High Plains Environmental Center

Boating Rules & Regulations

Boating is currently CLOSED. 

We are working on getting boating ready for the 2024 Season.

Once things are all ready to go, we’ll let you know on Facebook & our Newsletter.

Stay tuned!

Please remember that in order to protect sensitive wildlife habitat, boating is never allowed on Equalizer Lake. 

Houts Reservoir boating access sign-ups will now go through HPEC. You can find our rules and regulations below. Please be sure to review this information as some of it may be different from the former LMHA rules. We would like to remind everyone that our rules and regulations are intended to keep boaters safe and to minimize disturbance for wildlife. We hope that the community will adhere to our rules and respect the needs of wildlife so that we can continue to offer this activity. 

HPEC is working to on completing all necessary legal documentation, the installation of a new dock gate, acquiring new gear, and more to get boating ready for the 2024 season. We appreciate your patience during this transition. Once boating is ready to open we will post to our Facebook and Newsletter. 

 

How boating will work, once everything is ready:

2. Sign in via Sign Up Genius (before boarding boat)
3. Take your boat out for your reserved date/time
4. Sign out via Sign Up Genius (after de-boarding boat)

 

 

Hours

Houts Reservoir is open for boating from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM daily.

2024 Opening Day is dependent on many tasks (including finishing the dock, legal documents, etc) being completed. Please be patient during this transition time! When we are ready to launch boating we will notify the public via our Facebook and Newsletter.

 

Closures

HPEC reserves without condition the right to change boating hours or close boating for inclement weather conditions; conditions of wildlife sensitivity, breeding, migration; or special events.

Two blasts of an air horn will indicate all boats must return to shore immediately. 

HPEC will endeavor to inform the public of changes in normal boating hours via social media and signage at the dock. 

 

Step 1: Register and Reserve Your Kayak(s)

Read and agree to the HPEC Boating Regulations Agreement (Google form)

*FORM IS LOCKED UNTIL BOATING IS READY!*

Provide government issued I.D. for proof of residency and safety. 

Reserve your boat(s) and desired time slot.

 

Step 2: Sign In Procedure

Sign in prior to boat launch via SignUpGenius (This is so we know you are going on the water).

Collect dock key, life jackets, boat key, and safety whistle from HPEC. 

Personal flotation device and safety whistle must be firmly attached before stepping onto the dock. 

Unlock the gate and enter the dock. Close the gate behind you (it will lock automatically).

Unlock your kayak(s) using the key attached to your personal flotation device. 

Inspect your boat and gear. Inform HPEC of any existing damages.

 

Step 3: Sign Out Procedure

At the end of your 2 hour time slot (or before, if finished early) return your gear and sign out via  SignUpGenius (This is so we know that you are safely off the water). 

If you do not return your gear and sign-out (online) at the end of your reservation time, we will assume you are missing and call Search and Rescue/Police. If Authorities come and you were not in need of a rescue, your household’s boating privileges will be revoked permanently. 

Kayaks, paddles, flotation devices, safety whistles, keys and locks, and any other rented gear must be returned to their original locations at the end of your rental period, in the same condition they were found. 

Kayaks must be locked to the dock. 

Personal flotation devices, whistle, and keys must be returned to HPEC. 

 

RULES AND REGULATIONS

You will agree to all rules and enter all information required on the registration form.

 

Age and Ability Requirements for Boating

Individual renting the craft(s) must be 18 years of age or older. (ID required)

Any minors (under 18) in the party must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. (ID required)

No individuals under the age of three (3) years old are allowed on the dock, boats, or water. 

You must identify all parties that will be going on the watercraft, in case of emergency. (Name, age, sex) on the registration form. 

Suggested (not required) – Provide ID for all parties who have one, in case of emergency. 

Individuals going out on the water must be able to swim well enough to preserve their own life.

 

About Watercraft

You must reserve an HPEC owned kayak to boat on Houts Reservoir. No personal watercraft are allowed on the water. 

Kayak must display HPEC designator (flag, decal) at all times. 

Only 4 craft are allowed on the water at any given time. *With the exception of HPEC events.*

No more than the maximum number of people shall occupy the kayak as designed.

Kayak must be launched from the boat dock only. Walking on the shoreline is strictly prohibited to protect sensitive wildlife habitat. 

No fishing from kayak. 

Damage to the watercraft, dock, or other HPEC owned gear/property will be the sole responsibility of the user. 

 

Flotation Devices and Personal Safety

The water craft will, at all times, be handled in a safe, careful manner with respect to personal wellbeing and environmental protection. 

All individuals on the watercraft must be able to swim well enough to preserve their own life. 

All users must wear a properly fitting flotation device and carry a safety whistle at all times while on the dock and on the water.

Flotation devices and safety whistles will be provided by High Plains Environmental Center. You are welcome to provide your own, of similar model, if they do not meet your needs. Personal flotation devices must satisfy the same requirements, and must be worn at all times on the dock and in the kayak.

Upon request by HPEC Staff, HPEC employed Security personnel (Anlance), or Colorado Parks and Wildlife, all users shall provide verification of the presence of required flotation devices and safety whistles. 

Users must remain in the kayak at all times. You may not exit your watercraft anywhere besides the dock. 

Changing passengers at any location other than boat dock is strictly prohibited. Stay in the boat that you left the dock in. 

No recreational flotation devices (tubes, etc), swimming, or pets are allowed on the dock or water.

The use of drugs or alcohol, as well as smoking, including but not limited to: tobacco, marijuana, or any electronic vapor delivery system is strictly prohibited on the dock or water.

Inappropriate (inconsiderate, unsafe, rude, etc) behavior will not be tolerated. You will be asked to leave immediately and boating privileges for your household will be permanently revoked.

 

Environmental Protection

Users must agree to…

Avoid wildlife habitat by steering clear of buoys and obeying signage. 

Give wildlife space and not interfere with wildlife. Watch from a distance. 

Avoid discarding anything, liquid or otherwise, into the water. 

Keep pets away from the water. No pets on the dock or in kayaks. 

No walking on the shoreline. 

Use of the dock is only for boarding and deboarding kayaks. 

Stay out of the water. No swimming or wading. 

Remain seated in kayaks at all times. Avoid risks that may make you fall out of kayak. 

No fishing from kayaks. Fishing is only allowed on land, at designated spots. 

 

Liability Release

Lake users assume all risks associated with boating activities which may cause injury and/or death. 

Users shall indemnify and hold High Plains Environmental Center, High Plains Foundation, and Greeley Loveland Irrigation Company harmless from all claims, loss, liability, or damages of any nature (including property damage and injury to or death of persons) arising from use of the watercraft and Houts Reservoir and surrounding areas. 

High Plains Environmental Center does not provide accident insurance for users of the watercraft or Houts Reservoir. All expenses related to the treatment of injuries, search and rescue, funeral expenses, gear replacement or repair, and/or loss of property incurred while using the watercraft will be the sole responsibility of the User or his/her insurance carrier.

Boaters are expected to remain aware of their surroundings at all times while on the dock and the water. At the onset of lightning, thunder, high winds, or any other signs of inclement weather or hazardous conditions, boaters shall immediately return to the dock. In case of a life threatening emergency, find the nearest shore. 

 

All regulations to be agreed to on the Registration Form.

High Plains Environmental Center Boating Agreement

The High Plains Environmental Center (HPEC) is committed to the protection of natural resources, especially safe and desirable wildlife habitat. That said, HPEC is willing to extend the privilege of boating on HPEC owned waters (Hout’s Reservoir) with the following conditions. 

 

Hours

Houts Reservoir is open for boating from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM daily, Memorial Day Weekend* (May 25, 2024) through Labor Day Weekend (September 2, 2024).

*2024 Opening Day is dependent on many tasks (including finishing the dock, legal documents, etc) being completed. Please be patient during this transition time! When we are ready to launch boating we will notify the public via our Facebook and Newsletter.

 

Closures

HPEC reserves without condition the right to change boating hours or close boating for inclement weather conditions; conditions of wildlife sensitivity, breeding, migration; or special events.

Two blasts of an air horn will indicate all boats must return to shore immediately. 

HPEC will endeavor to inform the public of changes in normal boating hours via social media and signage at the dock. 

 

STEP 1: Register and Reserve Your Kayak(s)

Read and agree to the HPEC Boating Regulations Agreement

*FORM IS LOCKED UNTIL BOATING IS READY!*

Provide government issued I.D. for proof of residency and safety. 

Reserve your boat(s) and desired time slot.

 

Step 2: Sign In Procedure

Sign in prior to boat launch via SignUpGenius (This is so we know you are going on the water).

Collect dock key, life jackets, boat key, and safety whistle from HPEC. 

Personal flotation device and safety whistle must be firmly attached before stepping onto the dock. 

Unlock the gate and enter the dock. Close the gate behind you (it will lock automatically).

Unlock your kayak(s) using the key attached to your personal flotation device. 

Inspect your boat and gear. Inform HPEC of any existing damages.

 

Step 3: Sign Out Procedure

At the end of your 2 hour time slot (or before, if finished early) return your gear and sign out via  SignUpGenius (This is so we know that you are safely off the water). 

If you do not return your gear and sign-out (online) at the end of your reservation time, we will assume you are missing and call Search and Rescue/Police. If Authorities come and you were not in need of a rescue, your household’s boating privileges will be revoked permanently. 

Kayaks, paddles, flotation devices, safety whistles, keys and locks, and any other rented gear must be returned to their original locations at the end of your rental period, in the same condition they were found. 

Kayaks must be locked to the dock. 

Personal flotation devices, whistle, and keys must be returned to HPEC. 

 

RULES AND REGULATIONS

You will agree to all rules and enter all information required on the registration form.

 

Age and Ability Requirements for Boating

Individual renting the craft(s) must be 18 years of age or older. (ID required)

Any minors (under 18) in the party must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. (ID required)

No individuals under the age of three (3) years old are allowed on the dock, boats, or water. 

You must identify all parties that will be going on the watercraft, in case of emergency. (Name, age, sex) on the registration form. 

Suggested (not required) – Provide ID for all parties who have one, in case of emergency. 

Individuals going out on the water must be able to swim well enough to preserve their own life.

 

About Watercraft

You must reserve an HPEC owned kayak to boat on Houts Reservoir. No personal watercraft are allowed on the water. 

Kayak must display HPEC designator (flag, decal) at all times. 

Only 4 craft are allowed on the water at any given time. *With the exception of HPEC events.*

No more than the maximum number of people shall occupy the kayak as designed.

Kayak must be launched from the boat dock only. Walking on the shoreline is strictly prohibited to protect sensitive wildlife habitat. 

No fishing from kayak. 

Damage to the watercraft, dock, or other HPEC owned gear/property will be the sole responsibility of the user. 

 

Flotation Devices and Personal Safety

The water craft will, at all times, be handled in a safe, careful manner with respect to personal wellbeing and environmental protection. 

All individuals on the watercraft must be able to swim well enough to preserve their own life. 

All users must wear a properly fitting flotation device and carry a safety whistle at all times while on the dock and on the water.

Flotation devices and safety whistles will be provided by High Plains Environmental Center. You are welcome to provide your own, of similar model, if they do not meet your needs. Personal flotation devices must satisfy the same requirements, and must be worn at all times on the dock and in the kayak.

Upon request by HPEC Staff, HPEC employed Security personnel (Anlance), or Colorado Parks and Wildlife, all users shall provide verification of the presence of required flotation devices and safety whistles. 

Users must remain in the kayak at all times. You may not exit your watercraft anywhere besides the dock. 

Changing passengers at any location other than boat dock is strictly prohibited. Stay in the boat that you left the dock in. 

No recreational flotation devices (tubes, etc), swimming, or pets are allowed on the dock or water.

The use of drugs or alcohol, as well as smoking, including but not limited to: tobacco, marijuana, or any electronic vapor delivery system is strictly prohibited on the dock or water.

Inappropriate (inconsiderate, unsafe, rude, etc) behavior will not be tolerated. You will be asked to leave immediately and boating privileges for your household will be permanently revoked.

 

Environmental Protection

Users must agree to…

Avoid wildlife habitat by steering clear of buoys and obeying signage. 

Give wildlife space and not interfere with wildlife. Watch from a distance. 

Avoid discarding anything, liquid or otherwise, into the water. 

Keep pets away from the water. No pets on the dock or in kayaks. 

No walking on the shoreline. 

Use of the dock is only for boarding and deboarding kayaks. 

Stay out of the water. No swimming or wading. 

Remain seated in kayaks at all times. Avoid risks that may make you fall out of kayak. 

No fishing from kayaks. Fishing is only allowed on land, at designated spots. 

 

Liability Release

Lake users assume all risks associated with boating activities which may cause injury and/or death. 

Users shall indemnify and hold High Plains Environmental Center, High Plains Foundation, and Greeley Loveland Irrigation Company harmless from all claims, loss, liability, or damages of any nature (including property damage and injury to or death of persons) arising from use of the watercraft and Houts Reservoir and surrounding areas. 

High Plains Environmental Center does not provide accident insurance for users of the watercraft or Houts Reservoir. All expenses related to the treatment of injuries, search and rescue, funeral expenses, gear replacement or repair, and/or loss of property incurred while using the watercraft will be the sole responsibility of the User or his/her insurance carrier.

Boaters are expected to remain aware of their surroundings at all times while on the dock and the water. At the onset of lightning, thunder, high winds, or any other signs of inclement weather or hazardous conditions, boaters shall immediately return to the dock. In case of a life threatening emergency, find the nearest shore. 

 

All regulations to be agreed to on the Registration Form.