CPW reminds of responsibilities as popular fisheries begin opening to boating in Grand County
CPW News Release
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Boating season is ramping up quickly in many areas of Colorado. Several lower-elevation reservoirs have recently opened and more will open in the next few weeks. In the state's northwest region, several popular, higher elevation reservoirs in Grand County will unlock their ramps beginning in early May.
Williams Fork Reservoir - May 11
Granby Reservoir - Sunset boat ramp, May 17
Stillwater boat ramp open at ice-off, no date confirmed
Arapaho Bay ramp to remain closed to trailered, motorized watercraft - all boats must be inspected and launched from the Stillwater boat ramp only.
Grand Lake - Public ramp, May 17
Shadow Mountain Reservoir - Green Ridge boat ramp, May 17
Once open, hours of operation for all ramps are 6 a.m. - 8 p.m., daily.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife reminds boaters they must comply with Colorado's mandatory boat inspection program.
"Boaters must remain vigilant about inspecting, cleaning, draining and drying watercraft to prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species, including quagga and zebra mussels," said Elizabeth Brown, CPW invasive species program manager. "Even if only one boater lets his guard down or selfishly launches their boat illegally, the water resources we all enjoy for outdoor recreation can be severely harmed."
Brown says all watercraft launched out of state must be inspected prior to launching in any Colorado waters. This includes boat parts brought into the state. In addition, all trailered and motorized watercraft must be professionally inspected by state certified personnel before launching, as required.
"We ask for everyone to do their part," said Robert Walters, invasive species specialists for CPW. "We'll be very vigilant and working hard to keep these pests out of Colorado, but we can't do it without the public's cooperation. Although we ask for everyone to do their part voluntarily, we remind the public there are fines for violating the state's boating laws."
Although Colorado has not seen a full-blown infestation of quagga and zebra mussels, the possibility continues to threaten the state's municipal, agricultural and industrial water supply. Because the mussels propagate by the billions - as they have in many waters across the country - their immense numbers can severely clog water delivery and power generation infrastructure, leading to expensive mitigation costs that could be passed on to the public.
"We've kept them out so far, but they continue to encroach," said Brown. "Lake Powell, one of the most popular waters near Colorado, is now fully infested and suffering the consequences, including becoming a threat to Colorado. We all need to work together to keep what happened there from happening here as well."
Colorado Parks and Wildlife reminds boaters to prepare for the season by making sure their watercraft is safe and has all required safety equipment on board and in good working order. In addition, boaters must register their craft and purchase the new aquatic nuisance species stamp.
Fishing licenses are available for purchase online at the CPW website.