PUEBLO - The Lake Pueblo State park has announced new ramp hours for boaters and launch protocols.
The Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) says the new hours an protocols will allow boaters more freedom to come and go as they please. Under the new drop-box procedures taking effect Oct. 15, Lake Pueblo's boat ramp gates will remain open 24 hours a day for the first time since 2008.
CPW also explains the new boating freedom carries important responsibilities for boat owners.
“It is imperative that boaters abide by the strict inspection procedures,” said Brian Kerrigan, Lake Pueblo park operations manager. “The drop-box system is an honor system. If the drop-box system is to work, boaters must take it seriously. Or the gates will be locked once again.”
The drop-box procedure was made possible after CPW removed Lake Pueblo from the list of waters testing positive for invasive mussels earlier in the year.
During the summer boating season CPW staff Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) inspection stations 18 hours a day. In an effort to improve customer service the drop box procedure will begin with ANS inspection stations to new hours on Oct. 15, operating from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day.
CPW says when ANS inspection stations are open, all trailered or motorized watercraft must be inspected, by on-site staff, prior to launching and after exiting the lake.
When boats are inspected upon leaving the lake, each boat owner will receive a green seal and blue receipt verifying the boat and trailer are free of invasive species.
The pre-inspection program requires boaters entering the lake during off-hours to log in at the boat ramp, remove their Colorado green seal and deposit it with their receipt in a drop box at the ramp.
To learn more about invasive species, see the CPW web page: http://cpw.state.co.us/aboutus/Pages/ISP-ANS.aspx