DENVER (KDVR) — Chatfield and Cherry Creek reservoirs opened for boating a week ago and the Problem Solvers are already hearing from boaters about long lines.

“Patience is wearing thin. It is only a matter of time before tempers flare,” a viewer emailed FOX31 complaining about long lines at the only open boat ramp at Chatfield State Park. “It’s a safety hazard if there were an emergency, such as severe weather.”

Colorado Parks and Wildlife confirmed last Saturday that during peak hours there was a 45- to 60-minute wait to launch.

“On a nice day, from now until boating ends, the park (and its boat ramps) are busiest from around 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.,” said Jason Clay from CPW.  

Part of the wait is due to only one boat ramp open at each park. The south boat ramp at Chatfield is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m..  At Cherry Creek, the west boat ramp is open from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m.

The other ramps at both parks will open once staffing is available around May 1.

“The north boat ramp will open when adequate staffing levels are in place and they’re trained to operate the Aquatic Nuisance Species inspection station,” Clay said. “It is normal at the start of the boating season to have only one of the two ramp locations up and running.”

All motorized boats are required to be inspected for Aquatic Nuisance Species before hitting the water.

Last weekend, 346 boats were launched at Chatfield’s reservoir. That doesn’t include canoes and or kayaks that are hand-launched.

Chatfield State Park visitation figures for April show a steady climb of visitors to the park from 2015 through 2021.

  • 2021-148,357
  • 2020-170,077
  • 2019-125,689
  • 2018-116,890
  • 2017-121,217
  • 2016-121,807
  • 2015-96,098

Annual use numbers by Chatfield Park visitors have soared from 1,534,490 in 2015 to 2,155,977 users in 2021