Spinney Mountain State Park will open Friday, April 23, providing anglers with one of their coveted annual spring fishing rites.
Due to very low water levels, boat ramps and break water buoys can not be set and thus only hand-launched vessels will be allowed on the reservoir until further notice. The opening will officially mark the beginning of the 2021 Spinney Mountain Reservoir fishing season.
Spinney Mountain’s gates will open at 5:45 a.m. Friday. Required daily parks passes will be available from the self-serve station located at the park’s entrance. Please remember to bring correct change or a personal check for payment.
The water level at the reservoir is too low to allow for safe launching from the south boat ramp, so hand-launched vessels will only be allowed to launch at the north boat ramp on opening day. The south boat ramp will likely be closed to late May. All motorized vessels, including those propelled by trolling motors, are subject to mandatory ANS boat inspections.
“The water levels were low when we closed it last fall and they are still low now,” said Park Manager Darcy Mount. “They (Aurora Water) are filling it up now, but we can’t even get the docks in yet.”
While the ice is completely off on Spinney Mountain Reservoir, downstream Eleven Mile Reservoir is still 50 percent covered with ice. Usually, Eleven Mile opens to boating around the same time as the opening of Spinney Mountain State Park, but that won’t be the case this year.
‘We know it is a big deal for the fishing community, which is why we wanted to open Spinney Mountain at ice-off,” Mount said. “Even though the water levels are preventing us from putting the docs in at the ramp now, shoreline fishing and those vessels that can be hand-launched will allow anglers the opportunity to fish at Spinney Mountain.”
As in previous years, vehicles will not be allowed to line up at the Spinney Mountain entrance gate until after 7 p.m. on Thursday in order to allow staff to complete the final preparations for opening day. The first 250 people on opening day will receive a free commemorative sticker (pictured below). Additional stickers will be available for a donation at the Visitor Center after May 1.
Each season, opening day at Spinney Mountain State Park attracts anglers from Colorado and surrounding states. Anglers are reminded that only artificial flies and lures are permitted at Spinney Mountain Reservoir and that items with any scent are prohibited, regardless of whether scent is added by the manufacturer or by the angler after the item is purchased.
The bag and possession limit and minimum size for trout caught on the reservoir is one fish, 20 inches or longer. There is no bag or possession limit on northern pike or yellow perch.
Fishing in the river section open to the public below the Spinney Mountain dam is by fly and lure only and all fish caught must be returned to the water immediately.
Trout fishing is expected to remain very good this year, thanks in large part to the continuing stocking program over the winter.
[VIDEO] Touring the Mt. Shavano State Fish Hatchery and Stocking Spinney Mountain Reservoir: [log in for link]
As was the case last year, in order to protect the integrity of the dam, fishing from or accessing the face of the dam is not allowed.
For more information, please visit our Facebook page, @ElevenMileCPW, call the park office at 719-748-3401, or access information at cpw.state.co.us.