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Rain, Snowmelt Help To Make History At Horsetooth Reservoir

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Horsetooth Reservoir (credit: CBS)

Horsetooth Reservoir (credit: CBS)

LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Recent rain and record snowmelt is helping to make history at Horsetooth Reservoir in Larimer County as it’s expected to fill up.

Horsetooth Reservoir hasn’t been as high since 2004 and it means a watershed for nearby businesses.

Boaters at Horsetooth have been watching the water level rise every day.

“It’s shooting up dramatically, daily, keeps getting higher and higher,” boater Blake Burroughs said.

Burroughs, a Horsetooth regular, says when the lake’s as full as it is now, covering trees on the shore in places, there’s simply more room for boating.

“When you go in the coves and stuff they go all the way back to there — there’s usually trees, but those trees are getting covered. (It) makes the lake a lot bigger,” he said.

More water means more business at the Inlet Bay Marina where Stacy Hollenbeck and her family rented a pontoon boat Monday afternoon.

“We’ve had a tremendously successful time fishing, so that’s why we wanted to get out to the middle of the lake, because if it’s good on the shore, it’s probably good out in the middle of the lake,” said Hollenbeck, who is from Commerce City.

“Just for a Monday, we’ve got everything rented out,” Andrew Garcia with Inlet Bay Marina said. “It’s never like this in mid July and we’re still filling water. It’s pretty impressive.”

“Because of all the rain we’ve had the farmers not needing water;, we’re not watering our lawns, so we haven’t been able to run much water out of our reservoirs like Horsetooth Reservoir,” Brian Werner with the Northern Colorado Water District said.

Water managers say by the weekend Horsetooth will be full for the first time in 8 years.

“The marina operators and the boaters at Horsetooth are going to be happy a lot longer this summer, well into August and probably into Sepetember,” Werner said.

“I’m pretty excited because usually you get three months and that’s it. If we can stay longer, I’m okay with that,” Burroughs said.

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