WESTMINSTER, Colo. — Boaters in Colorado think they may be one step closer to getting trailered boats back on Standley Lake.
In March, the city of Westminster announced those boats would be banned indefinitely on the lake which supplies water for the city. It said the decision was made as a precaution to keep invasive Zebra and Quagga muscles out of the lake. Those species can clog potable water lines and threaten water quality.
Boaters who use Standley Lake have called the move a knee-jerk reaction, so some created a task force called Friends of Standley Lake. It's working with the city on ways to get the boats back on the water while keeping the mussels out.
Friends of Standley Lake was founded by Kevin Works and Britt Terry. Both men said they have been to every city council meeting since being notified they would no longer be allowed to take their trailered boats into Standley Lake water. They said their goal is ultimately the same as city leaders, which is to keep the water safe and clean, but they disagreed that banning trailered boats was the best way to do it.
Works and Terry said the group's immediate focus is on the lake's tagging system which is a way for rangers to monitor where a boat's been and if it needs to be decontaminated of possible mussels. They said the previous process is too easy for people to get around and some people did. That's something that worried the city and led to the ban in the first place.
So, the task force is proposing a more heavy duty solution that relies on a study cable system that runs through part of the boat, referred to as through-hole tagging, and a digital padlock with a built-in GPS.
"Now the ranger doesn't even really have to look," Terry said. "The padlock will tell you that it's been opened or hasn't been opened in or outside the park."
Works and Terry said the old tagging system relied on a ranger's naked eye to determine if a boat needed decontaminating.
The men admitted any process can be cheated, but they said the point is to know when it was cheated so they can take necessary actions to keep the invasive mussels out of Standley Lake and get their boats back on the water.
Friends of Standley Lake said its goal is for trailered boats to be allowed back at the lake for the 2020 season.
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