Due to dry winter, river activities bottom out in shallow waters
May 11, 2012
Summer is right around the corner.
The snow is melting, the grass is greener, and the river is flowing.
The summer of 2012 may cause problems though.
The lack of snow this winter has greatly affected the Yampa rivers flow.
Last year, Northwestern Colorado had more than enough snow.
The Green and Yampa river both were flooded throughout the spring and summer.
This year, the snow seemed to forget to show up. Last winter, northwestern Colorado averaged about 36% of normal snowpack according to Colorado Division of Wildlife.
This year the average snowfall is 47% of normal.
As of March 1, the statewide snowpack was at 81% of average.
As of April 1 the snowpack had declined to 52% of average.
Also, this March has been six to eight degrees above average in most of Colorado.
The lack of snow this year is going to affect summer activities that the community participates in such as rafting, fishing, and tubing.
Principal Thom Schnellinger said that the shallow water may affect the trout populations.
Trout cannot survive in warm water.
The shallowness of the water will increase the average temperature and may eliminate the trout this year. Schnellinger said this happened a few years back due to lack of snow.
The lack of trout will affect the quality of fishing and the condition of the water.
The shallow waters will also raise the risk to tubers and boaters on the river.
Freshman Draven Carter said the danger of tubing increases with the river being so low.
Rafts, canoes and fishing boats can also be damaged by the shallow water this year.
It will make it more difficult to float the river without the bottom of the boat or raft scraping against the rocks and causing damage.
Colorado's weather patterns can often be unusual.
"We're in April, we could get some serious snow storms that could bring the snow pack back," said Schnellinger.
This may be true, but for now, snow does not seem to be arriving.
There are many risks of the river being so low this year especially with it being so high last year.
The environment around the river can be greatly affected from so much water and then no water at all.
Northwestern Colorado's strange weather patterns have not only been affecting the community and their summer activities, but the environment as well.