Boat Inspections Announced For John Martin Reservoir
Colorado Division of Wildlife
Michael Seraphin, Colorado Division of Wildlife, (719) 227-5211
Deb Frazier, Colorado State Parks, (303) 866-3203 ex. 4342
HASTY, Colo. - Beginning immediately, all boats launched at John Martin Reservoir must be inspected for aquatic nuisance species (ANS), including zebra and quagga mussels.
The new mandatory inspections are part of an interagency plan by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Colorado Division of Wildlife, and Colorado State Parks to reduce the risk of introducing ANS in the reservoir and into downstream waterways.
ANS have spread rapidly from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico and into the western United States, damaging beaches, aquatic life, municipal water systems, and hydroelectric facilities. Colorado and other states have implemented vigorous inspection programs to control the spread.
"The public is our first line of defense in the prevention of Zebra mussels and other aquatic nuisance species entering Colorado lakes," said Bruce Hill, spokesperson for the Army Corps of Engineers. "Mussels can alter the lake's ecosystem by reducing the food supply for fish, which can ultimately lead to poor fishing. They are known to clog boat motors and water pipelines, leading to costly repairs for boat owners and taxpayers."
All trailer-launched boats will be required to be inspected for aquatic nuisance species from April 1 to Oct. 31, annually.
Boats and trailers will be inspected pre-launch and upon exit from the water between 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
There will be no launching at night, between 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., unless the boat has been pre-inspected and the wire seal and receipt is deposited in the collection box. However, boats that are already on the water can be pulled from the lake without further inspection.
From Nov. 1 through March 31 boat ramps will be closed, however, boats will be allowed to launch from the shoreline outside of the waterfowl closure. Periodic boat inspections will be performed, but inspections will not be required.
Hand-launched boats will be allowed to launch from the shoreline anytime.
To protect Colorado waters, all boaters should take a few simple, precautionary steps every time they go to a lake, river, or reservoir. Before leaving a lake or other waterway, boaters should:
CLEAN the hull of their boat.
DRAIN the water from the boat, live well, and lower unit of the engine.
DRY their boat, fishing gear, and equipment.
OUT-OF-STATE BOATS: All boats with out-of-state licenses and vessels that have been used in other states are required by regulations to be inspected prior to launch on any Colorado waterway.
After inspection, wire seals and receipts will be given out upon exiting inspection stations. The seals and receipts will serve as proof of inspection.
Boats can also be inspected at many marine dealers and private inspection stations, which will provide the seals and receipts as proof of inspection. For a complete list of inspection stations, visit www.colorado.gov/wildlife.
LIVE BAIT REGULATIONS:
Live bait is prohibited west of the Continental Divide, except at Navajo Reservoir, and east of the Continental Divide above 7,000 feet.
In areas where live bait is allowed, boaters must show a receipt that the bait was purchased within seven days of use from a Colorado commercial bait dealer, or else their bait will be transferred, using a net, to a clean container and their live well decontaminated.
LIVE BAIT RECOMMENDATIONS:
Anglers should not collect and transfer live bait from a reservoir where mussel larvae have been found.
Anglers using live bait should always minimize the transfer of water with bait between reservoirs. Netting bait and transferring to a clean container with distilled water will minimize risks of ANS transfer.