LOVELAND, Colo. – Public fishing at Lonetree Reservoir will only be open to the public for another year, after Colorado Parks & Wildlife was outbid by an unknown entity on a 20-year lease.
The popular reservoir and recreation area will be under lease by the state through June 30, 2018, but won’t be open to the public afterward.
The state Parks & Wildlife division had leased the reservoir and its surrounding for wildlife recreation since the 1970s, and say they will work to salvage and move and remaining sportfish to public water by next year. Current fishing regulations will remain in place until then.
It’s unclear who outbid the division or how much the winning bid was for, but the Parks & Wildlife news release announcing the lease would end next year lamented the failure of a financial sustainability bill for the agency in a Senate committee in this year’s legislature.
The bill would have increased prices for park passes and licenses for Colorado residents who fish and hunt.
“We are certainly disappointed. We negotiated as best we could for a 20-year lease, but were outbid in the end,” said Mark Leslie, the northeast regional manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “Sadly the agency may face additional situations like this in the future as we struggle to support our hunting and fishing access with a constrained budget.”