Boaters urged to visit only local lakes and to restrict passengers to housemates
Colorado Parks and Wildlife
All boat ramps, marinas and shorelines remain open at state parks, but CPW is urging residents to continue to follow health and social distancing guidelines when it comes to boating.
Park rangers are seeing a rise in multiple, non-family units getting out on boats in close proximity at the state parks that have lakes.
While boating is still open, CPW urges the public to only go boating in your local area. Boaters need to comply with all CDPHE requirements to stop the spread of COVID-19 and CPW’s Aquatic Nuisance Species regulations to stop the spread of zebra or quagga mussels and other invasive species.
The Sea Tow Foundation for Boating Safety and Education recently issued a list of dos and don’ts for boating safety and social distancing during COVID-19 that full list can be found by clicking here.
It urges people to only go boating with the people who are currently living with you. Do not invite your friends or extended family to join in during this time of social distancing.
At Chatfield State Park, where overall visitation is up roughly 30 percent from this time last year, park rangers are working with boaters to educate them on continuing to follow social distancing guidelines even while boating. Park ranger Mike Haskins explains what that means.
“It is OK for people in the same household to be closer, but people should not be mixing households,” Haskins said. “We are reminding our visitors that low-risk recreation is still allowed under the stay-at-home order so long as social distancing requirements are met, six foot spacing minimum. Our marina sent out a letter to its slip renters to ask them not to have visitors on their boats.”
Boyd Lake State Park saw a 43 percent increase in boating in March, compared to last year. And it was up 26 percent in the first 11 days of April, year-over-year. Jackson Lake State Park recently had 1,100 visitors in just one week compared to 1,500 visitors in all of March 2019.
On April 5 at Lake Pueblo, 243 boats used the ramps and virtually every parking lot was at capacity.
ANS boat inspections and COVID-19
Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, many local and federal waters are postponing opening to boating and ANS inspections at this time. Waters operated by CPW are continuing to open and provide recreation opportunities as weather permits. Boaters are reminded not to travel long distances to go boating or fishing while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect Colorado. Recreate at local reservoirs in compliance with the Stay-At-Home order from Gov. Jared Polis.
• Boaters are reminded to stay at least six feet away from inspection station staff at all times.
• Do not congregate in groups larger than 10 individuals and practice good social distancing in accordance with recommendations from the Centers for Disease and Prevention and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). Local health orders may further limit group size please be aware of local requirements.
• Boaters should wait until the inspector calls them up to the station.
• Boaters should stay in their vehicles, set the parking brake, turn their vehicles off, and remain in the vehicles unless instructed by an inspector to get out and assist with the inspection.
• If you have a green seal receipt, please keep your window closed and show it to the inspector through the window glass. CPW reminds everyone to get a green seal and receipt after boating to speed up the next inspection.