Yampa River Water Flows Exceed Threshold
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, COLORADO-August 28, 2018-Yampa River flows have again dropped
below healthy levels triggering the City of Steamboat Springs to reinstate commercial and voluntary
recreational closures effective immediately.
“Based upon the current weather forecast and without additional water releases, river levels are
expected to continue to trend downward in the coming days,” said Brad Setter, Open Space, Trails,
Rodeo and Howelsen Hill Supervisor. “As closures return, we’re again asking for everyone’s help in
protecting the community’s number one natural resource.”
Water levels have consistently dropped since August 23 and are currently hovering around 70 cubic
feet per second (cfs). Water temperatures have floated between highs in the mid to upper 60s,
peaking at 70 degrees on August 26. Low water flows, high water temperatures, and low levels of
dissolved oxygen are all unfavorable conditions to aquatic life and any one of these factors can
trigger a closure.
Commercial tubing companies have suspended operations at this time. River users – tubers, SUPers,
swimmers, anglers – are requested to adhere to the voluntary closure and avoid river recreation. The
voluntary fishing closure is in effect within city limits as well as at the Chuck Lewis State Wildlife Area.
Please be mindful of the impacts your actions may have on the Yampa River and its wildlife.
Earlier in the summer, the Yampa River closed due to high water temperatures and low flows from
July 9 through August 17. After water releases from local agencies and the return of rain, the river
rose to acceptable levels and reopened for ten days. However, current levels have again deteriorated
below acceptable limits.
Notices will be posted at popular river access points and requests everyone’s cooperation in
protecting the Yampa River by staying out of the river until conditions improve. City staff will continue
to monitor flows and river temperatures at the 5th Street Bridge. Water temperature monitoring was
incorporated in November 2017 through a partnership with Mt. Werner Water, the Colorado River
District and the USGS.
Thank you for Respecting the Yampa and helping to protect the health of the river.