Vega State Park opens ramp to boating May 1, invasive mussels a focus of park operations in 2018
CPW News Release
COLLBRAN, Colo. - Vega State Park, one of Western Colorado's prime boating and recreation areas, will open its Island Boat Ramp to the public on May 1. Two additional boat ramps will open as soon as the ice melts, the weather warms and the water level rises.
The high-mountain reservoir is a popular destination for a variety of great outdoor recreation on land or water. Visitors can enjoy fishing, water skiing, sailing, windsurfing, jet skiing, hiking, camping, wildlife watching, fresh air and great scenery.
"This is a very scenic park and Grand Valley residents are lucky to have such a beautiful recreation area just a short drive away," said Park Manager James Masek. "We look forward to a great season, but there are a few things folks need to keep in mind to help us protect the park, and stay safe."
Masek says to ensure Vega State Park's reservoir remains a pristine recreation area, park personnel will continue their Aquatic Nuisance Species inspection program in ongoing efforts to stop the spread of invasive species, including zebra and quagga mussels, into the state's waterways. Boaters are asked to do their part by following the rules.
Lake Powell is among several western U.S. waters now suffering a severe and likely permanent plague of invasive mussels. The popular destination for many Colorado boaters is now considered a significant threat to local waters.
"Because of the situation in surrounding states, we are on the front lines in the battle against invasive species out here in Western Colorado," said Masek. "With a robust inspection program and with the public doing their part, we can keep our waters safe from the very harmful infestations other reservoirs across the country are now seeing. We'll be on the water and throughout the park enforcing all of our boating laws vigorously."
New this year, Vega State Park's Early Settlers and the Oak Point boat ramps will close each evening at 8:30 in response to the threat of invasive mussels however, the Island Boat Ramp will remain open 24-hours, allowing pre-inspected boats the opportunity to launch outside of inspections station hours.
For 2018, Vega State Park's ANS Inspections hours:
May 1- Sept. 3, 6 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Sept. 4, - Oct. 31, 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Prior to launching, CPW reminds boaters to be sure their vessel is registered, check that all of the required safety gear is on board and in good condition and remember that alcohol and boating do not mix.
"It's unfortunate, but each year, we hear about a bad accident resulting in serious injuries or a fatality because someone did not follow the basic rules about boating under the influence," said Masek. "Not to mention the serious legal consequences of getting caught. Please don't let that happen to you."
Boaters must have a few basic items on board, including personal flotation devices, a sound producing device, fire extinguisher, navigation lights and a current boat registration with visible registration numbers placed on the watercraft.
Colorado boating regulations require that all children under 13 wear a life jacket at all times while on the water.
For more information about required equipment and boating regulations, pick up the latest regulations brochure at your local park visitor center or find the information on the CPW website.
"Park rangers are available to provide a free equipment inspection to make sure you have what you need," said Masek. "We're here to help."
For more information about Vega State Park, call 970-487-3407, or visit www.cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/Parks/vega