Gold Medal Waters are the highest quality cold-water habitats and have the capability to produce many quality size (14 inches or longer) trout.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has established criteria and management guidelines to support the public interest in angling, observing and protecting these significant cold-water fishery resources.

Gold Medal Waters are defined as any river or lake that is producing a standing stock of at least 60 pounds per acre, and at least 12 trout that are 14 inches or longer per acrew on a sustained basis.

River segments designated as Gold Medal Trout Waters must be a minimum of 2 miles in length and lakes must be a minimum of 50 acres.

The following lakes and streams in Colorado offer the greatest potential for trophy trout fishing:

Gold Medal Streams

Animas River: From Lightner Creek to Rivera Crossing bridge
Arkansas River: From the confluence with the Lake Fork of the Arkansas, near Leadville, downstream to Parkdale at the Highway 50 bridge, crossing above the Royal Gorge.
Blue River: From Dillon Reservoir dam to Green Mountain Reservoir inlet; also from Green Mountain Reservoir dam to Colorado River.
Colorado River: From Fraser River to Troublesome Creek.
Fryingpan River: From Ruedi Reservoir dam to the Roaring Fork River.
Gore Creek: From Red Sandstone Creek to Eagle River.
Gunnison River: From 200 yards downstream of Crystal Reservoir dam to the North Fork of the Gunnison
North Platte River: From the south boundary of Routt National Forest to Wyoming (Northgate Canyon)
Rio Grande: From the Highway 149 bridge at South Fork downstream to the Rio Grande canal diversion structure
Roaring Fork River: From the Fryingpan River to the Colorado River.
South Platte River:

  • From the confluence of the middle and south forks to Spinney Mountain Reservoir inlet.
  • From Spinney Mountain Reservoir outlet to Eleven Mile Reservoir inlet.
  • From Cheesman Reservoir dam to the south boundary of the Wigwam Club property.
  • From the north boundary of the Wigwam Club property to Scraggy View picnic ground.
  • Middle fore, from the Highway 9 bridge to the south fork confluence.

Gold Medal Lakes

North Delaney Butte Lake in Jackson County
Spinney Mountain Reservoirin Park County
Steamboat Lake in Routt County

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Source: Colorado Parks and Wildlife
(See the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Wild Trout and Gold Medal Waters Policy.)

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