PUEBLO COUNTY — Restrictions on use of the Arkansas River from the Pueblo Dam spillway to the Pueblo County/Otero County line have now been lifted.
The Pueblo Police Department, Pueblo County Sheriff's Office, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife made that announcement Thursday.
The restrictions were put in place on June 11 due to dangerously fast-flowing and high water in that area.
Officials say they chose to lift the restrictions because the water flow rate in the area dropped below 3,000 cubic feet per second. Flows faster than that rate have been determined to pose a higher risk to people in the water, along with emergency responders.
Lifting of restrictions means the public may resume recreational activities, including tubing, in and around the river. A Type III personal flotation device, approved by the U.S. Coast Guard, must be worn while in the river.
Whitewater canoes and kayaks were not part of the restrictions and can continue.
The public is reminded to be aware of the inherent dangers of entering the waters of the Arkansas River, and to keep the following safety tips in mind:
- Always wear a properly fitted life jacket when on or in the water
- The strength of currents can be deceptive. A current that appears to be slow-moving can actually challenge even experienced swimmers.
- It is important to ensure that recreation devices are rated for the flows in the river. The United States Geological Survey website can be consulted for current water flow information.