Seasonal boat ramp closures at many colorado lakes
Colorado Division of Wildlife http://wildlife.state.co.us
DENVER, Colo.--The Colorado Division of Wildlife reminds boaters that boat ramps and watercraft inspection stations will be closing at a number of popular lakes and reservoirs beginning this fall. Seasonal closures will remain in effect until inspections for invasive mussels and other aquatic nuisance species resume next spring.
"Because recreational use drops off considerably in fall, most of our watercraft inspection sites will be shutting down or will have limited hours of operation," said Elizabeth Brown, DOW invasive species coordinator. "Trailered watercraft access will be limited, and boaters should check local conditions and regulations before heading out this fall to ensure that boat ramps and inspection stations are still open."
Two popular impoundments, Jumbo Reservoir and Turquoise Lake, have already closed boat ramps and on-site inspection stations. Others, such as Twin Lakes and Antero Reservoir, will close in the coming weeks.
Hand-launched boats will not be affected by the closures.
The Division of Wildlife, Colorado State Parks and other state, federal and local agencies implemented watercraft inspections at over 100 locations in 2009 as part of a statewide effort to prevent the further spread of zebra/quagga mussels and other aquatic nuisance species in Colorado's waterways and to prevent closures of flat-water access for boaters.
State officials estimate over 350,000 boats were inspected and over 500 contaminated vessels, or those deemed "at-risk" for carrying mussels or other aquatic nuisance species, were decontaminated at hot-water, high-pressure, wash stations to prevent further contamination.
"The inspection program was very successful this year," said Brown. "Inspectors stopped 12 boats that were completely encrusted with invasive mussels and helped to protect our resources from further contamination."
Brown added that boaters were extremely cooperative and inspections ran smoothly, statewide. The DOW will ask boaters for their continued cooperation when inspections resume again in the spring.
Boaters are encouraged to have vessels inspected prior to storing boats for the winter. Boaters who successfully complete a state-certified inspection should request a green seal, which will expedite launching and inspections next spring.
Inspections are available at the DOW in Denver throughout the year. The DOW Grand Junction Service Center will continue offering watercraft inspections until Oct. 30, 2009. Year-round inspection services are also available at private industry locations, such as marine dealers.
In addition to seasonal closures, boaters are reminded that all state-operated watercraft inspection sites will be closed on Friday Oct. 9, Friday Nov. 27 and Thursday Dec. 31 due to state-mandated furlough days.
Boaters can visit the Colorado Division of Wildlife Web site or contact the appropriate managing agencies for the latest information pertaining to closures or fall hours of operation at specific lakes and reservoirs.
Some key closures and dates are as follows:
Closures apply to trailered boats and watercraft only. Hand-launched vessels, including belly boats, canoes, rafts and kayaks, are permitted at most locations until winter ice develops.
Antero Reservoir--Oct. 31
Clear Creek Reservoir--Sept. 30
Jumbo Reservoir--Oct. 1
Prewitt Reservoir--Oct. 1
Tarryall Reservoir--Oct. 31
Twin Lakes--Oct. 12
Turquoise Lake--Sept. 21
Wolford Mountain Reservoir--Nov. 1
Grand Lake, Shadow Mountain and Lake Granby: Watercraft inspections will end Oct. 31, but the reservoir will not close to boating until winter ice forms. Boaters who use these reservoirs after lake inspection sites close, are still required to have vessels inspected prior to launching at a new location. The Hot Sulphur Springs DOW office will continue offering inspections throughout the fall/winter from Oct. 15 to May 15.
For the latest information pertaining to boat ramp closures, watercraft inspection sites and hours of operation, please visit the Colorado Division of Wildlife Web site at:
For more information about Division of Wildlife go to: http://wildlife.state.co.us.