Non-motorized boats will be allowed on Narraguinnep Reservoir

Narraguinnep Reservoir. Photo credit Andreas Hitzig.

From The Cortez Journal (Jim Mimiaga):

The Montezuma Valley Irrigation Co. on Tuesday retreated from its boating ban at Narraguinnep Reservoir and agreed to allow some hand-launched, non-motorized watercraft.

The revised ban still includes motorized and trailered boats, including jet skis. Such watercraft can carry water from infected lakes in the engines, bilges and ballasts, according to the MVIC.

The specific list of nine non-motorized boats that are allowed on the lake include kayaks, canoes, rafts, belly boats, windsurfer boards, sailboards, float tubes, inner tubes and paddle boards.

“The board is in agreement on allowing those crafts,” Gerald Koppenhafer, president of the MVIC board, said on Tuesday.

Totten Lake, which is owned by the Dolores Water Conservancy District, also recently banned boating, but is also expected to allow the specific list of non-motorized boats, general manager Mike Preston said on Tuesday.

“The intention of our board is to be consistent with MVI and allow the exempted watercraft,” he said…

The boating ban triggered an outcry from the boating community, and generated complaints to the Montezuma county commission. Dozens of comments for and against the policy were posted on The Journal’s Facebook page.

McPhee Reservoir allows all types of boating, but trailered and motorized watercraft can only enter the lake through two boat inspection stations at the McPhee boat ramp and the House Creek boat ramp. The list of nine, hand-launched boats can launch from anywhere. Funding is available for boat inspection stations at McPhee but not other area lakes.

Irrigation companies and lake managers are trying to prevent the invasive mussel from entering Colorado waterways. Once a lake becomes contaminated with the mussels, they cannot be eliminated and cause damage to irrigation infrastructure, including dams, municipal systems and power plants. Mitigating a mussel contamination year-to-year also dramatically increases operation costs.

A decision is pending on how to prevent a mussel contamination at Groundhog Reservoir, which also is owned by MVIC.

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