Boat inspections to start May 11, at Colorado's Sanchez Reservoir

MONTE VISTA, Colo. – Colorado Parks and Wildlife will begin inspections of boats for quagga and zebra mussels at Sanchez Reservoir starting May 11. Until then, no watercraft that is hauled on a trailer or that is powered by a motor can be launched on the reservoir.
       
Hand-launched boats such as canoes or kayaks are allowed on the water and are not subject to inspection.
       
"We've been conducting inspections for these aquatic nuisance species for three years and there have been no problems," said Josh Nehring, aquatic biologist for Colorado Parks and Wildlife in the San Luis Valley. "But we will continue the inspections and we need to be diligent."
       
The mussels are invasive species and can cause serious problems in lakes and reservoirs. The mussels reproduce prolifically, consume phytoplankton and devastate fisheries. The small mollusks also grow on engines and boats, and can clog water pipes and dam mechanisms.
      
Boat owners are urged to scrub and dry their boats thoroughly before they launch for the first time this season. After that, owners should "clean, drain and dry" their boats every time they leave the water.
       
"Boat owners have been very cooperative with the inspection program because they understand what's at risk," Nehring said. "We are confident that their cooperation will continue."
         
Starting May 11, inspectors will be at the reservoir from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. Inspections are scheduled to continue through October, depending on water level. Sanchez Reservoir is located in Costilla County in the southern San Luis Valley.
       
Currently, the reservoir is low and the boat ramp does not extend to the water. Consequently, the boat ramp is closed until further notice.  However, when inspections start, numerous areas along the shoreline are adequate for launching boats.
       
For more information about the inspections and water conditions at Sanchez Reservoir, call the Colorado Parks and Wildlife office in Monte Vista at 719-587-6902.

For more information about fishing in the boat inspection program, see: http://wildlife.state.co.us/Fishing/Pages/Fishing.aspx.

For more information about Division of Wildlife go to: http://wildlife.state.co.us.

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