Yampa River reopens — and is expected to stay open — to recreation in time for holiday weekend | SteamboatToday.com

Yampa River reopens — and is expected to stay open — to recreation in time for holiday weekend

A young tuber floats through Charlie's Hole as Jeff Steck and his 9-year-old daughter Emma pick up trash during this year's Yampa River Cleanup in Steamboat Springs earlier this season. Kent Vertrees, board president of Friends of the Yampa, said tubers contribute to much of the trash problem.
Derek Maiolo

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The commercial and voluntary closures on the Yampa River have been lifted Friday as stream flows have moved into the low 90 cubic feet per second area.

When the river dropped below the 85 cfs threshold earlier this week, the city of Steamboat Springs called for a portion of its leased water in the Stagecoach Reservoir to be released to enhance flows in the Yampa and increase hydropower production at the dam.

With the release, water levels moved above the 85 cfs level and the river was reopened Friday afternoon.

“We know the important role recreation plays in the Yampa Valley, especially over the Labor Day weekend, and wanted to help the community if we could,” said Lee Boughey, senior manager of communications for Tri-State. “We asked for the release on Friday morning to support the operations of our plants.”

Officials anticipate flows to remain around the current level and, if they do, the river will remain open through the Labor Day holiday weekend.

Following the holiday, the city will reevaluate the three indicators and determine if another closure is required.

While a few showers and storms were predicted for Friday, hot, dry weather remains in the forecast for next week. The next chance for any significant precipitation is Thursday, Sept. 5.

To reach Bryce Martin, call 970-871-4206 or email bmartin@SteamboatPilot.com.

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