RFS&I's Lakes

Red Feather Storage & Irrigation Company (RFS&I) owns and manages eight private fishing lakes located in Red Feather Lakes. While these lakes are smaller and shallower than modern day reservoirs, they are excellent fisheries for trout. We have two types of fishing, catch and release at two of our lakes for the fly and lure fisherman; and bait fishing (along with fly and lures) at the other six lakes. This page discusses a brief history of the lakes, fishery management, answers some of the most common questions, and points to a more detailed discussion of each lake.

History - during the late 1800's and early 1900's, the lakes in Red Feather were built and managed as a source for irrigation. In the 1920's, Red Feather became a destination for recreation; camping, hiking, hunting, boating and of course, fishing. In 1948 a group of Red Feather citizens formed the Red Feather Storage & Irrigation Company, with the purpose to own and provide private fishing to the residents. During the 50's and 60's, Hiawatha, Nokomis, Ramona, Snake and Letitia rotated on a bi-annual basis; meaning - stock the lake and let the fish grow one year, then open it to fishing the next year. By the late 60's there was too much fishing pressure, so the Company moved to having all lakes open for fishing every year. From the late 60's to early 80's, three lakes were brought on-line; Shagwa, Erie, and Apache; which added 33% more fishing area to the program. Additionally, the Company has been improving both the supply ditches and lake structures in order to allow maximum water storage and safety per our water decrees.

For a more detailed history of Red Feather or the Company, visit Red Feather Historical Society
or the Red Feather Lakes Library for books and oral histories about the area.

RFS&I's Fishing

Fishery Management - our relatively shallow lakes and slightly alkaline chemistry combine to create a prolific mountain fishery. There are many goals and factors that go into the management of the fisheries:

Challenges - as any aqua-farmer will attest, there are a lot of factors in managing a fishery. Some of the issues outside the topics mentioned above include:


Lakes - following are in-depth overviews of each lake, highlighting their history, fishery description, topographic map, and specific facts (location, size, etc.).

Lake Surface Area, AF Max Depth, ft Boating Fishing Species
Apache 17.5 15 Yes All types All, Walleye, Perch
Erie 19.8 14 Yes All types All, more Browns
Hiawatha 40.2 21 Yes All types All
Letitia 22.2 15 Yes All types All
Nokomis 13.8 12 Yes Catch & Rls All, Perch
Ramona 12.2 15 No All types All, Perch
Shagwa 9.3 12 No Catch & Rls Donaldson Rainbows
Snake 10.1 13 No All types All

Fishing: "Catch & Release" is limited to barbless single hook flies and lures. And the possession limit is one fish (as in "keep one, you're done"). "All types", also allows bait fishing (you must keep fish caught with bait), see the rules about possession limits and other restrictions.
Species: "All" includes Rainbows, Browns, Cutbows, Palominos, and if available - Brooks or Cutthroats. Grass Carp are stocked in all lakes.

Best ways to handle and release fish - With more fishermen doing catch-and-release fishing, it is very important when releasing a fish to follow these guidelines: