The McPhee Reservoir boating season has been delayed to minimize the impact and spread of the novel coronavirus.
The McPhee boat ramp’s opening date has been pushed to May 1, according to the San Juan National Forest, which manages lake recreation. The delay may be extended upon review.
The House Creek boat ramp is still scheduled to open May 1 for use Friday through Monday.
“These management actions intend to protect public health and safety and align with state and local measures already in place to contain the COVID-19 outbreak,” according to a press release.
Forest officials fear people will congregate at the boat ramp, parking lot and inspection stations, creating a risk of spreading the disease, officials said.
Also, the breakwater at the McPhee Boat Ramp and marina was damaged by a winter storm, forest and Montezuma County officials said.
Cables that connect the floating tires have broken and must be repaired before the marina opens. The damage will be assessed by forest officials to determine a plan for repairs.
San Juan Forest remains open Trails and undeveloped trailheads on the San Juan National Forest remain open for public use and will be monitored to ensure alignment with COVID-19 guidance from federal, state and local authorities.
Given the demonstrated risk of exposure to coronavirus from large, concentrated gatherings of people, the San Juan National Forest is temporarily discouraging continued recreational use on the national forest.
“Safe and responsible use of the national forest has never been more important in reducing impacts to local communities who may be at risk from the virus,” according to the press release.
“Visitors should be prepared for limited services such as restroom facilities and garbage collection and need to be prepared to pack out all trash and human waste.”
All motorized and trailered boats at McPhee are required to go through a aquatic nuisance boat inspection station before launching.
“Colorado is one of just a few states in the country that doesn’t have an infestation of adult mussels in any of its waters,” said Elizabeth Brown, invasive species program manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “That’s directly attributable to our mandatory inspection and decontamination program that’s been in place for over a decade now.”
Boaters are reminded not to travel long distances to go boating or fishing while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect Colorado. Recreate at local reservoirs in compliance with the stay-at-home order from Gov. Jared Polis.