North Michigan Reservoir at State Forest State Park open for recreation
State Forest State Park announces North Michigan Reservoir is full, stocked with fish, and open for recreation. In addition to the reservoir, campsites in the North Michigan campground closed during construction will be open and available for reservations this summer.
"We are excited the dam has been revitalized for the future and the reservoir refilled," said State Forest State Park Manager Joe Brand. "We are thankful for all those who contributed to the swift maintenance of the dam to ensure public safety, and looking forward to recreation users being able to enjoy North Michigan Reservoir once again."
State Forest State Park staff would like to remind everyone planning to visit the reservoir this summer there are two boat ramps at the North Michigan Reservoir, each with a floating boat dock. Boats must be clean, drained, and dry before entering the water, and remain at wakeless speeds of 5 mph or less.
Water in the lake comes from snowpack melting at the higher alpine elevations, making the water temperature extremely cold. Sudden immersion in the cold water of the reservoir can cause gasping and inhalation of water and hypothermia, resulting in unconsciousness or swimming failure as muscles become numb. Wearing a life jacket will keep your head above water and support your body should your swimming ability fail or you become unconscious.
Life jackets are required to be on board every vessel and easily accessible. Anyone 13 and younger is required to wear a life jacket at all times when on the water. It's a fact that life jackets save lives. State Forest State Park Staff strongly encourages everyone to wear a life jacket at all times, no matter the age.
The 60-foot-high dam at North Michigan Reservoir was originally built in 1963. The reservoir stores approximately 1,300 acre-feet of water. Worsening seepage conditions on the north abutment were identified in 2015. The discovery resulted in the prioritization of maintenance efforts at the dam to address developing safety concerns. Rehabilitation work on the dam at North Michigan Reservoir began in March of 2021, closing the lake to boating and several nearby campsites for the summer season.
The work on the dam is part of a multiphase project funded by the Colorado Lottery and Great Outdoors Colorado. GOCO invests a portion of Colorado Lottery proceeds to help preserve and enhance the state's parks, trails, wildlife, rivers, and open spaces. The GOCO board awards competitive grants to local governments and land trusts and makes investments through Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Created when voters approved a constitutional amendment in 1992, GOCO has committed more than $1.2 billion in lottery proceeds to more than 5,200 projects in all 64 counties.
To learn more about State Forest State Park, visit the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website.