Colorado Parks and Wildlife is currently working with the USFS to restore the dam at Beaver Creek Reservoir SWA.
We completed some work last summer and partially drained the reservoir to prepare for the remainder of the work (Phase II construction) this summer. Beginning February 1, 2014 we authorized an "emergency public salvage," allowing the public to harvest any remaining trout prior to our completely draining the reservoir for Phase II.
We began releasing additional water ASAP this spring. The fish salvage will end on April 30th as the reservoir will be "drained" for all practical purposes. Fishing opportunity will essentially be nil and conditions at the reservoir for the public will be dangerous: mud, steep banks, rocks, intense construction activity, possible falling rock, etc.
Based upon these dangerous conditions, in the interest of public safety, we made the decision to close Beaver Creek Reservoir to the public. We will be posting the area at an area where it is safe for the public to turn around. Access to the USFS Lower Beaver Creek Campground and to the Beaver Mountain and Million Reservoir trail heads will not be affected.
We are providing press releases and will provide additional information through our website letting the public know that there are many great fishing opportunities nearby including: Smith, Mountain Home, Road Canyon, Rio Grande, Big Meadows, Tucker Ponds and Alberta Park reservoirs, and Brown Lakes. Public access is also available for fishing the Rio Grande River at the Coller, Del Norte and Creede state wildlife areas.
We are planning to start storing water as soon as the restoration is complete and the State Engineers office has certified the safety of the repairs. With a pool in the reservoir, we will restock the reservoir to restore the fishing opportunities.
We know that you understand how important it is to restore Beaver Creek Reservoir from a dam safety perspective. Likewise, this restoration will benefit the entire Rio Grande Basin as it allows increased flexibility in how we manage water for watershed health, recreational and environmental purposes along with wildfire control and agricultural uses.
Thanks for the updates on the good work that RWEACT is doing!
Southwest Region Manager
Colorado Parks and Wildlife