From small mountain streams to McPhee Lake, the second largest in Colorado, Mesa Verde Country is one of the premiere fishing areas in Colorado. The Colorado Division of Wildlife has called McPhee Lake "the best fishing spot in the San Juan Basin." No matter where you decide to drop a line, the one thing you won't find in Mesa Verde Country is crowds – so relax, enjoy, and maybe you'll catch that big one! See below to download maps of our fishing areas.
Adults and children 15 and older must have a fishing license in Colorado for lakes, streams and reservoirs. Many local sporting goods, hardware, and convenience stores sell fishing licenses and provide information on fishing conditions. There are several varieties of resident and non-resident licenses, including 1-day and 5-day passes, so make sure you purchase just what you need.
The season is open year round. The Colorado Division of Wildlife (970.247.0855) provides free brochures with information about gold medal waters, baits and restrictions, possession limits and other pertinent information. Or, between April and the end of September, you can call 303-291-7539 to hear a recorded message for fishing information on Southwest Colorado.
Know Before You Go
- Certain areas are designated catch and release or have specific bait or general fishing restrictions
- Check local restrictions before fishing
- Catch & Release Tips: don’t play the fish to exhaustion, keep fish in the water if possible as you take out the hook, avoid squeezing the fish, re-acclimate the fish by gently facing it into the current, if a hook is swallowed, cut the line as close to the hook as possible and leave the hook in the fish
- Dolores River
- Mancos River
- McPhee Reservoir
Amenities & Services
- Colorado Division of Wildlife
Download fishing maps as a single download, or in sections as described below: