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Colorado Fishing News Back to Colorado Fishing News

Boating season begins at Rifle Gap and Harvey Gap Reservoirs April 1

Water enthusiasts get excited - Rifle Gap and Harvey Gap State Parks will open their boat ramps Monday, April 1. Colorado Parks and Wildlife invites everyone to come out and enjoy a variety of water-based outdoor recreation, including boating, jet skiing, sailing, water skiing, and swimming.

The crystal clear waters of Harvey Gap Reservoir is the go-to for those wanting to spend the day kayaking, paddle boarding, canoeing, or sailing. Boating is allowed at Harvey Gap with a motor size limit of 20 H.P or less. Looking for a little more speed? Then head to Rifle Gap Reservoir. The long, narrow reservoir is great for water-skiers, jet-skiers, and boaters. If your plans include a relaxing day of fishing at Rifle Gap or Harvey Gap, check the fishing regulations specific to each reservoir before casting your line.

"Fishing and boating are great here, and we are looking forward to another fantastic season," said Brian Palcer, Rifle State Park Complex Manager. "We are excited to see both Harvey and Rifle Gap reservoirs full for a second year in a row, and have already seen Rifle Gap spilling into the creek below."
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is continuing efforts to prevent the spread of harmful, aquatic nuisance species (ANS) through boat inspections stations across the state. Boaters are required to have their boat inspected for ANS before launch.

ANS inspection hours are as follows:
Current - May 26: 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Beginning May 27: 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

In addition to protecting Colorado's bodies of water, CPW is also committed to the safety of our visitors. Before launching, boaters must have a few basic items on board, including personal flotation devices. Colorado boating regulations require that all children under the age of 13 wear a life jacket at all times while on the water. Boaters must also have current boat registration with visible registration numbers placed on the watercraft.

Effective June 1, 2024, ALL motorboat operators aged 14 - 17 are required to complete a Colorado safe boating class, and have the certification card with them.
"A fun day on the water can turn tragic very quickly if you don't follow the rules or have the basic equipment on board," said Palcer. "It's also important to remember, alcohol and boating do not mix. We will be out every day to help folks follow the rules so everyone can have a great time at a great park."

For more information about required equipment and boating regulations, pick up the latest regulations brochure at your local park visitor center or find the information on the CPW website.

Photo credit: Dustin Doskocil
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