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Carter Lake Reservoir

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Latest Carter Lake Reservoir Report

The fishing has picked up again with several reports of good size rainbows being caught from boats and the shore. One regular fisher caught sever... Continued

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Carter Lake Reservoir is a Reservoir in Larimer, Colorado.

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Carter Lake, the second largest reservoir in northeastern Colorado, is the principal storage site for Colorado-Big Thompson Project deliveries to the south and east.

Longmont, Boulder and Broomfield, among other cities, are recipients. Water from Carter Lake is also used to irrigate cropland in Boulder and Weld counties.

The Southern Water Supply Project conveys water from Carter Lake to various Front Range and Eastern Plains cities within the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District and Subdistrict boundaries.

The buried pipeline extends south out of Carter Lake to Broomfield, Louisville and Superior. It also travels east and south to Fort Lupton, Hudson and Fort Morgan.

Construction of Carter Lake began in July 1950 and was completed in September 1952. Most of the water stored in the lake originates more than 50 miles away, on Colorado's West Slope. The reservoir has approximately 1,144 water surface acres, 910 land acres and 8 miles of shoreline.

Water is pumped into Carter Lake from Flatiron Reservoir, located northwest of the lake. Water is lifted 300 feet from Flatiron through the Carter Lake Pressure Tunnel, a 1.4-mile long, 8-foot diameter pipe.

Fishing Description: 

Primary sport fish include rainbow trout, kokanee, brown trout, splake, walleye, yellow perch, bluegill, salmon, and largemouth bass.
For current water levels check Reservoir levels.

Recreational Activities: 

Carter Lake is a popular recreational site for fishing, sailing, waterskiing, swimming and boating. Larimer County Parks operates a small visitor center at the lake that provides recreation irmation and issues recreation permits. A hiking trail exists along the west side of the lake. A public swim beach and snack bar/restaurant are available.
Developments include 5 campgrounds with 151 campsites and 3 boat-launch ramps. A concession-operated public marina located at the north end of the lake (970.667.1062). A concession for members only (Sail Club) is operated on the northwest shore of the lake.

Directions to Lake: 

Drive west of Loveland on U.S. Highway 34 to mile marker #85. Watch for the 'Carter Lake' sign.
Turn left (south) onto County Road 29. Go 2 miles and turn right (west) onto County Road 18E. Go west another 2 miles. Watch for the park signs.
At County Road 31 turn left and stop to purchase park entrance permits at the entrance station on your right or at The Bison Visitor Center. Continue south on County Road 31 another 2 miles to Carter Lake, campgrounds, marina, and swim beach.

Carter Lake Reservoir
Waterbody type: 
United States
Surface area: 
Standard elevation: