Reservoir north of Payson reopens; water levels still low

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(Source: U.S. Forest Service/Coconino National Forest) (Source: U.S. Forest Service/Coconino National Forest)

A popular kayaking and fishing spot north of Payson is reopening to vehicle traffic.

The Coconino National Forest had closed the only road leading to C.C. Cragin Reservoir earlier this month because of low water levels.

Forest spokesman Brady Smith says it will reopen Saturday.

The water levels haven't improved, dropping to 21 percent full.

[RELATED: Road to reservoir near Payson closed due to low water levels]

But forest officials say they have installed a gate to block access to a boat ramp, while still allowing vehicles up to a certain point. Visitors will have to carry kayaks, canoes or small boats to the water.

The reservoir formerly was known as Blue Ridge.

The Salt River Project typically draws from the reservoir but has suspended operations indefinitely. The utility says it will maintain a water tank for use on wildfires.

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