Gunnison Recreational River, Colorado
Make a trip down the Gunnison River, which flows through the Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area, for some world-class trout fishing in gold-medal waters! Nearly all the Gunnison River within the NCA is designated gold medal trout water, which technically means it supports 60 pounds of trout and at least 12 trout larger than 14 inches per acre. In layman’s terms, this just means it’s one of Colorado’s best spots for fly fishing. The river’s cold, clear water support a variety of trout. Brown trout are the most abundant, but rainbow trout are also becoming more plentiful in the area.
You can access the NCA, about 50 miles south of Grand Junction, via several four-wheel-drive roads and then backpack, day-hike or float the river to get your fishing fix, Other recreational opportunities include, dog walking, trail running, mountain bicycling, horseback riding and other non-motorized recreation activities between Orchard Mesa and Whitewater along the Gunnison River bluffs.
Photo by Bob Wick, BLM.
The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act provides three levels of river classification: wild, scenic, and recreational.
Wild rivers are free of dams, generally inaccessible except by trail, and represent vestiges of primitive America.
Scenic rivers are free of dams, with shorelines or watersheds that are still largely primitive and shorelines that are largely undeveloped, but accessible in places by roads.
Recreational rivers are readily accessible by road or railroad, may have some development along their shorelines, and may have been dammed in the past.