Friday, September 18, 2020

Steamboat Lake State Park to release water


STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. - Visitors to Steamboat Lake State Park may see water levels dropping over the next few days as water is released from the reservoir. 

Park Manager Julie Arington says the release into the Yampa River will augment flows and serve several purposes.

“This water will be put into the river system for the benefit of spawning mountain whitefish as well as the endangered fish that are found in the river downstream to the state line,” Arington said. “Park staff and our marina contractor will also be able to take advantage of the lower reservoir level to do some maintenance work on boat ramps and the marina docks.” 

The lower levels will expose boat ramps, closing trailer-launched boating earlier than usual this fall. Hand-launched boats will still be allowed as long as they complete aquatic nuisance species inspection, have proper safety equipment and current registration. 

 “We understand that this water level change will be an inconvenience to some boaters,” Arington added. “But we believe the downstream habitat benefits and the marina work will benefit the lake and the river in the long run.”  

The releases will begin immediately and will last until the reservoir level is about six feet below the current level. Unless heavy fall rains occur, the reservoir will likely stay at the lower level through the fall and be refilled by runoff next spring. 

CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 41 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW's work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.

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