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Contact: Sandy Snell-Dobert, 970-641-2337 ext. 227
Though Blue Mesa Reservoir remains frozen at this time, recent warm temperatures hint that the fishing season will soon be here. As areas of the lake open up, boaters are reminded that inspections for mussels and other invasive species are required before launching.
If any part of the lake opens enough for boating prior to April 5, boaters should call the “mussel line” at 970-641-2337, ext. 213 to arrange for an inspector to meet them at the launch location. These call-outs are available between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily.
After April 5, park staff will begin operating an inspection station at Dillon Pinnacles, Windsurf (Bay of Chickens) or Lake Fork, whichever opens first. Once Lake Fork boat ramp opens, Dillon or Windsurf launch sites will close. Elk Creek inspections will begin when that area is ice free. All hours of operation for these early season stations will be 6:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
On May 1, Lake Fork, Elk Creek and Iola will be open for inspections. Station hours after May 1 will be 6 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Watch for further information about inspection stations and hours in late May. Check for updates on the park website (www.nps.gov/cure) or call the mussel line.
Boats that are cleaned, drained and dry, with plugs pulled, move through inspection more rapidly. Dirty or suspect boats may be turned away as decontamination facilities may not be available until the one at Elk Creek opens on May 1.
Superintendent Connie Rudd reminds boaters that in this early season, when ice remains on part of the lake, situational awareness is important. West winds rise rapidly causing ice to stack up in areas that were open water just moments before, making boat retrieval difficult or impossible. Stay tuned to the weather and be alert to changes.
Blue Mesa Reservoir remains mussel-free thanks to the cooperation of those who recreate here. The National Park Service appreciates this support in helping to preserve the lake and its fishery.