Colorado’s Bonny Lake State Park Loses its Lake

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State officials began draining Bonny lake at  the popular Bonny Lake Colorado State in September of 2011. The action is the result of a May 19, 2003 Supreme Court decision that Colorado was forced to honor. The Supreme Court decided that Colorado owed the state of Kansas billions of gallons of water under a very old water-rights deal called the Republican River Compact.

Here are some of the details surrounding the decision:

Here is some documentation about the Republican River Compact:

Bonny Lake State Park was a popular eastern plains Colorado State Park with many year-round visitors. Bonny Lake State Park is just a few miles from the Kansas State border.

Losing the lake at Bonny Lake State Park is certainly a blow to the park and the local residents who depended on the lake for recreation and tourism. This was a popular boating location and the fishing here has always been good. As the lake drains, many anglers are flocking to the last pieces of water to pull their limits of the fish that remain. Colorado Park officials are encouraging anglers to pull their limits in an effort to clean some of the fish out.

Even though the lake is being drained, Bonny Lake State Park is not going to be closing completely. Colorado State Park officials have changed the park into a State Wild life area.

Hunting at Bonny Lake State Park is still open and available during the appropriate hunting seasons.

If you plan on heading out there make sure to do a little research before you head out as the park is in transition. Know what you are getting into so you can go camping there prepared. Primitive camping is available for now, so make sure you go prepared with a few extra supplies to accommodate this change.

It is sad to see Bonny Lake drained, but good to hear that the park itself is not closing completely. It will still be a nice place to go camping and an great place for photography or to go bird watching. Hunting will still be available as well as the several trails they have established in the park.

If you are touring around the area, you might stop by and catch your limit, take a pictures of the lake draining, and say your farewells to a lake that held many fond memories of great summer camping adventures.

For more information on Bonny Lake State Park and its current status check out the Colorado State Park’s website at:

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