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Lake: Estes Lake

Rogue ANS Inspector

Post By: Skookshunter      Posted: 10/17/2021 12:24:58 AM     Points: 1238    
Earlier today I got kicked off of Lake Estes by a rogue ANS inspector. I was fishing from my pedal drive kayak when he approached me in his boat. He was very condescending and said something to the affect of 'I know it's an easy rule to miss, but you need an ANS inspection on your kayak because it has an anchor, a spike (power pole), and a prop. So I'm going to have to kcik you off the lake.' I said that I didn't think he was correct, but he said that 'without a doubt' he was 100% sure I couldn't be out there without the ANS inspection.

The marina is also closed for the season so there was no way for me to even get an inspection resulting in me having to leave the lake. I asked if this was a Lake Estes specific thing because I have fished all over the state without ever needing a kayak inspection. He insisted that this was a state-wide rule and that I need my kayak inspected everywhere I go that has ANS inspectors. I put up a bit of a stink and he took me into the marina to show me the state ANS rules. In the rules it says watercraft containing a "marine propulsion system" require inspection. I asked what that means and he acted like I was dumb and said my prop is a "marine propulsion system." Long story short, I left the lake knowing he was wrong but didn't have any way to prove it. Well after reaching out to some other kayakers and by looking up the marina's own website I give you...

Exhibit A: The ACTUAL definition of "marine propulsion system" according to the official CPW ANS rules book. As you can see, a pedal drive is not an electric or gas motor. Neither is it an engine or jet drive.

Exhibit B: More evidence from the ANS rules stating that kayaks are exempt from ANS inspections

Exhibit C: Lake Estes' Marina OWN WEBSITE stating that "ANS inspecitons are not required for kayaks"

So in the end, I got to fish for about an hour. Wasn't worth the drive or the money I paid to get in.

If you'd like to help out the cause, I'd suggest sending an email to the marina manager Amy at the email address of

I think it's important that we call out nonsense like this as anglers. There are way too many instances of this sort of thing going on in our state right now and things only get worse if we allow rogue ANS inspectors to make up rules on the spot.
 Reply by: fishingmanlee      Posted: 10/17/2021 8:05:41 AM     Points: 220
I dunked a boat twice this year on Estes and I can tell you, by far, they were the most strict when it came to exit inspection. He literally made me hand dry everything before I could get a tag. My exit/decontamination at Boyd after coming from Powell wasn’t half as hard as exiting Estes. My guess is poor/over training and no state level regulation.
 Reply by: rdailey      Posted: 10/17/2021 9:19:26 AM     Points: 1766
The anchor and the power pole do make me wonder. Anchors are a normally ANS inspected item. I cannot see the pole being much different.

Kayak is one thing but those may be another. The anchor I think is.

Unless you are saying the pole is the anchor. Then I have no idea. Do power poles get looked at? Regular anchors certainly do.
 Reply by: Piscifer      Posted: 10/17/2021 9:42:27 AM     Points: 44
It does seem like you should have to get inspected if you've got something that digs into, or even makes contact with, the bottom of the lake. I'm with you on the propulsion part.
 Reply by: bhooker      Posted: 10/17/2021 9:51:27 AM     Points: 6
You know it's the luck of the draw sometimes. There are good ones and there are bad ones. Years ago at Chatfield i was told by an inspector i couldn't enter the lake because my open bow boat was wet. It was raining. Some things you can't fix.
 Reply by: rdailey      Posted: 10/17/2021 10:58:31 AM     Points: 1766
I am not pretending to know but an electric motor gets inspected I assume for weeds around it. Maybe mud on the blades or skeg.

Prop on a kick kayak wouldn't be different in that case.
 Reply by: Skookshunter      Posted: 10/17/2021 12:29:38 PM     Points: 1238
rdailey, whether or not these things SHOULD be inspected and what the regulations ACTUALLY SAY are two different things. The fact is, you dont inspect a pedal drive kayak per state policies. Even if a kayak has an anchor on it, that doesn't change things. The rules do not say that they inspect watercraft if it has an anchor. In fact, they say that they dont inspect kayaks because they "rarely use an anchor". The key word being "rarely." Yes the anchors get inspected when an inspection is required, but you do not inspect watercraft simply based on the presence of an anchor (see the ANS rules I will attach as a link)

Bottom line is, the ANS inspectors don't know what the rules state and it is their job to know!

Imagine knowing the rules better than a dude who kicks you off the lake and prevents you from recreating. Also imagine this person being very condescending while doing so. That's exactly what happened yesterday.
If you want to read up on the ANS policies then here is a link to the documentation: [log in for link]

Pay special attention to chapter 4. It is very clear that what the inspector said/did is very different than what the rules are.
 Reply by: SirGreg88      Posted: 10/17/2021 12:48:15 PM     Points: 201
You're lucky the FBI (KGB) wasn't called in!!! Good night now!!!!
 Reply by: Eyefishing      Posted: 10/17/2021 12:55:27 PM     Points: 4944
The way I have understood, if it floats it needs an inspection. that's the way it is in Utah. even float tubes need inspection.
 Reply by: Skookshunter      Posted: 10/17/2021 12:57:11 PM     Points: 1238
Eyefishing Colorado isnt Utah. Very different rules. Read the link I sent and look at the pictures I provided.
 Reply by: rdailey      Posted: 10/17/2021 1:23:33 PM     Points: 1766
I understand where you are coming from and I would feel the same way. Asking CPW to have everyone trained and on the same page is not asking too much.

If they came out in the Ranger Boat this wasn't some kid doing a summer job.

Myself, I'd take a ride down to Broadway and find somebody to talk to. And if you are right get a name to reference in the future. Maybe grab a few business cards.

Otherwise this is windmill jousting to no purpose.
 Reply by: Skookshunter      Posted: 10/17/2021 1:39:47 PM     Points: 1238
He wasnt a ranger or affiliated with CPW. Just an inspector who works at the marina. I am taking it up with a lot of people actually: the marina manager, the town of Estes, CPW, and the head of the ANS committee. My goal here is to essentially get the word out that the inspectors need to know how to do their job. The entire marina at Estes also needs to make some changes.
Let me be clear. They have the right to require kayak inspections, but they need to state that somewhere within their own rules. They cant just do whatever they want and base it off of CO's ANS rules because they dont match up. They need to update their website, post signs, or do whatever they can to fix the discrepancies.
 Reply by: rdailey      Posted: 10/17/2021 2:45:31 PM     Points: 1766
Sounds right. Look forward to hearing how it turns out.

Take the high ground. Be nice.
 Reply by: pike&cats      Posted: 10/17/2021 4:24:45 PM     Points: 57
Whats the chance your frustration with the rules that in my opinion should include pedal kayaks or anything with an anchor get you nothing but forced inspections.
 Reply by: rdailey      Posted: 10/17/2021 4:41:00 PM     Points: 1766
I'd rather have inspections then not knowing. Same page and clarity is worth a lot.
 Reply by: Trailerman      Posted: 10/17/2021 4:41:22 PM     Points: 120
I have thought the same thing. With the amount of kayaks out on lakes these days how would you know if they were out on lake Powell the week before? I don’t want to have my kayak inspected but if ANS mitigation is the goal then it only makes sense we are headed that way. I probably would just find a lake where there are less regs nearby to launch my kayak. I wouldn’t want the stress of the whole thing.
 Reply by: rdailey      Posted: 10/17/2021 4:53:55 PM     Points: 1766
Non water supply lake. No plumbing. No inspection.

Just not many of them. Sort of like Courtland Sutton making a catch right now.
 Reply by: Skookshunter      Posted: 10/17/2021 5:09:41 PM     Points: 1238
The guy on the committee said this is already in the agenda for deciding next years ANS rules. He also said the committee is split in half between whether or not they get inspected in the future or not. In other words, I foresee it definitely coming in the future and just a matter of time. Mostly because of pedal kayak popularity these days, and the fact that its money they are missing out on. However, many people purchase a pedal kayak because of the no inspection. A change in the rules would just put those folks back into either a boat or a paddle kayak.
 Reply by: rdailey      Posted: 10/17/2021 5:43:06 PM     Points: 1766
I'd buy one for hand launch places like Gross where I'd want to troll. I think they are a great choice.

But I do have a boat boat. But I like the idea of your setup.
 Reply by: shmiley1      Posted: 10/17/2021 5:55:57 PM     Points: 2674
Im not familiar with regs or personel at Estes but generally "inspectors" dont have the authority to remove you from a body of water. They are not allowed to detain you or even prevent you from launching themselfs. They can however call CPW, USFS, cops ect and they WILL come. Launching without required inspections is against the law and there are several ways that law enforcement can handle it.
Thats not to say CPW officers are not ever present or that they dont ever perform inspections. During the certification classes i took, they specifically warned against confrontations and to leave enforcement to those with the authority to address it.
Things do change tho, so i could be wrong and Estes itself may have its own procedures.
 Reply by: ozzy      Posted: 10/17/2021 7:56:57 PM     Points: 6294
This is interesting. I was at Horsetooth last weekend with my kayak and a trolling motor. I pulled up to the inspector and told her I have a kayak (strapped to my roof) and I use a trolling motor. She just waved me on. Sounds like she really didnt do her job, although I am not complaining. I would have had to pull the trolling motor out of the trunk. I sure hope they dont make all kayaks get inspected. I like to paddle horsetooth all year.
 Reply by: Skookshunter      Posted: 10/17/2021 8:10:08 PM     Points: 1238
Shmiley I was on the fence about telling him to call the cops or CPW while I continued to fish. At least then I could have someone with actual authority look at the rules without bias. I ended up going elsewhere (without getting an inspection btw) and catching some walleye for dinner.
 Reply by: shmiley1      Posted: 10/18/2021 7:01:57 AM     Points: 2674
You prolly chose the right move. Altho if a CPW officer came out they may have educated the inspector. On the other side, they could have backed up the inspector and ruined the rest of your day.
 Reply by: rdailey      Posted: 10/18/2021 4:00:12 PM     Points: 1766
Not pot stirring, just reading and sharing. Right where it says Kayaks and others are exempt is also says marine propulsion systems are not exempt.

Marine propulsion systems must be inspected
regardless of the type of motor, engine, or watercraft.
They are not exempt.

The anchor and powerpole was just icing on the cake probably.

Getting it cleared up is the best answer certainly.
 Reply by: malty falcon      Posted: 10/18/2021 4:36:32 PM     Points: 9478
even if you are right, and I think you are, there's no point in arguing with those guys. They are alone and in control, and it could have been hours or even days for the inspector to get the REAL information.

My only advice is to find out how he's gonna put a seal on a kayak, what identifying numbers he'd write on the inspection receipt, etc.

But, reasoning with him probably wouldn't have worked anyway.
 Reply by: Skookshunter      Posted: 10/18/2021 8:27:49 PM     Points: 1238
rdailey read the definition of marine propulsion systems in my first picture. It's pretty clear that pedal drives aren't included under their definition. Anyways, I have cooled off a bit since the incident. I am still in the process of communicating with CPW's ANS officials and the folks over at Lake Estes. The best they are willing to admit at this point is that it's a "gray area." I actually disagree with that statement as I think the rules and regs are pretty clear on what "marine propulsion systems" means, and the rules even go on to show pictures of different types of watercrafts that should be inspected. I'm sure you can guess that pedal kayaks didn't make the inspection list! I have got in touch with ANS inspectors from other lakes in NOCO too that have confirmed what I knew all along, as they are not inspecting pedal drives. Anyways, I expect that the folks over at Estes will eventually recognize they are in the wrong and will update their lake specific rules accordingly.
 Reply by: malty falcon      Posted: 10/18/2021 8:36:48 PM     Points: 9478
Grey area- that's pretty funny. Try telling the Judge it's a "grey area'- I don't think the LAW has GREY AREAS!
 Reply by: rdailey      Posted: 10/19/2021 12:01:19 PM     Points: 1766
This is very grey. Or just not thought all the way through.

If something goes into the lake bottom it must be inspected. But they do note kayaks are exempt because they rarely have anchors. They wrote that down presumably knowing some kayaks would have anchors. Those are the rare ones.

But in the exempt boat list they say all marine propulsion must be inspected but do not mention pedal drive. but their point is if you are an exempt craft with propulsion you get that inspected.

Having pedal drives added to the propulsion list would not surprise me. But if not I am happy for you too.

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