Ruedi Reservoir main boat ramp hours, inspections extended to 10 p.m. during July | AspenTimes.com

Ruedi Reservoir main boat ramp hours, inspections extended to 10 p.m. during July

Staff report

The hours at the main boat ramp at Ruedi Reservoir will be extended to 10 p.m. through the month of July.

The Ruedi Water and Power Authority announced it will extend the hours of operation as well as the time of inspections for invasive species in response to public comments.

"The boat ramp is typically closed by 8 p.m. but the evening closure time will be extended to 10 p.m. during July in response to the wishes of the boating public," the statement said. "The ramp will continue to be staffed with inspectors during the evening hours and all boats entering the reservoir will need to go through the inspection station before launching."

Inspectors have intercepted two boats carrying the invasive quagga mussels this season. Inspectors recognized the mussels before the boats were launched and thoroughly decontaminated the boats by steam cleaning, according to Mark Fuller, who is transitioning out of the post of the executive director of the Ruedi Water and Power Authority. April Long is taking his place. The boats were allowed to enter the reservoir once they were cleaned.

"The first boat, a pontoon-style vessel, was intercepted on May 18 and the second boat, a ski boat, was intercepted on June 12," said a statement from Fuller. "Adult mussels were found on both boats in structural crevices and on anchors. Both boats had come to Ruedi from Lake Powell, which has been infested with the mussels for several years."

Officers with Colorado Parks and Wildlife were alerted and they helped supervise the decontamination. The boat owners were cooperative, the statement said.

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Quagga mussels are highly invasive shellfish. They are native to Eurasia and were inadvertently imported to North America in the late 1980s on cargo vessels. They reproduce prolifically and attach themselves to any solid surface. That damages infrastructure and degrades recreational facilities.

Although there is an inspection program, the authority urges boaters to clean, drain and dry their boats in between uses and be prepared for boat inspections prior to entering or leaving the Ruedi Reservoir boat ramp.

The water and power authority sponsors the boat inspection program. The state of Colorado is a contributor and "has freed up funds to pay for extended hours," the statement said.

The hours of the main boat ramp will revert to 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Aug. 1 for the remainder of the season.