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Boaters to be on honor system as CPW leaves ramp gates open 24 hours a day when ANS inspection stations switch to shorter, winter hours
10/10/2018
Credit:
Colorado Parks and Wildlife
These seasonal hours and protocols offer area boaters more freedom to come and go at Lake Pueblo when ANS inspection and decontamination stations switch to winter hours.

Effective Oct. 15, Lake Pueblo’s boat ramp gates will remain open 24 hours a day. Boaters are required to use a drop-box system to certify their watercraft have passed an ANS inspection, if they enter or leave when inspection stations are closed.

“Although we are allowing 24-hour access, we are not relaxing the strict inspection procedures that have kept Lake Pueblo free of invasive zebra and quagga mussels,” said Monique Mullis, Lake Pueblo manager. “We are trusting our boaters to live up to the demands of the drop-box system.

“If the drop-box system is to work, boaters must honor it and take it seriously. Or we’ll be forced to lock the gates when inspection stations close for the day, as we did up until last winter.”

The drop-box system was made possible after Lake Pueblo was removed from the list of waters testing positive for invasive mussels in 2017.

During the summer boating season, CPW staffs ANS inspection stations 18 hours a day. On Oct. 15, ANS inspection stations will only operate from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day.

Hours change again Nov. 15, operating from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Feb. 28.

From March 1-April 14, the ANS inspection stations go back to operating hours of 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Finally, on April 15, summer hours resume and the stations will be open 5 a.m.-11 p.m.

When ANS inspection stations are open, all trailered or motorized watercraft must be inspected by on-site staff prior to launching and after exiting the lake.

For boaters launching or leaving the lake during off hours, a “pre-inspection” requirement will be enforced.

When boats are inspected upon leaving the lake, each boat owner receives a green seal and a blue receipt verifying the boat and trailer are free of invasive species.

The pre-inspection program requires boaters entering the lake during off-hours to log in at the boat ramp, remove their Colorado green seal and deposit it, and their receipt, in a drop box at the ramp. This allows rangers to compare the log and seals to trailers parked at the ramp.

Boaters who fail to follow the pre-inspection protocol can be intercepted on the water or as they come off the lake. They face a citation for the violation and a fine.

For more information about CPW’s ANS Program and the Mussel-Free Colorado Act, visit http://cpw.state.co.us/aboutus/Pages/ISP-ANS.aspx.