Officials: Elkhead closed during construction project

Those involved with the Elkhead Reservoir enlargement project want people to remember the reservoir is closed during construction.

Ron Dellacroce, park manager for Yampa State Park and Elkhead, said most people who come out to view the construction stay in their vehicles and don't interfere with construction. But, Dellacroce said, a few people have been scavenging for fishing lures along the banks.

The reservoir, which sits northeast of Craig on the border of Moffat and Routt counties, was partially drained for construction, exposing lures and other debris.

"Most of the stuff out there is just trash," Dellacroce said. "There's no buried treasure."

The reservoir has been closed to the public since December. It will reopen in spring 2007.

Rangers usually issue trespassers a warning and ask them to leave.

But rangers will write a citation for repeat offenders, Dellacroce said.

One scavenger was issued a ticket last month when that person returned after being warned.

The Moffat County Sheriff's Office also is patrolling near Elkhead.

Dellacroce said the reservoir isn't a safe place to be during construction.

"We don't want anybody hurt," he said.

Crews from Ames construction are pouring concrete for the reservoir's new spillway.

Ames Construction general superintendent Todd Castle said curious visitors haven't interfered with construction.

"They haven't created any problems for us," he said.

Most people driving on Moffat County Road 28, which runs along the top of the dam, stay in their cars and don't bother workers.

Zeek Wecker, a fuel technician for Ames, said people who use C.R. 28 to get to and from their homes are especially respectful.

"Everybody out here is great," he said.

Truck traffic is heavy during construction, so workers encourage people to drive carefully on C.R. 28.

Dellacroce said if people wait until the reservoir reopens, they'll like the changes.

"They're going to be very happy with what's going on out there," Dellacroce said.

The expansion will increase Elkhead by 11,750 acre-feet.

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