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Dustin and Brent fishing the Colorado River between Lees Ferry boat ramp and the Paria River junction.

The data that Dustin and I gathered for our independent research project at Lees Ferry, AZ is intended to give us some insight into the fishing quality upstream, within and downstream of Lees Ferry. What we found is that the Colorado River holds a lot of healthy rainbow trout. Most of the fish in this study were caught using a black and silver zebra midge fly pattern.Image

Black and silver zebra midge fly pattern. (

After compiling our data and generating some basic graphs, we were able to come up with 3 conclusions. The first of which has to do with fish species diversification. In talking with local anglers and our personal experiences, the only fish species commonly caught in the Colorado River is the rainbow trout. there are three reasons for this conclusion. Firstly, this section of the Colorado River, downstream of Glen Canyon dam has been stocked with rainbow trout. Secondly, the type of lures used by most anglers who come to fish at Lees Ferry use types made to appeal to rainbow trout. Lastly, the rainbow trout species is considered invasive and over time, populations of other fish species tends to taper off. 



Graph depicting the total quantity of fish caught upstream, within Lees Ferry and Downstream of the Paria River.


The second conclusion to be made from our data deals with variations in fish length. The graph below characterizes each section of the Colorado River in terms of the quantity and lengths of fish caught.



Graph characterizing the size and quantity of fish caught in each of the three section of the Colorado River.

The third and final conclusion of our study is that the quality of fishing below Glen Canyon Dam is notably affected by water temperature. We found most of the fish were caught early in the morning and late in the afternoon. The data for this conclusion will be revealed in the final presentation.




All things considered, our research was a success. Dustin and I were able to make contact with numerous anglers regarding the survey and were very pleased with the number of people willing to participate. However, we did not receive back as much data as we would have liked but we were able to compile enough data for the purposes of generating some figures designed to reveal interesting characteristics about the Colorado River fishery in and around Lee’s Ferry, Arizona. 

In talking to some of the local anglers, I felt like we were able to get a good idea of what kind of fish are commonly caught and also the type of bait most successful on the Colorado River. 

In hindsight, I think I would have geared our research toward more personal interview style because it seemed that we were more likely to get relevant information from anglers by speaking one-on-one with them individually. 

Overall, I think we did what were capable of in the time we had to conduct our research. Regardless of the amount of data collected, I know I had a great time and I’m pretty sure Dustin had a blast as well catching his first trout (15″ rainbow) on his own fly rod. Looking forward to going back for some more of that action.
I’m thirsty…

Lee’s Ferry fishing blog

Here’s a great blog I found on the recent fish caught during the early spring hatch in the Colorado River at Lee’s Ferry, Arizona.

Update to the recent geology that occurred in the area of our upcomming field trip.


Our research at Lee’s Ferry will consist of conducting a scientific survey. Our goal is to evaluate the quality of the Lee’s Ferry section of the Colorado River with respect to flow. I hypothesize that there is a direct influence on the quality of fishing based on the flow rate of the Colorado River downstream of Glen Canyon Dam. My partner and I plan to gather data from sources such as local and/or vacationing anglers as well as the USGS realtime water database. We will initiate our research by personally approaching some of our campground neighbors to see if any fellow anglers may be interested in participating in our survey. We have prepared a short questionnaire of basic information pertaining to the duration, location and type of fishing they plan on doing while at Lee’s Ferry. Ideally, the majority of our data will come from the people we get to take the survey. We will provide them with a simple-to-use data collection form. That way our surveyees can keep track of their catch during their stay. My individual part in this research will be to personally collect as much data as possible while also remotely monitoring water flow and clarity of water. By compiling all of this information, we should be able to generate some basic plots for data analysis. The more people we can get to partake, the better interpretations and conclusions we can make about the fishery.


Lee's Ferry Fishing Report

Rainbow trout

The section of the Colorado River that includes Lee’s Ferry, AZ is home to some world class fly fishing. For our field research project, Dustin Rose and I will be attempting to gather data on (fish for) trout within this stretch of the Colorado River. I think the best way to do conduct our research will be to consult with local guides on recommended flies/bait to fish with, locations and times to fish certain areas within Lee’s Ferry and also talk with other fisherman in the area about their catch. I certainly expect there to be difficulties gathering our data because without local guidance and knowledge of the river, I do not expect to catch any trout in an environment that is so heavily fished on a regular basis. That being said, If anyone wants to contribute and loan me some money to get a guide, that would be really cool…. 🙂 just kidding.Image

Scientists are expecting a near miss from Asteroid 2012 – DA14 on February 15, 2013. Weighing 130,000 tonnes, the asteroid is traveling at a speed of 5 miles per second and is expected to pass Earth at a distance of 17,200 miles. NASA made a statement saying this is a “record setting close approach” to earth since sky reports began back in the 1990’s.


Location map of a magnitude 2.8 earthquake on Saturday February 2, 2013