Outdoorsman Notebook: New Cabela’s in Colo., handicapped Wyo., hunter honored | TheFencePost.com

Outdoorsman Notebook: New Cabela’s in Colo., handicapped Wyo., hunter honored

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2 new Cabela’s will fuel competition in Denver

Outdoors outfitter Cabela’s will open its first two stores in metro Denver this week, adding another big fish to a pond that some analysts warn is getting increasingly crowded.

The Front Range has transformed in the past decade from a virtual desert of big-box recreation retailers to a blaze-orange mecca.

Cabela’s now joins its closest competitor, Bass Pro Shops, along with smaller-format Gander Mountain and Sportsman’s Warehouse in battling for their share of spending from hunters and anglers. Denver is the first metropolitan region in the nation to have stores from each of the big retailers that specialize in hunting, fishing and camping.

The two new Cabela’s soon will be joined by another two Bass Pro Shops, in Colorado Springs and Loveland.

Adding to the competitive mix are Walmart, sporting-goods generalists Dick’s and Sports Authority, and hundreds of small independents.

“As all retailers ramp up growth, the distance between stores is rapidly declining, which could pressure results across the industry,” said Piper Jaffray senior research analyst Sean Naughton.

Outdoors-minded Wyo. woman bags title of Ms. Wheelchair USA

Camouflage and tiaras don’t typically mix, but Ashlee Lundvall has found a way to make the unusual combination work.

“The main thing I want people to understand is that even with a disability, you can be active outdoors,” she said in a recent telephone interview.

Lundvall won the title out of a field of 10 finalists at the July 16-20 event in Ohio. She said she’s never been the tiara type, but took on the challenge as one way to trumpet the volunteer Wyoming Disabled Hunters organization that she’s involved with.

It’s her participation in hunting, she believes, that helped set her apart from the other contestants.

“Hunting is a passion I found after I was disabled,” Lundvall said.

Chatfield expansion plans nearing conclusion

After years of debate, the Army Corps of Engineers is moving forward with the most controversial alternative to expand Chatfield Reservoir.

The plan — while not a done deal yet — will nearly double the capacity at Chatfield, a project that will mean more recreation and water for the growing metro area, but that could also stress the area’s wildlife and decades-old cottonwood trees.

And those strains have some people concerned.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently released the final environmental impact study of the Chatfield Reallocation Project.

The preferred recommendation from the Army Corps has been talked about for years: About 10 percent of the state park would be inundated with water, adding an extra 20,600 acre-feet of water; water levels would rise by 12 feet; about 45 acres of cottonwoods and the habitat for about 60 species of birds would be lost.

The cost will be upwards of $180 million.

Other options being considered include taking no action at all and allowing less water into the popular reservoir in southwest metro Denver.

David Collier and his adult son, Wes, weren’t having much luck fishing for trout on a pond just south of the main reservoir, a pond that would be flooded over under the expansion.

David said he was worried how the changes will affect fishing at the state park, although state officials say fishing will actually be better with more water.

Grad student examining fish populations in Yellowstone

It’s estimated that lake trout were first introduced into the 212 square-mile Yellowstone Lake in the 1980s.

Since the lake trout are able to grow larger and reproduce nearly unchecked because they have few predators in the ecosystem, their impact on native Yellowstone cutthroat trout in what was once their stronghold has been significant.

The predation is no small matter considering that Yellowstone National Park contains 91 percent of the current habitat for Yellowstone cutthroat trout — 85 percent of the subspecies’ lake habitat.

Colo. streams in line for fisheries protection

Six Garfield County streams are being proposed for in-stream flow protection to preserve recreation and fisheries.

The Colorado Water Conservation Board is reviewing recommendations for stretches of the Dry Fork of Roan Creek west of De Beque, Beaver Creek south of Rifle, and East Divide Creek south of New Castle.

The East Divide Creek stretch being targeted actually crosses into Mesa County, and the other two creeks are just north of the Mesa County line.

Also up for consideration are the Left Fork of Carr Creek east of Douglas Pass, the East Fork of Parachute Creek on the Roan Plateau north of Parachute, and Meadow Creek north of New Castle, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reported this month.

State law allows the board to hold in-stream flow rights for purposes such as protecting recreation and fisheries, within certain limitations, including that the rights don’t injure other water rights.