Tubers and sunbathers enjoy a sunny day near Charlie's Hole this summer on the Yampa River.

Photo by Scott Franz

Tubers and sunbathers enjoy a sunny day near Charlie's Hole this summer on the Yampa River.

1st Yampa River cleanup day of season is Monday

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If you go

What: Yampa River Cleanup Day

When: 9 a.m. Monday

Where: Backdoor Sports

— If you've lost a sandal, sunglasses or a beer can in the Yampa River, Monday would be a good day to go back and look for it.

That's the day Friends of the Yampa hopes several river users come out to help and clean up the popular waterway.

By the end of Monday afternoon, the volunteers likely will have assembled a very tall pile of trash bags filled with many of the sandals, golf balls and beer cans lurking beneath the river.

"The Yampa River is a popular place, and like any popular place trash is left behind here," Friends of the Yampa Board President Soren Jespersen said. "This (river cleanup day) should be looked at as a community responsibility."

Friends of the Yampa now for a long time has been organizing river cleanup days.

The latest one comes after a busy couple of weeks on the Yampa.

Jespersen said the cleanup days often result in a "mountain" of trash bags filled with a wide variety of things that have been lost beneath the river and on the banks.

"There's all kinds of stuff in that river, and we want to grab it before it floats downstream," Jespersen said. "If we're going to keep attracting people here, we need to make sure it's a clean place and we're not affecting private landowners downstream."

Jespersen said keeping the river clean should be viewed as a community-wide responsibility.

He said that means commercial river outfitters, tubers, fisherman and all other river users pitching in to help.

"I'm a fly fisherman, and I don't really think I'm contributing to the litter, but I like to get out there and pick up the mess that people leave there," Jespersen said.

Jespersen said he doesn't think most people intentionally litter in the Yampa, but rather things are dropped and lost.

The cleanup day starts at 9 a.m. at Backdoor Sports on Ninth and Yampa streets.

Volunteers are asked to wear river shoes and gloves and will help clean the river from Rotary Park to the James Brown Soul Center of the Universe Bridge. A lunch and raffle will follow at noon.

The cleanup day will be the first of several this season.

Anyone who is on the fence about heading to the river to help clean it up may be swayed by the story of a young child from a couple of river cleanup days ago.

"We had a young kid find a $20 bill out there in the river," Jespersen said.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10

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