Jeffco, Golden restricting tubing on Clear Creek due to unsafe flows

Kayaks, canoes allowed but caution encouraged

Paul Albani-Burgio
palbaniburgio@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 6/9/21

If you were planning to cool off this weekend with some tubing on Clear Creek, think again. Unsafe water flows have led the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and Golden Police to partner on issue new …

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Jeffco, Golden restricting tubing on Clear Creek due to unsafe flows

Kayaks, canoes allowed but caution encouraged

Posted

If you were planning to cool off this weekend with some tubing on Clear Creek, think again.

Unsafe water flows have led the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and Golden Police to partner on issue new restrictions that apply to Clear Creek in both unincorporated Jeffco and the city of Golden, including Vanover Park.

Under the new order, use of all single-chambered air inflated devices, including inner tubes, belly boats and single chambered rafts, is prohibited. Also prohibited are body surfing and swimming.

Kayaks, whitewater canoes, river boards and stand-up paddle boards are exempt, as are professionally-guided multi-chamber rafts. However, the press release announcing the restrictions states that users of exempt devices are encouraged to “observe extreme caution due to safety concerns surrounding swift moving water and floating debris.” All users and occupants of the exempted devices must also use a coast-guard approved padded life jacket and a helmet designed for water use.

According to the release, the decision to implement the restrictions was made because water flows have recently been measured at over 900 cubic feet per second (CFS) and are expected to rise. Anything over 800 CFS is considered dangerous for inexperienced swimmers.

The water height is also increasing and expected to continue to increase as the snowpack melts. Clear Creek's status as a Type IV water area also means that there is increased risk to the public from such factors as undercut rocks and low temperature.

According to the release, the temporary restrictions will remain in effect until water levels decrease. Violators may be issued a summons for a class 2 petty offense, which can come with a fine of $100.

According to the Sheriff's Office, these restrictions will be strictly enforced to minimize the risk to those using the waterway.

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