Forest Service takes steps to prevent Ruedi Reservoir contamination

Media Contact (s): Kate Jerman, 970-945-3271 or Karen Schroyer, 970--404-3157

Forest Service takes steps to prevent Ruedi Reservoir contamination

Carbondale, Colo. – April 10, 2017 - In partnership with the Ruedi Water and Power Authority and Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the Forest Service announces that Ruedi Reservoir will have gates installed at the boat ramp to help prevent aquatic nuisance species (ANS) contamination of the reservoir.  Starting the week of April 10, the ramp will be closed to motor vehicles and trailered boats until the boat inspection program starts in early May. 

Once the inspection program starts, Ruedi will have set operating hours for use of any motor vehicle on the ramp. Boat inspectors will be in place and the ramp will be open from early May through October, weather permitting.  During this time, mandatory inspections will occur seven days a week from sunrise until sunset. Ruedi Water and Power Authority will be hosting a public meeting on April 12 at the Basalt Library at 5:00 p.m. to discuss this year’s inspection program. 

Aquatic nuisance species (ANS), including Zebra and Quagga Mussels, are destructive invasive species that have damaged the environment and private property elsewhere in the U.S. Prior to the 2016 season, Ruedi was considered a moderate risk for invasive mussel infestation, but many who boat at Ruedi also take their boats to Lake Powell each year.  Lake Powell has tested positive for mussels, elevating the risk at Ruedi.

“We realize there may be some inconvenience to those who like to boat early season or late in the fall” said Karen Schroyer, District Ranger for the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District which administers public uses at Ruedi.  “However, all the partners involved believe it is critical to implement this program to reduce the threat of introduction of Quagga or Zebra Mussels into Ruedi Reservoir.”

The boat ramp is part of the Ruedi Reservoir developed recreation complex and will be managed similarly to most developed campgrounds where gates remain closed until mid to late May every year, or at least until the facilities are staffed and ready to open. Access down the concrete boat ramp will be limited to times when the boat inspection station is open. Boaters who return to the ramp after the gate is locked in the evening will have to anchor their watercraft or tie it to the boat dock and return when the station is open to retrieve it.

This boating season brings with it mandatory state-certified boat inspections to help prevent the spread of zebra and quagga mussels and other aquatic invasive species (AIS) in Colorado lakes and reservoirs. For more information call the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District at (970) 963-2266 or visit Colorado State Parks and Wildlife here  for more information.