Colorado boat ramps begin to close amid drought conditions

Local News

LITTLETON, Colo. (KDVR) — For the first time since 2013, the entire state of Colorado is under drought or abnormally dry conditions.

The latest release from the United States Drought Monitor showcases severe and extreme drought conditions in certain portions of the state. 

The lack of water is forcing officials to begin the process of closing certain boat ramps at a number of Colorado lakes, including Prewitt Reservoir, North Sterling State Park, Jackson Lake State Park, Jumbo Reservoir and Spinney Mountain Reservoir. 

“Some of them, it’s just because the water levels are so low that you can’t get a boat into them,” says Jason Clay with Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “Some very popular water bodies that aren’t right here in Denver are at risk of closing down.”

Clay says Chatfield Reservoir and Cherry Creek Reservoir have seen low water levels in recent days, but at this point are still accessible by boat.

“They’ve definitely been utilized a lot all summer long,” he says. 

Clay says CPW has seen record numbers of boaters this year, with many flocking to the lakes as a safe way to play outside while socially distancing. 

Friday afternoon, Dante Sileo and his family were testing out their new boat at Chatfield State Park. 

“You go out with your family, and you have a great time on a small boat, you’re far away from everybody, so it’s awesome,” said Sileo. 

He says he’s noticed the low water levels, but says it’s still easy to get in and out of Chatfield.

“Kind of scary, you know, it is toward the end of the season. But if it continues year after year, it could ruin some summers.”

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