Boating began  March 25 for the 2013 season at Chatfield State Park and Colorado Parks and Wildlife is reminding boaters of several precautions to take as they launch for the first time this season.

Before boating, check that your vessel has all of the required safety equipment on board in good, serviceable condition.  All children under the age of 13 are required to wear an appropriate sized, U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal floatation device at all times while on board.

To prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species (ANS), including zebra and quagga mussels, all motorized and trailered vessels must be inspected prior to launch.  Vessels planning to launch outside of posted inspection times will require a pre-inspection seal, with receipt, attached prior to launch which can be obtained during normal inspection hours.  Pre-inspection seals are to be removed by boaters upon launching, and placed in the pre-inspection drop box, along with their corresponding seal receipt and log sheet check-in, located next to the ANS shed.  Remember to always CLEAN, DRAIN, and DRY your vessel to help prevent the spread of ANS.

ANS Inspection schedule:
North Ramp (Open now): Daily inspections, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
South Ramp (Opens April 1): Daily inspections, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
May 1 to September 30: Both ramps open 6:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m.

Finally, due to early season conditions, boaters should keep a lookout for possible floating debris and always be on alert for unmarked hazards. If debris or hazards are discovered please notify park staff.

For more information about boating in Colorado, visit parks.state.co.us/Boating.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife manages 42 state parks, more than 300 state wildlife areas, all of Colorado’s wildlife, and a variety of outdoor recreation. For more information go to cpw.state.co.us

Image courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife

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