PUEBLO, Colo. — The Arkansas River has reopened for recreational use, according to the Pueblo Police Department, the Pueblo County’s Sheriff’s Office, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Restrictions were put in place from the spillway of the Pueblo Dam to the Pueblo County/Otero County line on June 11 due to dangerous fast-flowing and high water levels.
According to the three organizations mentioned, water flows that run faster than 3,000 cubic feet per second (CFS) pose danger to both people in the water and emergency responders. But, they say, that flow rate has since dropped.
Since the environment is considered much safer, the public can once again enjoy recreational activities, such as tubing, in and around the river. Whitewater canoes and kayaks may continue to be used–their use was not included in the original restrictions.
There are several measures the public can take to help ensure safety in the water:
- A life vest (specifically a type III personal flotation device) is required when in the Arkansas River.
- Be aware that the strength of the currents can be deceptive. What may appear to be a slow-moving current can even challenge experienced swimmers.
- Ensure that recreation devices are rated for the flows in the river. Check the United States Geological Survey website for current water flow information.