ARBOLES, Colo. – Navajo Reservoir, Colorado’s answer to Lake Powell, opens for boating for the 2017 season on March 1. Boaters access the reservoir through Navajo State Park.
The reservoir is a major boating and fishing destination in southwest Colorado and provides access to 15,000 surface-acres of water and dozens of scenic side canyons.
The aquatic nuisance species inspection station will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day through April 30. All motorized craft must be inspected to assure it is not infested with quagga or zebra mussels. Owners are asked to be sure their boats are cleaned, drained and dry before going to Navajo or any lake or reservoir in Colorado. Non-motorized craft are not required to be inspected.
Boaters are also reminded to make sure their registrations are up-to-date and that all safety gear is on-board.
“Boat owners may register their boats at Navajo State Park or renew boat registrations on line,” said Park Manager Brian Sandy. “Our park rangers will also be happy to check and make sure boaters have all the required safety equipment on board before heading out on the water.”
Here are some basic safety reminders: Every boat must have a personal floatation device available for every person on-board, and those under 13 must wear the device at all times. Boats must also have a fire extinguisher and a sound-producing device on-board. Those operating non-motorized craft, including paddle boards, craft must also observe the rules for PFDs and sound devices. For a complete look at Colorado’s boating regulations, please go to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife web site at cpw.state.co.us; or pick up a brochure at a state park office or boating store.
Early in the boating season Colorado waters are always very cold, so recreationists should exercise extra caution while boating in the spring and early summer.
Navajo is also renowned among anglers. To learn more about fishing opportunities, check out “The Fishful Thinker” TV show which will air a program that includes Navajo and other Colorado waters starting March 4 on the Altitude Network, a cable channel.
“We are excited to be featured on the ‘Fishful Thinker’ television show,” Sandy said. “It showcases the tremendous fishery we have here. And the show does a great job educating viewers on fishing techniques, gear, and tackle so if you watch the show you’ll have a better chance to catch fish when you visit Navajo.”
Navajo State Park, located along Colorado High 151 southwest of Pagosa Springs, offers more than 100 camp sites ‒ many with full hook-ups, and three cabins are available to rent. To reserve a camp spot or cabin, go to the reservation section of the CPW web site:http://coloradostateparks.reserveamerica.com.
A daily pass to the park costs $7 per vehicle; and annual pass costs just $70. For more information about Navajo State Park and the reservoir, call the park at 970-883-2208, or go to the CPW web site at cpw.state.co.us.
CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 42 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.