Motorized and trailered watercraft launching in Blue Mesa Reservoir are required to be inspected for aquatic invasive species and if necessary, decontaminated in accordance with procedures set by the Colorado Division of Wildlife. In addition to the mandatory inspection prior to launch, and to be in compliance with the State of Colorado's Aquatic Nuisance Species protocols, motorized and trailered watercraft leaving Blue Mesa Reservoir will undergo an exit inspection to verify the watercraft has been cleaned, drained and dried.
Boaters can stay out overnight on the reservoir, camp on beaches defined for overnight camping or camp at designated boat-in campgrounds.
Motorized and trailered watercraft launching in Morrow Point and Crystal Reservoirs may be launched without an inspection if your watercraft is registered in Colorado, has not been out of state waters within the last 30 days, has not been in infested waters and does not contain aquatic invasive species. If your watercraft does not meet all above criteria as designated by state law, it must be inspected at one of the locations below.
WHAT TYPES OF WATERCRAFT DO NOT NEED AN INSPECTION?
The following types of watercraft on the State of Colorado hand-launched list do not require an inspection: rafts, kayaks, belly boats, float tubes, canoes, windsurfer boards, sail boards, inner tubes, kite boards, and small open boats. Electric trolling motors do not need to be inspected. All of the above must be hand-launched and the trailer cannot enter the water. Hand-launched watercraft are not required to launch at a major launch ramp.
WHAT TYPES OF WATERCRAFT NEED TO BE INSPECTED BEFORE AND AFTER LAUNCH?
The following watercraft require an inspection before and after launch: house boats, cabin cruisers, pontoon boats, large open boats, small open boats with a gas motor, ski boats, wakeboard boats, sailboats, personal watercraft (jet skis), and any watercraft that requires the trailer to enter the water. These watercraft are required to launch from the ramps at Elk Creek, Lake Fork, Stevens Creek, Iola, or Ponderosa.
WHAT TYPES OF WATERCRAFT CAN GET A SEASON HAND-LAUNCH PASS?
Certain watercraft that are not on the State of Colorado hand-launch list may qualify for a Blue Mesa Reservoir season hand-launch pass. The season hand-launch pass is only valid for the calendar year and is only honored on Blue Mesa Reservoir. Season hand-launch passes are to designate permission to launch from other than a major facility, therefore you may still require a Blue Mesa Reservoir boat permit.
Hand-launch season pass watercraft can launch from any location and are not required to revisit an inspection station after their initial assessment. Please call (970) 209-2335 to arrange for an assessment.
• Hand-launched watercraft with no enclosed containers or compartments that can potentially hold water.
• Hand-launched watercraft equipped with only an electric trolling motor (no gas powered or water-cooled motors).
• Trailers are not allowed to enter the water at any time.
SPECIAL AUTHORIZATION FOR LAUNCHING OUTSIDE DESIGNATED CEMENT LAUNCH RAMPS
Watercraft that require an inspection but cannot safely or reasonably launch from the designated cement launch ramps are authorized to launch at the following locations: Iola beach, Old Stevens beach, North Willow beach, Bay of Chickens beach, Dillon Pinnacles beach and Sapinero beach. Trailers will be allowed to enter the water at Iola Beach, Bay of Chickens beach and Dillon Pinnacles. Watercraft must be hand launched with no part of the trailer entering the water at Old Stevens beach, North Willow beach and Sapinero beach.
Watercraft in this category will be issued a beach launch pass at the inspection station. The following types of watercraft may qualify: Hobie Cat sailboats, small to medium sailboats, watercraft categorized as hand-launched that have a gas powered/water cooled motor and other watercraft that do not meet the hand-launched criteria but cannot safely and reasonably launch from cement launch ramps. Watercraft are required to arrive at an inspection station before closing to get an exit inspection.
MAP: Designated Launch Areas on Blue Mesa Reservoir » (pdf)
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP WITH THE INSPECTION PROCESS?
Have watercraft prepared for the entrance and exit inspection process:
• Turn your vehicle off, set the parking brake, exit the vehicle and answer the inspector's questions
• Keep your boat clean, free of dirt and debris.
• Keep your boat drained and dry by arriving with bilge plugs and ballast bags pulled
• Be prepared to lower outdrive motors
• Have compartments and recreational equipment readily accessible
• Arrive with Colorado green wire seal and green wire seal receipt
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT INVASIVE MUSSELS »