Nuisance species inspections begin June 1
RIFLE, Colorado ” Starting June 1, all trailered watercraft must be inspected for aquatic nuisance species, including zebra and quagga mussels, prior to launch at Rifle Gap and Harvey Gap state parks.
Colorado State Parks took a leadership position, starting last year, in preventing the spread of these species, through inspection and education programs. The state parks’ inspection program has been expanded this year to include Rifle and Harvey gaps.
“Boats may be inspected at Rifle Gap from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m., seven days per week,” said Aaron Fero, park manager for Rifle Gap and Harvey Gap state parks. “Inspection hours at Harvey Gap will be limited to Saturdays and Sundays from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m.”
In August, the inspection hours at both parks will decrease. However, inspections will still be available seven days per week. Visitors wishing to launch boats when the park inspection stations are closed will be required to have proof of a preinspection.
“This may require a little preplanning on the part of some boaters,” Fero said. “Someone wishing to come boating at midnight or even 5 a.m. will have to come up here prior to that date and get their boat preinspected. They will then be given a receipt of the inspection and will need to display that receipt in their vehicle when they are on the water.”
To protect Colorado waters, Colorado State Parks encourages all boaters to take a few simple, precautionary steps every time they go to a lake, river or reservoir. Before leaving a lake or other waterway, boaters should:
– Drain the water from the boat, live well and lower unit of the engine.
– Inspect all exposed surfaces.
– Remove all plant and animal material.
– Clean the hull of the boat.
– Dry the boat, fishing gear and equipment.
Aquatic nuisance species have spread rapidly from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico and into the western United States, damaging beaches, aquatic life, municipal water systems and hydroelectric facilities. There is no way to destroy them without significant environmental damage. Colorado and other states have implemented vigorous inspection programs to control the spread.
For additional information, visit http://www.colorado.gov/parks and look under boating.
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