Bonny Lake State Park

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Bonny Prairie Natural Area)
Jump to: navigation, search
Bonny Lake State Park
Map showing the location of Bonny Lake State Park
Map showing the location of Bonny Lake State Park
Location Yuma County, Colorado, USA
Nearest city Burlington, CO
Coordinates 39°36′22″N 102°11′19″W / 39.60611°N 102.18861°W / 39.60611; -102.18861Coordinates: 39°36′22″N 102°11′19″W / 39.60611°N 102.18861°W / 39.60611; -102.18861
Area 4,793 acres (19.40 km2)
Established 1966
Governing body Colorado State Parks

Bonny Lake State Park is a state park located in Yuma County, Colorado near Idalia.[1][2] Created in 1966, Bonny Lake is the easternmost state park in Colorado.[3]


In 2007 the Bonny Reservoir lake was to have 2,200 acre feet (2,700,000 m3) of water drained to meet obligations of a water compact made between Colorado and Kansas,[4] however not all of the 2,200 acre feet (2,700,000 m3) of water was drained. The drainage was stopped because none of the water was reaching the way station in Benkelmen, Nebraska, and only 1,100 feet (340 m) was lost.

  • On August 24, 2007, the owners and the Colorado Department of Natural Resources considered shutting down the lake due to water loss and lack of funds.[5] The lake was at a low measure sitting at only 15 feet (4.6 m) to 4 feet (1.2 m) at the shallowest. Guests could not launch boats from the boat ramps, but boats could be launched by hand. This meant only small water craft like canoes and jetskies could be launched, while fishing and hunting were still good around the lake. Walleye, wiper, catfish, and white bass bite very well off the dam, and ducks love the lake as a resting point as they continue their migration.

Over the summer of 2008 the lake gained enough water through rainfall to raise the lake a total of 4 feet 8 inches (1.42 m), but the dam engineer decided to let out the water so it would not evaporate. This went against the decision that was made at the water meetings that happened that previous winter to not let out any more water, and either let the lake dry up or fill up as nature let it. The lake has the potential to have huge winter fish kills due to the shallowier lake conditions. If the 4 feet 8 inches (1.42 m) was still in the lake the fish would easily have enough water to avoid fish kills.

In September and October 2011, Bonny Reservoir was drained and many of the park's services were eliminated, including the fishery and the visitors' center. The park is now being operated as part of the South Republican River State Wildlife Area.[6]


More than 300 different species of birds have been seen in the park, including rare bald eagles there are also many species of waterfowl over the winter months that including green-wing teal, widgeon, pintails, mallards, wood ducks, blue-wing teal, Canadian geese, snow geese, and sandhill cranes. Mammal species found in the park include beaver, cottontail rabbit, coyote, deer (both mule deer and white-tailed deer), jackrabbit, muskrat, opossum, raccoon, thirteen-lined ground squirrel, and weasel.[2][7]


  1. ^ Outdoor Books & Maps (July 2010). Colorado Campgrounds. Adler Publishing. pp. 266–. ISBN 978-0-930657-55-0. Bonny Lake State Park, located about 20 miles north of Burlington on Hwy 385, is a recreational oasis in the broad valley of the South Fork of the Republican River, offering a variety of year-round recreational opportunities. Willow trees and ... 
  2. ^ a b "Critter Watch: Top Places to See Colorado's Wildlife". Colorado Tourism Office. 2008-04-06. Retrieved 2008-09-23. 
  3. ^ "State looking for plan for Bonny's future". 10 August 2011. Retrieved 24 July 2016. 
  4. ^ Kohler, Judith (2007-05-23). "Release of reservoir water ordered". Rocky Mountain News/Associated Press. Retrieved 2008-09-23. [dead link]
  5. ^ Myers, Charlie (2007-05-01). "Water debt may drain Bonny Lake". Denver Post. Retrieved 2008-09-23. 
  6. ^ "Colorado's Bonny Lake State Park Loses its Lake". 2012-03-03. Retrieved 2012-04-15. 
  7. ^ "Bonny Lake State Park Wildlife". Colorado State Parks. 2008-04-08. Retrieved 2008-09-23. 

External links[edit]