Colorado Parks and Wildlife has enacted an emergency fishing closure on a portion of the Yampa River due to seriously low water flow.
CPW sent out a release Saturday, that due to minimal snowpack levels a "0.6-mile stretch of the Yampa River between the dam at Stagecoach State Park down to the lowermost park boundary" will be closed.
Wildlife officials say when water levels are low, fish can become stressed out due to the increased competition for food in a small area.
"Should the flow rate increase substantially for a continuous period of time, CPW will re-evaluate the emergency fishing closure," said Senior Aquatic Biologist Lori Martin. "But for now, we need to take this course of action because of the current conditions at this popular fishery."
Anglers are advised to find alternate areas to fish until the order is lifted, as many other local areas are now fishable. While CPW asks for cooperation, it says citations will be issued for anyone violating this order.
Officials also want to warn the public that when fish populations are significantly affected by damaging weather conditions, it could take several years to fully recover if not protected.
"We ask for the public’s patience and cooperation," said Atkinson. "It is very important that we do what we can to protect this unique fishery, not only for anglers, but for the communities that depend on the tourism revenue this area provides for local businesses."
The closure will begin June 14 and stay closed until further notice.
For more information, call Stagecoach State Park at (970) 736-2436, or CPW’s Steamboat Springs Office at (970) 870-2197.