Register boats to use association lakes

The ice is off the lakes, and fishing and boating opportunities are picking up. I wish to remind you that a watercraft registration with PLPOA is required before a boat is used on the association lakes.

This rule may not be well accepted by some folks, but there are good reasons for this regulation. The first one is liability of the association, which is a big concern these days. In the past, boaters who did not purchase a fishing permit were not getting copies of boating rules and regulations of the lakes — such as no gas-powered engines allowed, the life jacket requirements and other important safety rules.

Another reason for the registration program is that, with all the growth and increased use of the lakes, there are more and more boats on the lakes. There are times association staff finds what appear to be abandoned or lost boats and we have no idea who they belong to. Sometimes a boat can get loose from a dock or yard and get blown across the lake and, again, we do not know to whom it belongs.

With a registration system in place, the association will now be able to track down the owners and reunite them with their boat. If a boat were to be stolen and end up in the sheriff’s department’s custody, we will be able to identify the owner, as well.

Additionally, we have had some issues at the association member storage areas on the lakes. We are seeing more boats every year stored at these locations. Some appear to have been there for years and may or may not have been abandoned. We just don’t know. With an annual registration in place, we can track these boats and know they are current and that the owner has claimed the boat and registered it.

The $10 boat registration fee is reasonable and should not be a financial difficulty for owners, considering state of Colorado boat registration fees start at $25 annually and go up from there depending on the size of the craft. Of course, you do not need a state boat registration on the association-owned lakes.

The boat registration policy has been in effect since July 1, 2007, and since then, association staff is able to accurately monitor boating activities on the lakes. Boat registration and decals are available at the Pagosa Lakes administration office only. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Happy boating, happy fishing this spring and summer. Enjoy yourselves and be safe.

The recreation center pool will close on Sunday, April 12, for routine cleaning and minor repairs. It will reopen on Friday, April 17. The rest of the facility — the weight room, cardio room, locker rooms, racquetball courts and the multi purpose exercise room will remain open for regular business hours during the pool and hot tub closure.