Paddle Boarders and Boats to be Separated at Horsetooth Reservoir
This is a long-awaited solution to a problem that has plagued this cove for many summers at Horsetooth Reservoir. I equally love the tranquility of paddle craft and speeding over waves hoping to get a big splash.
My stepdad is the captain of our family boat. He's a Navy veteran. The kind of guy who will help anyone. However, the situation at Satanka Bay has frustrated him. It's been dangerous for both parties. According to Larimer County in 2020 there were recorded "near misses".
Boats have been using the dock at Satanka for a long time. The permits cost more when you have a motorized boat. It's a bigger ordeal when you have a motorized boat. You bring your truck and boat on a trailer, back your trailer into the water, close to the dock. It's a lot of precision. Now throw in lots of people trying to blow up their paddle board where you need to back into, or a group of paddle craft floating along in the "no wake" zone as the riders learn to use the board. For boaters, there is a bit of a "hurry up" and get away from the dock feeling, because distance from obstacles matters.
Larimer County Natural Resources has a plan to make it safer for their ever-growing visitations of both types of recreators.
LCDNR is designating Satanka Bay, the northern cove at Horsetooth Reservoir, as a wakeless "Paddlecraft Only Zone.” The west side of Satanka Bay is closed to motorized boats (limited to paddlecrafts only), while the east side and the remainder of Horsetooth Reservoir remains open to motorized boats.
Motorized boats can launch via the Satanka boat ramp beginning May 1. Launching of paddlecrafts (paddleboards, kayaks, canoes) will occur to the south west of the boat ramp. Buoys mark the dividing line for the designated use areas.