HARTSEL, Colo. - Spinney Mountain State Park officially closed for the season on November 26 after the reservoir iced over. The park will reopen in the spring when the ice melts.
“Due to the reservoir’s fluctuating water levels that create very unstable ice conditions, Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the City of Aurora close the park each fall when ice covers the reservoir,” said Park Manager Kevin Tobey.
Nearby Eleven Mile State Park will remain open throughout the cold weather season, offering winter camping, as well as ice fishing, when conditions permit. Water levels at Eleven Mile Reservoir have been good all year and the reservoir is expected to remain near spillway elevation throughout the winter.
Park officials remind ice fishermen that ice thicknesses may vary considerably within relatively short walking distances. Anyone venturing out onto the ice should always go with a partner, drill test holes to ensure at least five inches of clear, solid ice is found consistently across the surface, wear a life jacket and carry ice picks, 50 feet of rope and a cell phone. Park rangers also recommend that anglers stay away from pressure ridges, open water and ice that is porous, soft or has granulated crystals.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) continues to stock Eleven Mile Reservoir with trout, many of which grow to be trophy-sized. The Gold Medal fishery on the South Platte between Spinney and Eleven Mile is relatively ice-free, so late season anglers can still have an opportunity to get some late-season fly fishing in.