Highline Lake officially opens to boaters
CPW News Release
LOMA, Colo. – Though slightly delayed by weather this season, Colorado Parks and Wildlife has opened the water at Highline Lake State Park to boating and other water recreation. Get your boats, fishing gear, jet skis, water skis, wakeboards and wet or dry suits ready for all of the activities now available on the lake.
Boaters and their guests are reminded to operate safely and responsibly at all times. Before heading to the water, be sure that your boat is registered and an aquatic nuisance species (ANS) stamp has been purchased, and have your watercraft inspected for ANS.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is continuing its efforts to prevent the spread of harmful aquatic nuisance species, introducing a new ANS stamp in 2019 that is required to launch in Colorado’s waters. Boaters are urged to do their part to help prevent the spread of zebra and quagga mussels - among other invaders - into the state's waterways. It is important to always clean, drain and dry your boat to ensure a cleaner and faster inspection.
"At Highline, and in many other waters in the state, your boat must be inspected prior to launching," said Park Manager Alan Martinez. "Colorado has been successful so far in preventing an infestation, but we need the public's continued cooperation in this effort more than ever before to keep our waters free of invasive species."
Through the month of March, Aquatic Nuisance Species inspectors will be available from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the west ramp at Highline Lake State Park. If an inspector is not available at the west ramp, boaters are advised to call or go to the Visitor Center at the east side to ensure they get an inspection, and decontamination if needed. Boaters are advised to read posted inspection and decontamination schedules for changes as the boating season progresses.
Martinez adds that an infestation of quagga or zebra mussels would be very harmful, significantly limiting a reservoir’s ability to provide recreation and irrigation.
"We can all do our part to prevent this from happening here in Colorado," said Martinez.
Boaters should also ensure that all required safety gear is on board and in good condition, and plan to keep alcoholic beverages on shore. Throughout the year, Colorado Parks and Wildlife patrols all state waters to provide assistance and enforce boating laws, including equipment inspections and watching for boaters operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
"A fun day on the lake can quickly turn expensive or even tragic if you don’t have safe and approved life jackets and other necessary safety equipment," said Martinez. "We are always available to provide a free inspection so that you can be sure you are safe on the water and avoid any fines for missing or poor equipment."
Boaters should also be aware that under Colorado law, boating under the influence mirrors the state’s driving under the influence law. Sentences for a first-time BUI offender range from five days to six months in jail, a fine of $100 to $1,000, up to two years of probation, and a mandatory three-month ban on boating in state waters.
"We want you to have a great day at the park and we are here to answer questions and provide assistance,” said Martinez. “We will also actively enforce all boating laws to make sure that everyone can enjoy a fun day on the water."
In addition to the variety of water sports available to park visitors, Highline Lake State Park offers many other activities to outdoor enthusiasts in the Grand Valley, such as camping, biking, hiking, hunting and fishing.
Visit the CPW website for more information about Aquatic Nuisance Species inspections or the ANS stamp, or to learn more about boating safety.