Eleven Mile State Park officials opened the reservoir to boating on April 30 after the last stubborn ice sheets exited the reservoir. The North Shore Boat Ramp will be open each day from one half hour before sunrise to one half hour after sunset through October. For the time being, the Witcher’s Cove Boat Ramp will remain closed. Night time boating is prohibited at Eleven Mile Reservoir.
“As has been the case the past five years, all trailered boats will be inspected for zebra and quagga mussels and other aquatic nuisance species before they are allowed to go out on the water,” said Kevin Tobey, park manager of Eleven Mile. “Due to the Discovery of Eurasian Water Milfoil (an aquatic plant) and New Zealand Mud Snails in the reservoir two years ago, boats must also be inspected before leaving the boat ramp area. Boats that are cleaned, drained and dry can receive a seal after the inspection is complete which will decrease the wait time the next time they enter a state-run reservoir.”
With the discovery of zebra and quagga mussels in several western states including Colorado, Parks and Wildlife officials continue to ask boaters to help protect our public waters from all aquatic nuisance species (ANS). These organisms are non-native, invasive species that spread very quickly, causing harmful effects to the environment and man-made water delivery systems. All boaters, belly boaters, and fishermen wading into the water are advised to take a few simple, precautionary steps every time they go to a lake, river or stream. Before leaving a lake or other waterway, boaters should:
- CLEAN the hull of your boat.
- DRAIN the water from the boat, live well and the lower unit of the engine
- DRY the boat, fishing gear, and equipment.
- INSPECT all exposed surfaces.
- REMOVE all plant and animal material.
Eleven Mile Reservoir is nearly full and is not expected to drop much over the course of the summer and should continue to provide great fishing opportunities.
“Recent surveys conducted by Colorado Parks and Wildlife show that there are a number of large, healthy pike in the reservoir,” added Tobey. “In order to maintain a good balance between trout (the main food source for pike) and pike, we would like folks to harvest any pike they catch.” Colorado Parks and Wildlife continues to stock a large number of 8-12” trout in order to limit the number of trout the pike can eat. A similar program was established at nearby Spinney Mountain Reservoir several years ago and has resulted in a healthy population of trout over 20” long. Tobey said Kokanee salmon are also being stocked, although in lower numbers than in recent years.
The park offers a variety of recreational opportunities including overnight camping at nearly 350 campsites, five miles of hiking and bicycling trails, interpretive programs and wildlife viewing opportunities to name a few.
Nearby Spinney Mountain Reservoir opened for the season on April 29, but is only allowing hand-carried boats at this time due to low water. Hand-carried boats with gas motors are not allowed there on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but are permitted the remainder of the week.
For more information, call the park office at 719-748-3401 or access information at www.cpw.state.co.us.
Logo courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife