41. Visit Watson Lake and the Fish Hatchery

Just north of Bellvue you’ll find a beautiful state forest area known as Watson lake. This 70 acre lake is right next to the Poudre river and also has a state fish hatchery next to it. The views are awesome. The west face of a huge hogback provides an gorgeous red rock backdrop. There are a bunch of covered picnic benches surrounding the lake which provided a nice place for my first outdoor bbq of the year last Sunday. There used to be grills next to the picnic benches but they seem to have been removed so be sure to bring your own grill if you plan to cook. Also check out the short but nicely maintained trail that winds along the river.

Of course this is a popular fishing spot. Anglers will find mostly smallmouth bass, brown trout, walleye and even tiger muskie have been caught here. If the lake fishing is slow and you need to switch it up, just walk across the road and drop your line the river. If the river isn’t producing either and you just want to see some fish, there are many thousands available for viewing (but not catching) over at the fish hatchery. About 300,000 trout are raised here each year and kids will love walking along the concrete raceways and feeding the swarms of fish. You’ll see different sizes of fish in the different holding areas including a few enormous fish at the end of each tank. Apprently these big girls provide all the eggs! If I remember correctly, self guided fish tours are available from 9-4pm (call 970-482-1659 if you need to confirm these hours). Remember to bring a few quarters for fish food!

Map to Watson lake

3 Comments to “41. Visit Watson Lake and the Fish Hatchery”

  1. kevin.cushman 5 February 2012 at 12:45 pm #

    How much is this?

  2. JTAMYoung 28 May 2012 at 6:54 pm #

    It is free! But to fish you do need to purchase a state fishing license.

    We were just there today (memorial day 2012). The current posted hatchery hours are from 7am-3pm

  3. Anonymous 3 July 2017 at 11:08 am #


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