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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, COLORADO-July 25, 2022-Recreation on the Yampa River has reopened to all but angling as water temperatures have moved below required criteria. CPW and the city will continue the voluntary angling closure to assist aquatic life in additional time to recover from the extreme conditions.
“The recent weather with continued cloud cover and rain has allowed the river to move back into a position to reopen,” said Parks, Trails & Open Space Manager Craig Robinson. “We greatly appreciate everyone who followed the restrictions as well as the entire community for their continued support of our #1 natural resource.”
Effective immediately, the Yampa River will be open to tubing, rafting, kayaking, SUPing and all other water recreation except for angling. Commercial tubing operations will be permitted to resume immediately. Commercial angling will not be allowed at this time while staff continues to consult with CPW on river conditions and aquatic health.
Water temperatures dipped to 59°F last evening following an eight-day run which saw the mercury rise above 72°F including three consecutive days above 74°F. Water flows have risen with the recent rain and are currently running around 135 cubic feet per second.
Anglers will have to wait a few more days before a possible reopening is considered. The voluntary fishing closure runs from Chuck Lewis to the western city limits. This continued restriction will allow time for the fishery to recover from the cumulative negative impacts of the high temperatures.
Scientific studies show that high river temperatures above 70 degrees results in elevated levels of stress in fish, with potential negative impacts to the fishery. Last fall the river saw a similar angling closure around the confluence of Fish Creek when the river reopened to recreation. CPW and the city will continue to monitor the waterway and will look to readdress a possible angling reopening later this week.
“The fishery has been exposed to challenging environmental conditions with the recent high temperatures, and allowing fish populations’ time to recover is important” commented Colorado Parks & Wildlife Aquatic Biologist Bill Atkinson. As we get back in the water for other recreation, be respectful of the river and know our actions can have significant impacts down the road so please practice proper river etiquette.
ContactCraig Robinson, City of Steamboat Springs, Parks, Open Space & Trails Manager, 970.871.7034 or emailBill Atkinson, Aquatic Biologist, Colorado Parks & Wildlife, 970.870.2197 or emailMichael Lane, City of Steamboat Springs, Communications Manager, 970.871.8220 or email