Monday, April 10, 2017

More on aquatic nuisance inspections and lake closings

Copied this from our friends at FishExplorer.com, an e-mail from the state park ranger at Chatfield State Park.  This is all tied in somehow with the license increase legislation; still looks to be in limbo on exactly what lakes may be closed and when.  bill

I know this thread is a powder keg but I'm hoping to I can be of some help...

First off I want to clarify that I am a Parks Officer at Chatfield State Park and I am the one who oversees the ANS (aquatic nuisance species) program here at the park. I work with the people who head up the program statewide. 

Secondly yes there are some waters that are going to be closed to boating other than exempt (handlaunched/kayaks/etc.). Thankfully this number is as low as it is because back in January during our supervisors meeting there was only funding for 1) the Denver office with a near 70% budget cut meaning only enough to fund the lab and the program coordinators and a few seasonal employees. 2) Lake Pueblo State Park 3) Chatfield State Park 4) Cherry Creek State Park and 5) Boyd Lake State Park with significant budget cuts... (some county managed lakes were still funded by those counties aka horsetooth and carter).

There was an outcry from everyone there because we knew this would greatly limit the resources for our user base (including us because we still like to recreate too.) Thankfully our program coordinators are very passionate about what they do and have been able to secure funding for THIS season for all the great lakes and reservoirs that we enjoy. 

It's not a perfect system I'm aware and we are always attempting to improve our customer service while maintaining the remarkable negative for Quagga/Zebra mussel status we have. 

I understand there are people that think this is a broken system and I can see why they think that, but at the end of the day the people that own the water bodies (rarely CPW) have final say on what goes on there. Sadly this means if there was no inspection station at the water body than it would be closed to boating regardless due to the substantial financial risk that they would be undertaking.

Hopefully I was able to extend an olive branch and not throw dynamite to the fire, but if you feel the need to contact someone about this contact me and I will be able to forward you up the chain with some extra oompf. I promise to never ignore your emails, I may not get to them right away but I will eventually.

Ranger Green 
jesse.green@state.co.us

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