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McPhee Boat Ramp Use Increases in 2017

United States Department of Agriculture

San Juan National Forest
15 Burnett Ct.

Durango, CO 81301
(970) 247-4874


News Release


-Boaters Urged to Use Parking Areas and Ramps Efficiently-

DOLORES, Colorado – June 22, 2017 – McPhee Reservoir is seeing increased use this summer due to decreased opportunities for motorized boating on other southwestern Colorado reservoirs that have been closed to guard against the introduction of aquatic nuisance species. McPhee is one of a few reservoirs in southwestern Colorado with operating mussel inspection stations that allow for motorized boating in its waters.

The McPhee boat ramp has seen an 85 percent increase in inspections this summer from last year.  Because of the increased usage, parking areas and boat ramps are experiencing heavy congestion, especially on weekends.  The Forest Service urges visitors to use parking areas and ramps as efficiently as possible to lessen congestion.  Boats should be prepped prior to launching to reduce time at the ramp and directional traffic signs in the parking lots should be followed to ensure safety for all visitors.

Those parking vehicles without trailers are asked to use overflow parking areas to leave the larger main parking areas available for vehicles with trailers.  Weekday users will find less crowded conditions.  Those who do visit on weekends could consider using the House Creek Boat Ramp as an alternative, which is often less crowded.

The inspection stations are working smoothly, with previously inspected boats carrying documentation and tags moving through the process within five to 10 minutes.  Boats that have not been cleaned, drained and dried, and thus require decontamination procedures are urged to enter inspection stations during weekdays, rather than during busy weekends, as this process takes more time.

Inspection stations are open seven days a week at the McPhee Boat Ramp and Friday through Monday at the House Creek Boat Ramp, both from 6a.m. to 8 p.m.  All other access points to McPhee Reservoir have been gated to prevent uninspected boats from entering the reservoir.

For more information, contact Tom Rice at 970 882 6843


USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

Invasive Mussel Risk to Colorado Public Meeting

7:00 PM Thursday June 8 at the Dolores Community Center

Robert Walters of Colorado Parks and Wildlife will present the latest risk and activities around Colorado’s efforts to prevent the introduction and infestation of invasive in our local lakes.

Drought Contingency Plan

A draft Drought Contingency Plan was prepared for the Dolores Project. The DWCD received a Bureau of Reclamation WaterSMART grant to fund the preparation of the draft Drought Contingency Plan. The DWCD along with Montezuma Irrigation Company and Ute Mountain Ute Farm and Ranch participated in the Planning Task Force, which also included representatives from the Bureau of Reclamation and Division of Water Resources. The Planning Task Force met regularly to discuss and develop the content to be included in the draft plan. The draft plan is a comprehensive evaluation of mitigation and response actions to reduce water shortages and provide greater drought resiliency for Dolores Project water users.

Please provide your comments by email to: Comments are due no later than close of business on June 23, 2017. A public meeting will be held on June 7, 2017 at 7:00 pm at the DWCD Cortez Office, 60 South Cactus, Cortez CO. The purpose of the meeting is to collect comments and facilitate dialogue surrounding the draft plan. All are welcome to attend! Thank you for your time in reviewing the document.

Letter Requesting Public Comment

Draft Dolores Project Drought Contingency Plan

Appendix A to Draft Dolores Project Drought Contingency Plan


Watercraft Exempt from Mandatory Inspections

What Watercraft are Exempt from Mandatory Inspections?
The following nine watercraft are exempt from mandatory inspection as defined by CPW.
These are the only watercraft in Colorado that are exempt from the mandatory inspection law and
regulations. All others must be inspected.

1. Kayak
2. Canoe
3. Raft
4. Belly Boat
5. Windsurfer Board
6. Sailboard
7. Float Tubes
8. Inner Tubes
9. Paddle Boards

Marine propulsion systems that are gasoline or diesel powered must be inspected, regardless of the
watercraft type. They are NOT exempt. Electric motors must be inspected when they are not on an
exempt watercraft.
Any trailer that goes into the water must be inspected. Trailers are only exempt when they do not
enter water and the watercraft on top of the trailer is one of the exempt hand‐launched watercraft
listed above.
What are the reasons for exempting the above 9 types of watercraft from inspection?

1. Hand‐launched
2. Typically do not have a marine propulsion system
3. Typically do not have interior water holding compartments
4. Typically do not stay on the water long = short exposure time
5. Typically do not stay still on the water = short exposure time
6. Typically do not anchor or make contact with lake or reservoir bottom
7. Typically fully dried out before putting in a car or on top of a car for transport.
8. Provides a low‐risk access option for boaters and anglers when inspections aren’t present and
boat ramps are closed.