Commercial, voluntary closure of Yampa River to go into effect Thursday

The city of Steamboat Springs announced Wednesday afternoon that it will enact a commercial and voluntary closure of the Yampa River beginning at 12:01 a.m. Thursday.

Increasing water temperature is to blame for the closure, which restricts commercial outfitters from operating on the Yampa and recommends citizens not use it for recreation, such as for fishing or tubing.

“The recent rains have enabled the community to enjoy the river through the holiday weekend, but conditions have reached critical criteria, and a closure is warranted,” said Craig Robinson, parks, open space and trails manager for the city. “While we don’t take a mandatory closure lightly, all our efforts go toward the long-term health of our number one natural resource.”

The river experienced water temperatures greater than 75 degrees Tuesday and Wednesday, which exceeds the threshold for closure as outlined in the city’s Yampa River Management Plan. Low water flows, high water temperatures and low levels of dissolved oxygen can impact aquatic life and are factors when determining the river’s closure.

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