Terry Wise
Rifle, CO Colorado

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May 23, 2012
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Rifle Gap has big weekend plans for all

I'm pleased to be able to tell you all about Rifle Falls, Rifle Gap and Harvey Gap State Parks, which are supported by Great Outdoors Colorado. We invite the community to visit the parks and enjoy our spectacular camping, hiking, fishing and educational programs. There's a lot of things to tell you about that you and your family might want to know for the holiday weekend.

Fishing and boating

Aquatic Nuisance Species Inspections: Mandatory aquatic nuisance species inspections are available at Rifle Gap and Harvey Gap boat ramps 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.every day through Sept. 1.

As a reminder, boats must be inspected for aquatic nuisance species prior to launch. Contact Rifle Gap State Park at 625-1607 with any questions.

Water Conditions: Rifle Gap Reservoir and Harvey Gap Reservoir levels are high, much like you would expect in springtime. Water temperature is at 56 degrees. Please keep in mind this is an irrigation reservoir, so water levels will fluctuate during the growing season.

Fishing Conditions

Rifle Gap: Most anglers are looking for perch (no limit), pike (no limit) or trout (limit four). Most recently, there have been reports of some large walleye caught off the Cedar campground loop. A 22-inch walleye and a 24-inch pike were caught by the same angler.

Harvey Gap: On April 19, 3,600 rainbow trout were stocked in Harvey Gap. They are reported to be at least 10 inches in length.

Environment Education Programs

Rifle Gap State Park

4 p.m. Friday, May 25: Here Comes Peter Cottontail

Take a hike with the park naturalist from the north end of the beach to the west end of the beach to observe any desert cottontail rabbits (a resident of Rifle Gap) that may be hopping about. Learn about this animal and its habitat. Create your own unique piece of artwork.

Rifle Falls State Park

10 a.m. Saturday, May 26: Colorado Wildflower Hike

Join special guest Judy Killion, Rifle Falls' campground host from Plano, Texas, and me on a short hike to spot Colorado wildflowers growing in the park.

1 p.m. Saturday, May 26: Find the Clues

Join me at the interpretive table to explore various topics about the wildlife of Rifle Falls State Park, including animal tracks for the surrounding area.

7:50 p.m. Saturday, May 26: Got Bats?

Location is everything when one tries to find a suitable living area and the Rifle Falls bats are no exception. Join me for an interactive presentation on everything you wanted to know about bats but were afraid to ask. Bring your flashlights, because as dark approaches, we will observe their flight patterns while they munch on their supper. The bat program and hike is dependent upon weather conditions.

Harvey Gap State Park

Noon Sunday, May 27: Exploring Textures in Nature

Take a hike with me to the Harvey Gap Overlook. We'll explore textures in nature along the way and you can create your own textured paper bag nature art. For more information, contact the park office at 625-1607.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife was created by the merger of Colorado State Parks and the Colorado Division of Wildlife The agency . manages 42 state parks, all of Colorado's wildlife, more than 300 state wildlife areas and a host of recreational programs. To learn more about Colorado's state parks, visit www.parks.state.co.us. To learn more about Colorado's wildlife programs, go to http://wildlife.state.co.us.

Terry Wise is the Rifle Gap State Park Complex Naturalist and Volunteer Coordinator

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The Post Independent Updated May 23, 2012 06:40PM Published May 23, 2012 06:38PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.