Lake Pueblo State Park
|Lake Pueblo State Park|
|Location||Pueblo County, Colorado, USA|
|Nearest city||Pueblo, CO|
|Area||10,279 acres (41.60 km2)|
|Governing body||Colorado State Parks|
Lake Pueblo State Park is a state park located in Pueblo County, Colorado. It includes 60 miles (97 km) of shoreline and 10,000 acres (40 km2) of land. Activities it offers include two full-service marinas, recreational fishing, hiking, camping and swimming at a special swim beach.
Lake Pueblo (also and more accurately known as Pueblo Reservoir) has a maximum depth of 135 feet (41 m) and is impounded by Pueblo Dam.
Pueblo Dam was constructed from 1970-1975 across the Arkansas River in Pueblo County as part of the Bureau of Reclamation's Fryingpan-Arkansas Project. While the primary purpose of the reservoir is to provide supplemental water for agricultural, municipal, and industrial uses, water from Pueblo also helps enhance recreation, fish and wildlife. Additionally, and unlike most reservoirs Reclamation constructed in Colorado, Pueblo Dam provides for flood control because the Arkansas River has a history of flooding roughly every ten years, the most notable of which was in 1922.
Because Reclamation is not a recreation management agency, recreation at the reservoir and across the Park is operated by Colorado Parks and Wildlife under the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. The State has operated and maintained the Park since it opened in the 1970s. Lake Pueblo State Park, with Lake Pueblo as its center piece, is one of the premiere vacation destinations in southern Colorado.
In addition to the reservoir, the Park also encompasses the Lake Pueblo Fish Hatchery and Rock Canyon Swim Beach, located just downstream of Pueblo Dam along the shoreline of the Arkansas River. While water skiing, wake boarding and other flat water recreation are part of the Lake Pueblo recreation experience, swimming is not allowed in the reservoir. Swimming is only allowed at the Rock Canyon Swim Beach, which typically opens for the summer season on Memorial Day weekend.
Today, Lake Pueblo serves as the Fry-Ark's primary storage vessel for the lower Arkansas Valley. The Lake is able to store a total of 357,678 acre feet (441,189,000 m3) of water when at full capacity. Levels in 2009 were reported as a total of 234,347 in active acre-feet storage of water.
The land surrounding the reservoir is very diverse. Mammals commonly sited or observed at the park include mule deer, coyote, cottontail rabbit, red fox, gray fox, beaver, raccoon, skunk, prairie dogs, and badger. It also plays home to many different reptile species bull snakes, rattlesnakes, sagebrush lizards, coach whips, and box turtles. It is notable in that it also home to a rare species of serpent, the blackneck garter snake.
- "Lake Pueblo State Park". Colorado State Parks. Retrieved 2009-09-19.
- "Lake Pueblo State Park, Colorado". Mountain Wayfarer. Retrieved 2009-05-19.
- "History of Lake Pueblo". Colorado State Parks. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
- "Fryingpan-Arkansas Project". Fryingpan-Arkansas Project-Colorado. Retrieved 2009-05-19. Template:Http://www.usbr.gov/gp/ecao/fryark/
- "Wildlife at Lake Pueblo". Colorado Dept. of Natural Resources. Retrieved 2009-05-20.