Friday, December 28, 2018

Public access to Lonetree ending with the New Year

Well, I guess we all pretty much thought this was going to happen, but it still hurts. 

That huge residential development on the north end of Berthoud has now officially swallowed up public access to Lonetree Reservoir. Colorado Parks and Wildlife continues to hold out hope for some kind of future agreement with the Berthoud Heritage Metropolitan District on access, but you'll find the the state's announcement about the Jan. 1 closure below. 

The Metropolitan District is described in an earlier news release as a "special government entity authorized by state statute and managed by a board of directors." Not sure what that means, except the district is developing property around Lonetree including plans for a public golf course, and apparently planning to build a marina on the lake, which has been wakeless only. The state had leased the lake from Consolidated Home Supply District and Reservoir Company since the '70s.

Dec. 28, 2018: Lonetree State Wildlife Area southwest of Loveland to close to public access

LOVELAND, Colo. - Public access to the parking area and boat ramp at the Lonetree State Wildlife Area will no longer be granted beginning on Jan. 1, 2019, as a Colorado Parks & Wildlife surface lease was transferred to the Berthoud-Heritage Metro District.The surface lease for Lonetree Reservoir transferred from CPW in July 2018 to the metro district, who CPW had worked with to allow public access through the end of the year. CPW’s goal was to maintain the status quo and seek a long-term agreement to allow public fishing access. Although no agreement was reached by year-end, efforts between agencies are ongoing.

“While we are disappointed to see the Lonetree State Wildlife Area close, we remain optimistic that the public, including anglers, will have access to the reservoir in the future and that there will be other opportunities to increase fishing access to local waters,” Area Wildlife Manager Kristin Cannon said.

CPW remains open to working with the metro district to manage the fishery there and will determine the future of the parking area and boat ramp based on the best interests of the public hunting and angling community.

“The Berthoud-Heritage Metropolitan District is looking forward to continued efforts with Colorado Parks and Wildlife on providing public access and public fishing to this great reservoir,” said Berthoud-Heritage Metropolitan District Manager, Carla Hawkins, Pinnacle Consulting Group, Inc. “The Metropolitan District is in discussions with the Town of Berthoud for an expansion of the district to include a proposed marina and public access area. Unfortunately, public access and public fishing will have to wait until the expansion of the Metropolitan District is complete."

Lonetree Reservoir has not been stocked with fish since May 2017. CPW began removing fish from the reservoir in May 2018 and relocating them into Boyd Lake and Lon Hagler Reservoir.
Over 300 fish of a variety of species were salvaged from this effort last spring, including walleye, saugeye, largemouth bass, yellow perch, crappie and bluegill. All walleye and saugeye along with two-thirds of the largemouth bass were sent to Boyd Lake while Lon Hagler received some largemouth and then all of the salvaged perch, crappie and bluegill.

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