingerlings to walk them in. He said they were soon to start stocking with helicopters.
If you have the chance to fish those high lakes, thank them! I've seen BIG trout cruising those pristine waters, but I'm too old and gimpy to get up there now, and they were too smart for me then, but they are there.
Any plane or heli pilot that will fly those peaks deserves our thanks. Not sure I fished the lake in the video, but it looks familiar. It was above timberline on the crest between the Arkansas River and San Luis Valley, we climbed to the crest, looked like the top of the world.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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