Photo by Jeffrey V. Smith
Estes Valley Recreation and Park District (EVRPD), the provider of numerous recreational opportunities in Estes Valley, announced today the opening date for the Lake Estes Marina. Starting Saturday, May 5, boats can be launched into Lake Estes and boat rentals will begin at the marina store for the summer 2018 season. The hours for the marina store will also expand to seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This opening marks the beginning of the 60th season of EVRPD’s management of the Lake Estes Marina. The district, which was called Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Recreation District when it first started managing the recreation on Lake Estes, sold the first boat permit in early May, 1958, after taking over operations from the Lake Estes Boat Service. At various times, concessionaires were employed to help with the day-to-day operations.
New regulations have also been put into place at Lake Estes by EVRPD to adhere to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Aquatic Nuisance Species Program. Colorado ANS regulations require that all motorized and trailered watercraft must submit to an inspection, and, if needed, a decontamination upon entry and exit of Colorado waters following boating out of state, boating on positive or suspect water, or when entering a water body where inspections are required by the managing agency. This inspection requirement includes hand-powered boats brought to Lake Estes on trailers.
“We are excited to get the 2018 season started after another cold and windy winter,” said Annie Hanson, Lake Estes Marina Manager. She added that “several of our staff members spent part of the off-season getting certified to complete the inspections and decontamination. Our goal is to make the transition as smooth as possible for our customers.”
Although no schedule is currently available for the inspection times, Hanson said the best option is to come into the marina store to request an inspection. The gate for the boat launch now remains closed and locked outside of business hours, and boats will only be permitted to launch after an ANS inspection.
The ANS regulations do not apply to non-motorized boats launched by hand.
“The best way to enjoy early morning or late afternoon fishing is to purchase an overnight dock slip during and complete the inspection during business hours,” said Hanson. “We also added a ten-person pontoon boat to increase the availability of boats for rent, which do not need inspection at every use.”
Annual and day-use vehicle-use permits, which cost $23 to $29 for annuals and $5 for day-use, are required for parking at Cherokee Draw, Wapiti Meadows and the Lake Estes Marina. Day use is covered by the annual permit. Boat-use fees are also required for any boat launching into Lake Estes, including standup paddleboards, kayaks and canoes. Fees are $5 per boat for a one-day pass or $28 to $46 for an annual pass depending on residency and power source. All boats must launch from the marina area.
For all of the latest information about hours, inspections, fishing and boating at the Lake Estes Marina, follow us on Facebook (facebook.com/evrpd) or visit evrpd.com. For specific questions, marina staff can be reached at 970-586-2011.