Just in time for the cold weather to set in, we’re profiling one of Colorado’s ice fishing hotspots: Harvey Gap State Park!
Harvey Gap State Park was created in 1987 and is located in Garfield County at an altitude of 6,400 feet. It features the Green Valley Reservoir surrounded by piñon-juniper woodlands and sagebrush. The Grand Hogback, a stunning geologic feature that marks the end of the Rocky Mountains, runs along the southern edge of the reservoir.
Harvey Gap is often featured on lists of the best places to go ice fishing in Colorado and it’s easy to see why – the reservoir contains 190 surface acres (when full) of clear, clean water with a variety of fish. Winter anglers have particularly good luck catching yellow perch, rainbow trout, and brown trout. Fishing in the reservoir is subject to statewide bag and possession limits, as well as special regulations specific to Harvey Gap. Explanations of these regulations, as well as fishing license and fish identification tips, can be found in the 2021 Colorado Fishing brochure published by Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW).
Like many outdoor activities, ice fishing comes with its share of risk. It is crucial to check ice and weather conditions before heading out onto the reservoir. Even if the ice conditions are favorable, rare accidents can still happen. Preparation is key to reducing the risk of injury for yourself and others. Below are links to three resources from our digital repository and CPW that can help you have a successful ice fishing experience:
- Ice Fishing Safety: Self-rescue instructions
- Ice Fishing Safety: How do I rescue a victim?
- Ice Fishing Safety: General guidelines for Colorado anglers
Another popular winter activity at Harvey Gap is birdwatching. Birders may be able to find a variety of songbirds, waterfowl, and raptors in the park – before you go, be sure that you’ll be able to spot the difference between eagles and hawks with our guide!
Once the ice melts, Harvey Gap is available for swimming, nonmotorized boating, picnicking, hiking, and, of course, fishing. Learn more and check park conditions on CPW’s website.
Have you visited or gone ice fishing at Harvey Gap State Park? Share your memories with us in the comments!