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Public access to Valco Ponds to expand, community gives input

Posted at 9:57 PM, Jul 25, 2019

PUEBLO — Colorado Parks and Wildlife plans to open more of the Valco Ponds area at Lake Pueblo State Park.

The goal: to allow for more fishing and possibly water sports to the public.

On Thursday night an open house was held to get input from people on these plans. While some are excited about the potential for canoeing, kayaking, and more areas to fish there's also some concerns for those who live nearby.

"I would prefer to just have my privacy and had everything like it always has been," said Tami McDowell. She lives near the Valco Ponds, more specifically, above Pond #5 which is an area that currently isn't open to the public.

Joe Stadterman, operations manager for Lake Pueblo State Park, said, "There's three and a half open now and they're primarily used for fishing...what we're talking about here is opening the rest of Pond #4 and then also Pond #5."

It's a major concern for McDowell and other neighbors.

McDowell said, "We want to make sure none of the bathrooms or none of the stuff contaminates our water because that's our only water source."

Richard Bustos said, "I worry about the nighttime parties that I know are going to happen."

People like Seth Campbell and Michael Perez have a different opinion.

Campbell said, "I think it'd be really awesome because we do need more fishing areas around here."

Perez said it would provide "a lot more water room for everybody."

Besides more fishing opportunities Stadterman said, "There's no paddle sports in what we have now and so we're trying to open up an opportunity for paddle sports."

While he understands people have some reservations about these plans he hopes to find solutions that will work for everyone.

"Our goal is to give people access to their public lands as well as take care of the land."

Stadterman said the goal is to eventually open all seven ponds to the public. The timeline for these plans is still to be determined. There are no future public meetings scheduled.

If you weren't able to make it to the open house you can still share your thoughts by emailing Lake.Pueblo.Park@State.Co.Us