Wolford Mountain Reservoir opened Friday with mandatory mussel inspections | SkyHiNews.com

Wolford Mountain Reservoir opened Friday with mandatory mussel inspections

With Wolford Mountain Reservoir boat ramp opening on May 1, boat owners are finding a new procedure at the launch area: Mandatory boat and trailer inspections for mussel contamination.

The Colorado River District, owner of the reservoir on Muddy Creek, instituted the inspections to prevent the reservoir from being contaminated by invasive quagga and zebra mussels.

The mussels multiply quickly and could clog water works at the dam and foul up boat mechanics.

In recent years, the mussels have spread to the West from the Great Lakes region. In the last year, they have been discovered in several Colorado lakes including mussel veligers in Grand Lake and Shadow Mountain and Granby reservoirs.

They have not yet been detected in Wolford Mountain Reservoir.

“Every boat entering the area will be inspected prior to launch,” said reservoir operator Kem Davidson, who works with campground concessionaire Jeff Miller, both of Kremmling.

Boat owners will find an inspection area near the ramp.

If boats are deemed “clean, drained and dry,” they will be allowed in the water. When owners pull out their boat, they will be given a motor tag specifically for Wolford Reservoir. As long as the tag remains intact, Wolford officials explained, the boater can relaunch at Wolford, bypassing inspection.

If a boat is judged contaminated, meaning that it is dirty or that water drains from the motor when lowered, it will need to be decontaminated with a power washer prior to launch.

The decontamination area is in the back of the Day Use parking area at the reservoir.

The pressure washing facilities are up and running so no boat will be turned away, Davidson said.

Colorado River District officials ask the public to be patient with the implementation of this new program, which is designed to allow continued recreational boating at Wolford Mountain Reservoir.

For more information, contact Kem Davidson at (970) 724-9717 or (970) 532-1352.