What you need to know about Lake Nighthorse opening

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What you need to know about Lake Nighthorse opening

Area will be open only on weekends until May
Courtesy of City of Durango
Courtesy of City of Durango

What you need to know about Lake Nighthorse opening

Courtesy of City of Durango
Courtesy of City of Durango
Kids first fishing event

The city of Durango will celebrate the opening of Lake Nighthorse with kids fishing event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The free event is for children 15 years old or younger and their families.

Timeline: Lake Nighthorse 50 years in the making

1968: Congress authorizes the Animas-La Plata Project to fulfill water rights settlement of the Ute Mountain Ute and Southern Ute Indian tribes. It would have included two reservoirs, 240 miles of pipelines and canals and seven water pumping stations.


1997: Animas-La Plata Project scaled back and most irrigation features eliminated.


1998: Animas-La Plata Project plans scaled back again to a third of the lake’s originally proposed size.


2000: Settlement sets size and capacity for Lake Nighthorse and cuts funding for recreation improvements.


2004: President George W. Bush named the reservoir after former Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, an Ignacio resident.


2008: Colorado Parks and Wildlife declines to develop and manage Lake Nighthorse because of budget concerns.


2009: Bureau of Reclamation starts filling the lake.


2009: City expresses interest in serving as recreational manager at Lake Nighthorse and city staff participates in public meetings about it.


2011: Reservoir filled to capacity.

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