DENVER, May 24, 2017 — Antero Reservoir will reopen for recreation Monday, June 5, 9 a.m., after a major rehabilitation project on Antero Dam that required the reservoir to be drained since 2015.
“Denver Water is very excited to reopen the reservoir to recreation,” said Brandon Ransom, Denver Water’s manager of recreation. “We fully understand that fishing and camping are major contributors to the South Park economy, and we consider it a privilege to be able to contribute to the recreational opportunities in the region.”
Only shore angling and the following hand-launched watercraft will be permitted until further notice: kayaks, belly boats, float tubes and canoes. Watercraft is not permitted to be launched from a trailer, and gas, diesel or electric-powered motors are not allowed.
“Colorado Parks and Wildlife staff has worked hard to rebuild Antero’s fishery,” said Jeff Spohn, Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s aquatic biologist for Antero Reservoir. “The fishery is well established but due to the speed that the reservoir refilled, anglers should not expect the size structure of the fish to resemble what they experienced in 2007.”
The bag and possession limit for trout is two. Fish caught and placed on a stringer, in a container or live well, or not returned to the water immediately count in the daily bag and possession limit.
“Anglers are reminded to respect this special resource by not playing your fish to exhaustion,” added Spohn. “Please use strong fishing line, medium to heavy weight fishing poles, and stronger tippets to minimize delayed hooking mortality if you choose to release the fish you catch.”
“The project brought the dam up to current safety standards, allowing us to restore our normal water levels,” said Casey Dick, Denver Water dam safety engineer. “We’re pleased that the construction is on budget and, with help from the weather over the past two years, we’re in a position to restore water to normal levels this year — ahead of schedule.”
One of the benefits that will come from the dam rehabilitation project is a deeper reservoir. Denver Water will be returning the reservoir to water levels that were maintained prior to 2011, deepening the reservoir by 2 feet when it is full. Expected levels could reach 18 feet of depth this summer. This additional depth will provide better conditions for the fish in the reservoir, providing cooler water temperatures in the summer and helping to reduce the threat of winter kill.
Denver Water is still completing the fourth and final phase of this project and recreation users will see construction activity on the east side of the reservoir. The new spillway between the south boat launch and south side dam day-use area will remain closed to the public even after the construction is completed. Recreationists are asked to stay safe by following signage, remaining cautious and being patient while this work is completed.
Campsites have been updated and will be open to the public beginning June 5. See more information on rules and regulations for recreation.
Questions regarding fishing at Antero can be directed to Colorado Parks and Wildlife at 303-291-7227.