Colorado State Parks
Spinney Mountain State Park Opens for Boating
The park will open the reservoir to shore fishermen and boats on Monday, April 2. All trailered vessels must go through a boat inspection to prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species.
HARTSEL, CO. - Spinney Mountain State Park will open to shore fishermen and boats on Monday, April 2, providing anglers with one of their coveted annual spring fishing rites. The opening will officially mark the beginning of the 2012 Spinney Mountain Reservoir fishing season.
"The reservoir is down approximately one vertical foot below the spillway elevation, so boats will be allowed to launch at both the North and South Boat Ramps on opening day," said Spinney Mountain State Park Manager Kevin Tobey. All trailered vessels must go through an aquatic nuisance species (ANS) inspection prior to launching.
Nearby Eleven Mile State Park offers camping and expansive shore fishing opportunities as well as hiking trails, and will open to boating soon, providing the weather cooperates so staff can mark underwater hazards which are difficult to see.
Spinney Mountain’s gates will open at 6:12 a.m. on April 2. Colorado State Parks annual passes will be sold at the gate from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. on opening day. Annual passes cost $70 and are valid at all Colorado State Parks for 12 months from the date of purchase. Daily park passes are available for $7.
As in previous years, vehicles will not be allowed to line up at the entrance gate until after 7 p.m. on April 1, in order to allow staff to complete the final preparations for opening day.
Each season, opening day at Spinney Mountain State Park attracts anglers from Colorado and surrounding states. Fishermen are reminded that only artificial flies and lures are permitted at Spinney Mountain Reservoir, and that items with any scent are prohibited, regardless of whether scent is added by the manufacturer or by the angler after the item is purchased. The bag and possession limit and minimum size for trout caught in the reservoir is one fish, 20 inches or longer. There is no bag or possession limit on pike, and anglers are encouraged to harvest all pike they catch to help maintain a proper balance between trout and pike.
Trout fishing is expected to remain very good this year, thanks in large part to the continuing annual fall stocking program in which large trout are stocked shortly before ice covers the reservoir.
"Colorado Parks and Wildlife stocks 12-14 inch trout each fall, enabling them to continue to feed and grow during the winter," said Tobey. "They are less likely to be preyed upon by the northern pike in the winter since the pike's metabolism slows down and they become less active, while the trout remain active throughout the winter."
With the discovery of zebra and quagga mussels and larvae in several western states, including some reservoirs in Colorado, Colorado State Parks is asking boaters and anglers help to protect Colorado waters from all aquatic nuisance species (ANS), including zebra and quagga mussels. ANS are non-native, invasive species that spread very quickly, causing harmful effects to the environment. All boaters, belly boaters and people wading into 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:
• DRAIN the water from the boat, live well and the lower unit of the engine.
• INSPECT all exposed surfaces.
• REMOVE all plant and animal material.
• CLEAN the hull of your boat.
• DRY the boat, fishing gear, and equipment.
Boat inspectors will be available at the park entrance daily from a half hour before sunrise until a half hour after sunset April 2 through Oct. 31 to inspect all trailered boats. Boats that have not been inspected or that are too dirty to inspect will not be allowed to continue into the park.
For more information, call the park office at (719) 748-3401 or access information at www.parks.state.co.us