Parks and Wildlife’s voluntary fishing closure on Yampa River extended to full day closure
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The voluntary fishing closure on the Yampa River from Chuck Lewis State Wildlife Area through Steamboat Springs is now an all-day closure.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is asking anglers to explore other fishing holes to protect trout and other aquatic life in the stream as flows in the Yampa fall.
Kris Middledorf, area wildlife manager for Parks and Wildlife, said trout have evolved to function best in 50 to 60 degree Fahrenheit waters. Higher temperatures slow feeding and make the fish more susceptible to disease.
“Because the fish are already stressed by poor water quality conditions, any additional stress makes them even more vulnerable to disease and death,” he said.
On Thursday afternoon, the Yampa was flowing about 65 cubic feet per second at the U.S. Geologic Survey gauge at Fifth Street in Steamboat Springs. The daytime water temperature peaked at 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
“Although it generally becomes more difficult to catch fish when temperatures soar, they can be vulnerable when concentrated in the few pools that provide cooler water for tributary streams,” Middledorf said.
Last week, the city reinstated a voluntary closure of the river to recreation. The closure from Chuck Lewis State Wildlife Area had been a voluntary afternoon closure.
If current conditions persist, Park and Wildlife might consider mandatory fishing closures to protect fish, the agency said in a news release.
Voluntary closures are also in effect on the Crystal River from Avalanche Creek to its confluence with the Roaring Fork. A 2 p.m. to midnight closure is in effect on the Eagle River from Wolcott to its confluence with the Colorado.
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