Grand Mesa Fishing Map
Perched on a 10,000-foot plateau, Grand Mesa National Forest is home to more than 200 lakes as well as multiple streams, rivers and creeks. The waters are stocked by the Colorado Department of Wildlife and teem primarily with rainbows, brooks and cutthroat, mostly ranging from eight to 12 inches long. Occasionally, a lucky angler will come across fish more than 18 inches in length, though.
The mesa's south slope is called the Land O'Lakes region and is home to 18 lakes, all within walking distance of each other. Island Lake is the largest of the group, and vacationers can get a spectacular glimpse of it from the scenic Land O'Lakes lookout on the Grand Mesa Scenic Byway. A visitor's center in the area also offers interpretive exhibits, a bookstore and plenty of Forest Service staff to answer questions.
On the north side of the mesa, vacationers will find the Mesa Lakes area. Many of the lakes in this area are certified Gold Medal waters and are easily accessed using the area's well-developed trail system.
Just to the east, the Cottonwood Lakes offer a true backcountry fishing experience. Many of the lakes in this area are secluded and accessible only by foot, four-wheel drive or horseback - contrasting greatly with the lakes that are easily accessible from the road, which are more populated and offer amenities such as restrooms and boat launch ramps.
The large Vega Reservoir lies outside the forest and is a great year-round fishing hole, with plenty of trails for hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. The reservoir, as well as most of the other lakes in the area, is a popular spot for local wildlife, so keep an eye out for elk, deer and even bears.
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Grand Mesa Area, Colorado includes: Austin, Cedaredge, Collbran, Eckert, Mesa