Paonia State Park is now open for summer activities. The park, which includes Paonia Reservoir, is 15 miles northeast of Paonia on Highway 131.
This scenic park is located high in the North Fork drainage and is very popular for water skiing and wake boarding. For anglers, the reservoir was recently stocked with catchable size rainbow trout.
Boats being launched on the reservoir must be inspected for aquatic nuisance species. The inspector is on duty from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Boaters who arrive early and who have been inspected elsewhere can place their ANS seals in the payment tube.
Those with inboard-outboard engines are asked to obtain their inspections and seal at another lake or reservoir in Colorado before coming to Paonia. The park is not equipped with the type of sanitation equipment needed to decontaminate those types of boats on site if mussels were found.
The reservoir is full now because of the substantial snowpack in the mountains. The level usually starts to drop quickly in July as farmers and ranchers call for irrigation water downstream,
The park has 13 campsites that fill fast, especially on the weekends. It’s recommended that campers make reservations by calling 1-800-678-2267, or go to the campground reservation section of the Colorado Parks and Reservation website, http://coloradostateparks.reserveamerica.com.
All park users must have a pass, $7 for daily use or $70 for an annual pass. For more information about Colorado’s state parks, go to cpw.state.co.us.