Since 2013 the water flowing through beautiful Browns Canyon National Monument has been listed by the The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission as Gold Medal Trout Waters. It took more than twenty years to reach that status and in that time the Arkansas River has undergone a big transformation. Metal pollution from nearby mining areas impacted the habitat so greatly that if fish could survive, they would not live longer than three years.
With a great effort from state and federal agencies, this river has achieved the consistency of specific gold medal criteria and is now a highly sought after fishing destination in Colorado.
With 102 consecutive miles of Gold Medal Water, The upper Arkansas River is the longest reach in the state to achieve this elite fishing status. Click here to see where other Gold Medal Waters are in Colorado.