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Natural Areas

Natural Areas Fishing#

There are 16 City of Fort Collins Natural Areas that allow fishing. Explore this page for information on fishing access, species present, and regulations.

Fishing on the Poudre River at McMurry Natural Area.

Fishing Regulations#

  • A Colorado fishing license is required for any angler over 15 years old. 
  • Ice fishing is not permitted.
  • Canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, motorized and non-motorized boats, and belly boats ARE allowed on ponds open to fishing. Know what safety equipment and licensing is required for your vessel. 
  • Many anglers prefer to catch and release and it is required in some sections of Gateway Natural Area. Learn more about catch and release. 
  • Pack it in, pack it out. Please dispose of discarded fishing line in the special recycling containers. Abandoned line causes many wildlife deaths.

This webpage highlights a few fishing regulations, read the full regulations here. If you are not sure about fishing regulations, contact a ranger at 970-416-2147.

Places to Fish#

Use the map and list below to find which natural areas allow fishing or download the fishing brochure. 

Fishing Brochure

Natural Areas that Allow Fishing

Fishing is allowed in these natural areas:#

Arapaho Bend Natural Area: Pond fishing is permitted east of Strauss Cabin Rd. Some river areas closed to fishing and access; no fishing from Arapaho Bend's north boundary, downstream approximately 300 yards. This area is posted with closure signs. Also, no river fishing or access to river allowed east of I-25. Fishing and river access are permitted west of I-25 upriver several hundred yards to the area closed by posted signs. Parking at the Harmony Transfer Center lot or Strauss Cabin Road parking lot.

Gateway Natural Area: River fishing is permitted, access is from Gateway's parking areas.

Gustav Swanson Natural Area: River fishing is permitted. Access is from the parking lot off of Linden Street.

Kingfisher Point Natural Area: No river access on the north side of the river. River fishing is permitted on the south side of river. Pond fishing is permitted on the west side of Timberline Rd. Access is from the paved Poudre Trail or the Kingfisher Point Natural Area parking lot off Timberline Road.

Magpie Meander Natural Area: Pond fishing permitted. Parking and access is from Soft Gold Park parking lot on Hickory Street.

Mallard's Nest Natural Area: Fishing in Spring Creek permitted.

McMurry Natural Area: River and pond fishing permitted, please use designated access points only. Parking access is from Hemlock Street parking lot.

North Shields Ponds Natural Area: Pond fishing permitted. Parking and access is from the Shields Street parking lot.

Pineridge Natural Area: Fishing permitted in Dixon Reservoir. Access is from the County Rd 42C parking lot or from Maxwell Natural Area's parking lot.

Prospect Ponds Natural Area: Pond fishing permitted. River fishing permitted along Poudre River Trail between the two diversion structures on City Water Reclamation property, southeast of Prospect Ponds Natural Area. Access from the paved Poudre Trail. Parking at the south Prospect Ponds Natural Area parking lot off Sharp Point Drive.

Riverbend Ponds Natural Area: River and pond fishing permitted. Parking and access from the three Riverbend Ponds parking lots, off Cherly, Cairns or Prospect streets.

River's Edge Natural Area: River fishing permitted. Access is from Legacy Park off Woodlawn Drive.

Running Deer Natural Area: Pond fishing permitted on the CSU Environmental Learning Center's small pond near Prospect with fishing pier. Access is from the Prospect Street parking lot.

Salyer Natural Area: River fishing permitted. Parking access is from Legacy Park off Woodlawn Drive or McMurry Natural Area parking lot off Hemlock street.

Udall Natural Area: Fishing not permitted in the ponds or on the the south side of the river. Access to the north side of the river is okay from the paved Poudre River Trail. For this access, park at Buckingham Park off First Street.

Williams Natural Area: River bank fishing allowed north of the Mulberry Bridge. Designated trail access parking available at northeast corner of Mulberry and Lemay in the retail development.

Fishing Not Allowed

Fishing is not allowed in these natural areas:#

  •  Arapaho Bend river fishing and access to river not allowed east of I-25.
  • Butterfly Woods 
  • Cattail Chorus
  • Cottonwood Hollow
  • Fossil Creek Reservoir
  • Pelican Marsh
  • Running Deer
  • Springer

Fish Species in Natural Areas#

Use the chart below to see which species are present in each natural area. 

Fish Present Arapaho Bend Natural Area Kingfisher Point Natural Area McMurry Natural Area North Shields Ponds Natural Area Pineridge Natural Area Prospect Ponds Natural Area Riverbend Ponds Natural Area
Black bullhead x   x x     x
Black crappie x       x x x
Bluegill x x x x x x x
Channel catfish x   x x x x x
Common carp x x x x x x x
Fathead minnow           x  
Gizzard shad x         x x
Golden shiner         x    
Green sunfish   x x x x x x
Largemouth bass x x x x x x x
Pumpkinseed     x   x    
Smallmouth bass x x          
Spottail shiner         x    
White crappie x         x x
White sucker x   x x   x x
Wiper x           x
Yellow perch x x x x     x

 

Colorado Parks & Wildlife Stocking  Arapaho Bend Natural Area Kingfisher Point Natural Area

McMurry Natural Area

 

North Shields Ponds Natural Area Pineridge Natural Area Prospect Ponds Natural Area Riverbend Ponds Natural Area
Black bullhead              
Black crappie x         x  
Bluegill x   x East pond x East pond x x x
Channel catfish x   x East pond x East pond x x  
Common carp              
Fathead minnow              
Gizzard shad              
Golden shiner              
Green sunfish              
Largemouth bass x   x East pond     x x
Pumpkinseed              
Smallmouth bass x x Northeast pond only          
Spottail shiner              
White crappie           x  
White sucker              
Wiper x           x
Yellow perch