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3/28/2013 Agencies to enforce ban on rec boating at DeWeese

Fishing from water craft will still be allowed but other uses violate 1992 court order

Changes are coming to how folks can recreate on Lake DeWeese.

During their regular mid-month meeting on March 21, the county commissioners met with local Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife (CDPW) officer Justin Krall; Jim McCarty, who owns the exclusive recreational rights on Lake DeWeese; and Ron Dorn, of the DeWeese-Dye Ditch and Reservoir Company.

The three requested the meeting to explain a shift in how folks can use the lake for recreational purposes.

According to a 1992 court order, said Krall,  McCarty owns the exclusive recreational rights on Lake DeWeese, while the CDPW leases the fishing rights to the lake.

As a result, no public boating for recreational use is allowed on Lake DeWeese.

The only folks allowed to use the lake for recreational purposes, such as water skiing, are the property owners in the Lake DeWeese Resort subdivision, said Krall and McCarty.

Anyone from the general public who wants to take a boat out on Lake DeWeese must be fishing from that boat, said Krall.

“If they (the public) are fishing from a jet ski,” said McCarty, “that is legal, but if they are just out riding the jet ski it is not.”

Krall said that enforcing the court order not only makes the lake safer but it will likely draw more fisherman.

Custer County sheriff Fred Jobe, who was also in attendance, agreed saying, “In recent years all the boating on the lake has been an accident waiting to happen so I am encouraged by the change. All we are doing is following the court order.”

Jobe went on to say he has been working with McCarty and Krall to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Dorn of the DeWeese-Dye Ditch Company also agreed, noting the increased recreational use in recent years has affected fishing.

The DeWeese-Dye Ditch and Reservoir Company constructed the Lake DeWeese ditch and dam in 1902 to provide irrigation water to the Lincoln Park area of Canon City. Additions and improvements were made to the dam in the 1930s and 1990s.

The transition to follow the court order includes educating the public through the use of pamphlets. Krall and sheriff’s office personnel will pass those pamphlets out to those who use the lake this summer.

A sign stating the policy is also being constructed and will be placed at the entrance to the lake.

Krall, McCarty and Jobe noted folks will be allowed to put their boats on the lake this summer, however, no public recreational use of Lake DeWeese will be allowed thereafter.

The only public use is fishing and a boat that can be used for fishing.

The use of the lake by the Custer County Chamber of Commerce to set off fireworks over the Independence Day holiday is not affected. McCarty said that will still be allowed. – Nora Drenner