City: Follow rules on river

Officers cracking down on tubers who don't comply


— Tubers and river users caught breaking rules will face the consequences as law enforcement officers crack down on violators.

Following a Fourth of July weekend that saw an unexpectedly high number of tubers on the Yampa River, Craig Robinson, open space and trail supervisor for the city of Steamboat Springs, said police officers are actively ticketing violators who disregard the rules.

"The DOW and private fishermen have asked us to start ticketing," Robinson said Thursday, due to concerns about the welfare of the river.

Jim Haskins, area wildlife supervisor for the Colorado Division of Wildlife, adds that the DOW has also received numerous complaints from fishermen about not being able to fish on the river in the city.

"We've been having discussions with the city for over a year about the inability for fishermen to get on the river in the city," Haskins said. The river is a world-class fishery, Haskins said, and fishermen are frustrated that they can't find parking or a spot to fish because there are so many tubers.

"It's getting out of hand," Haskins said. "The two uses just aren't compatible anymore because of the sheer volume of tubers." He said there were many problems last weekend with litter, alcohol use and tubers who were "rowdy and rude."

Robinson said that parking regulations also are being enforced, such as the two-hour parking limit in the Rotary Park parking lot on Mount Werner Road and cars parked in no-parking zones. He said additional signs have been posted indicating where parking is not allowed along Mount Werner Road.

According to a news release from city officials, other rules include: no glass, no littering, no Styrofoam coolers, no dogs, no nudity and no alcohol. Respect for other river users and private property is required and river users are to avoid standing and walking on the riverbed.

Furthermore, city officials are requesting that tubers abide by the recommendations of the Yampa River Management Plan and put in the Yampa River at or below Fetcher Park, located off Pine Grove Road west of U.S. Highway 40, and not float past the Stock Bridge Transit Center. A citizen's advisory committee created the management plan, which was adopted by Steamboat Springs City Council in 2004 to protect the natural values of the river, according to the news release.

Haskins said management plan recommendations have "largely been ignored" and it's time to revisit the plan to "further delineate what each portion of the river should be used for."


okiegal 8 years, 9 months ago

i don't think it's tubers perse. it's just people. people can be rude and generally don't give a rats arse about a place they are visiting.

that said...... the city needs more portapotties and more trash bins.


another_local 8 years, 9 months ago

I am a fisherman. The tubers really should put in at Fetcher but the fishermen need to lighten up. Tubers are a 4-6 week issue during some of the worst fishing of the year and they use a short section of the river during the heat of the day which is also not the best time to fish.


cybergypsy 8 years, 9 months ago

No single user group should dictate the use of any public land...that said, each user group should respect the other users. The backcountry skiers and snowmobilers had to work it out, so should the fishermen and tubers. The tube-hatch is relatively brief and the section of river they use is relatively short. The existing laws should absolutely be enforced but I don't think that more restrictions on the tubers are needed. The fishermen can seek out other world-class water just a mile or two up river for the month of July. The reality is that tourism pays the bills in Steamboat and the City and Chamber will continue to market every aspect of the Steamboat summer experience. Tubers, behave yourselves...Fishermen, learn to share the river.


longtimelocal 8 years, 9 months ago

I am a landowner in Brooklyn. My land extends to about the 1/2 way point under the river, obviously I don't own the water, but I own the land under the river. Often I will walk back on the bank, and find trash, broken glass, human feces and other wonderful items. I doubt very seriously if the fishermen have anything to do with this. Several times a week tubers get out of the river and trespass on my property to access the road. When approached, they are rude, entitled, arrogant and certainly not understanding. I believe the tubers are ruining the eco system of the river. Growing up here as a kid, we used to tube the river every summer. Never would I have thought about throwing trash, broken beer bottles and other such items into the river. It is a disgrace.


colobob 8 years, 9 months ago

We are all custodians of the land and it's up to all of us to take care of it. As an outdoorsman I feel an obligation to do my part and pick up after those who who show no regard for the natural beauty that God has bestowed on us. The term outdoorsman is a very broad one. It isn't gender specific and it doesn't apply to any one group or particular interest. It knows no age limit, and has no religious or racial bounderies. No matter what your particular interest is in the outdoors take a moment and do your part. Police your own ranks, pick up that piece of paper, bottle or can. Set an example for those amongs us that have no respect for the natural wonders that surround us. I feel sorry for those like longtimelocal and I can understand his frustration. Don't just be a "USER" be an "Outdoorsman" it's pretty terrific group of people and something to be proud of . Have a great day and take a kid fishing!


David High 8 years, 9 months ago

I went fishing early this morning and saw no one on the river. I then rode to and from art in the park with my kids and was amazed at the number of people floating the river on my way home. The number of cars at and people putting in through town, Fetcher pond, Rotary Park and River Park (or whatever it is called at the Walton Creek and 40 intersection) had to be in the 100's. The Yampa River is looked at as an amusement park ride by these folks. I think the city should have volunteers or hire the bike police to make sure people are aware of the rules and potential impact on a weekend like this (or maybe they already do and I don't know about it). I saw a guy walking across hwy 40 with an inflatable mattress for goodness sake. It was HUGE. I have no doubt that the number of users I saw has an impact on the river habitat. The river is an asset to our community and if we are going to have people treating it like amusement park ride, we need to make sure they don't ruin it.

To be fair, I was surprised at the number of fishermen too. It was 85 degrees at 2:30 and I can't imagine any fish were active...but sometimes fishing isn't about catching fish either. I made a smart remark one of the fishermen about the number of tubers and he looked at me and shook his head as if to say, "Can you believe it!"

That's just my opinion and I could be wrong.


bluesage 8 years, 9 months ago

This issue was fought out about 9 years ago. The tubers were to put in downstream of Fetcher Park, with commercial tubing starting at the 5th Street bridge, and taking out at the James Brown Bridge. The current situation with tubers shows them putting in the river as far upstream as the Chuck Lewis State Wildlife Area. The Yampa Valley Fly Fishermen, and the Friends Of The Yampa raised a lot of money to restore the river from its chanalized state, which is the way most of us saw it in the eighties, only to have it impacted by a largely non-local group of trash dispensing tubers. Once again, the river has been abused by the comercialism of the few. Why must the river be viewed as, and promoted as, an amusement ride for tourists. The "put-in" ramp at Rotary Park was actually built as a handicapped fishing ramp. As a member of the YVFF from its inception in 1984, I remember the fight to get the first rocks placed in the river in 1986 at, and above, the 5th street bridge. A fight which proved to be worthwhile as we continued to improve the river, in conjunction with the kayak club, for trout habitat and paddling fun. Neither of which are much fun in town with non-stop tubers choking the river.

I believe it is time to start enforcing EVERY law that is being overlooked on the river, which might make some people chose to find another venue for their drunken fun, and stop marketing it as "The Place to Be." Let commercial tubing flourish and keep the tourists happy, and wet, below the 5th Street Bridge. Let the fisherpeople have some river to enjoy, and fish, above Fethcer Park. The river can not sustain the use it is seeing, and the trash it is recieving, without some intervention.


Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.