Montrose, CO — The City of Montrose and Colorado Parks and Wildlife are pleased to announce that Cerro Reservoir is full and that fishing access on the associated State Wildlife Area is open to the public.
Cerro Reservoir, located at Cerro Summit on Highway 50 east of Montrose, serves as an emergency backup water supply for the city.
Originally built in the 1920s under a land grant from the federal government, the reservoir was in need of an upgrade to replace aging infrastructure and to meet modern dam-safety standards. In response to these issues, the city has been working over the past several years to complete a multi-million dollar upgrade to the reservoir.
This work included reconstruction of the dam’s western embankment, replacement of the dam’s outlet works, construction of several curtain drains on the dam’s embankments, and the installation of dam-monitoring infrastructure. Construction of the project was completed in the spring of 2020 and refilling operations are complete as of June 2021.
“It is great to bring this critical piece of our water infrastructure back online after being out of commission for several years due to the construction project," said City Engineer Scott Murphy. "This reservoir is key to the overall resiliency and reliability of our water system."
In addition to serving as a backup water supply for the city, the reservoir was opened as a State Wildlife Area in 2016 through a cooperative agreement between the city and Colorado Parks and Wildlife. As a State Wildlife Area, the reservoir is open to catch-and-release fishing with artificial flies and lures only. Fishing access is from March through November of each year. Additionally, hunting is allowed from mid-August through November.
“CPW is excited to be actively managing a sport fishery in Cerro Reservoir again," said CPW Wildlife Manager Rachel Sralla. "The repair of the dam necessitated draining of the reservoir and now that that work is completed, we can work to create an exciting sport fish resource for the people of Colorado. CPW appreciates the partnership we have with the City of Montrose and our cooperative management of Cerro Summit SWA to provide sportspersons access to the water and land.”
The reservoir was recently stocked with cutthroat trout in the fall of 2020 and CPW will continue to manage the fishery at the reservoir.
CPW and the city would like to remind users that all fishing and hunting regulations apply at the wildlife area and that all users must possess appropriate hunting and/or fishing license. Access through the State Wildlife Area and to the reservoir is walk-in from the designated parking area at the western end of the site and that access is for fishing and hunting only.
The city would like to thank the public for their patience throughout the construction project and would also like to thank the partners who helped to make the project a success: Mountain Valley Contracting, RJH Consultants, Cimarron Canal, and Reservoir Company, Colorado Division of Water Resources Dam Safety Branch, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Any questions regarding the project may be directed to City Engineer Scott Murphy at 970.901.1792.
For more city news visit CityOfMontrose.org.