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Elkhead Reservoir's boat ramp closes for the season
With autumn bringing much cooler temperatures and winter weather only a few weeks away, the 2019 boating season has come to an end at Elkhead Reservoir. Colorado Parks and Wildlife says although the boat ramp and aquatic nuisance species inspection station closed Sept. 30, there are still great opportunities to enjoy outdoor recreation at northwestern Colorado's largest body of water.

Water recreationists can still hand-launch vessels at the Northeast Access day-use area however, all motorized vessels must be inspected prior to launching. An ANS inspection station remains active at nearby Yampa River/Elkhead Reservoir State Park headquarters. Call 970-276-2061 to confirm staffing and inspection availability. Vessel decontamination at the park will not be available for the remainder of the hand-launch boating season.

"It's cooling quickly and both the water and air temperatures are dropping daily so we urge extra caution if you head out on the water," said Senior Park Ranger Mark Lehman. "Please make wise and informed decisions when choosing to boat in inclement weather and we remind you to wear personal floatation devices at all times while on the water."

Unless they are powered by gas or electric motors, the following vessels remain exempt from ANS inspections: kayaks, canoes, rafts, belly boards, windsurfer boards, sailboards, float tubes, inner tubes, paddleboards and foldable plastic boats.

According to Lehman, Elkhead Reservoir State Park staff performed over 3,300 vessel inspections and completed 60 vessel decontaminations during the 2019 boating season in an ongoing effort to keep Colorado's waters free of invasive mussels and other aquatic nuisance species.

"We would like to offer our sincere appreciation to the many boaters that visited Elkhead Reservoir State Park in 2019," he said. "It was another safe and successful boating season and we are already looking forward to welcoming boaters, anglers, hunters and anyone that enjoys world-class outdoor recreation to our 2020 season."

Lehman reminds all visitors they will share the park with waterfowl hunters, beginning Oct. 5. Elkhead Reservoir sits entirely in the Eastern Zone of the Pacific Flyway. Duck hunting season will run from Oct. 5 - Jan. 17, 2020. Goose season will run from Oct. 5 -Jan. 8, 2020.

For more information about the park, visit their webpage, or call 970-276-2061.