Secluded so far east that it is practically in Kansas, the Nee Noshe Reservoir is one of Colorado’s most hidden destinations for a great day out on the water. It’s located 3 hours southeast of Denver near Eads, Colorado, next to its neighbor lake to the west, the Nee Gronda Reservoir.
The Nee Noshe Reservoir is undammed, and provides 3,770 surface acres of natural freshwater among the connected waterways of the Great Plains Reservoir system. As a large body of water, the Nee Noshe Reservoir is especially popular for boating and fishing. It’s part of the Queens State Wildlife Area, which includes the Nee Gronda Reservoir too.
Nee Noshe Reservoir History
Although it is undamed, the Nee Noshe Reservoir was created after the Amity Canal was extended to the Arkansas River. The project was completed by the Great Plains Water Company and was first used for irrigation in 1990. In addition to the Nee Noshe Reservoir, the project also established the nearby Neesopah, Neegronda, and Neeskah Reservoirs.
To the Cheyenne Native American Tribe, “Nee Noshe” translates to “still water.” Shortly after its creation, the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) began stocking the reservoir with fish.
Activities at Nee Noshe Reservoir
The Nee Noshe Reservoir was built mainly for irrigation and utility purposes. With that said, there are a few activities that visitors can enjoy during the day, or overnight.
Birding: On the east side of the Reservoir, birders flock to the large shaded area known as “Locust Grove.” Here, it is common to spot waterbirds, sparrows, eagles, and even long-eared owls. For preservation purposes, there may be closures around certain bird nesting areas.
Boating: There are two boating ramps at the Nee Noshe Reservoir, one high water and one low water. Due to low water levels, the high water ramp is rarely in service, with most boaters using the concrete low water launch located at the north Kiowa ramp (on the NW shore of the reservoir).
There are also two gravel access points. Both motorized and non-motorized watercraft are permitted on the reservoir with many visitors also sailing, windsurfing and waterskiing.
Camping: Primitive campsites are available surrounding the Nee Noshe Reservoir at no fee. There is a shared bathroom available onsite, but there are no other facilities nearby. There is room for RV parking and dispersed campers are required to pack out their trash.
Fishing: Fishing is one of the most popular activities at Nee Noshe Reservoir. Anglers require a state fishing license and are limited to 10 fish per day. The reservoir is well-stocked with walleye, wiper, catfish, bass, crappie, and saugeye.
Hunting: Above anything else, waterfowl hunting is popular when in season (April 1st to October 31st). The Nee Noshe Reservoir also offers hunters a chance at deer, rabbit, pheasant, quail, and dove. When it is open, hunters are required to check in and out at the check in station.
Swimming: Swimming is permitted in the Nee Noshe Reservoir.
Address: US-287, south of Eads, CO, 81036
Season: May to October (Lake Access Closed in Winter)
Maps: Queens State Wildlife Area Map (PDF)