In reversal, motorized watercraft will now be allowed at Prospect Lake in Colorado Springs

Andrea Chalfin/KRCC News
Prospect Lake in what is now Memorial Park in Colorado Springs was filled in 1890 for overflow from the El Paso Canal. July 2021.

Motorized watercraft will be allowed this summer on Prospect Lake in Colorado Springs' Memorial Park after all.

The city's parks department had announced in February that motorized boating would no longer be allowed due to the planned May installation of an aeration system aimed at preventing toxic algae blooms. The system included hoses throughout the lake and officials were concerned that motorized craft would displace that infrastructure.

Now, after public feedback, the parks department says it will delay installation to allow for a more normal season. They now expect to install the system in September.

Hand-powered craft and swimming will not be allowed on days set aside for motorized use (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays) and other designated times.

The planned aeration system is in the design stage and the final design will determine the future use of motorized watercraft on the lake.

Toxic algae blooms prompted the closure of Prospect Lake in 2019 and 2020. The algae is naturally occurring, but when it grows rapidly or blooms, it can be harmful to people and fatal to pets. The city wants the aeration system to take a more proactive approach to dealing with the issue.

City data shows that in 2021, permits for boating on Prospect Lake show interest in hand-powered craft far outpacing those for motorized watercraft.