A press release from the Larimer County Sheriff's Office released this morning has lifted the partial-use restriction on the Poudre River. The City of Fort Collins Parks and Natural Areas have also lifted their river access closures, effective today.

The bans were put in place on June 10th  and prohibited the use of inner tubes, air mattresses and single-chambered rafts on the river (much to the chagrin of Fort Collins tubers).

So, river rats rejoice, but please be careful.  The Sheriff's Office warned that the river will continue running high

for some time and that the fast moving water has made some of the riverbanks very unstable.

They also urged people to use extreme caution and use the necessary safety equipment when in the Poudre. Check out some of the river safety tips we gathered at the beginning of the summer.

Beano & Derek in the Poudre

The Larimer County Dive Rescue Team provides these tips for recreationists:

WEAR YOUR LIFE JACKETS! - Drownings can be prevented by personal floatation devices! One study recently released referenced 8 out of 10 drowning victims were NOT wearing a life jacket. Always wear a life jacket whenever you are in or near the water; even if you can swim. Many individuals that know how to swim drown because they slip and are knocked unconscious while moving around in a boat or while river fishing without a life jacket. In addition, life jackets should be worn in boats and not stored under seats or in their original wrapping.

DO NOT PLAY NEAR SPILLWAYS- Spillways, or small "dams" appear as water slides to many children and unknowing adults. However, these spillways; two of which are located on the Big Thompson and Poudre Rivers; are death traps. Tubers and swimmers going over the top get caught in the turbulent water which refuses to release its victims. A common term for these diversion dams is "drowning machine". Stay away from them!

KAYAKERS, RAFTERS, & TUBERS: KNOW YOUR LIMITS - Larimer County has many challenging waterways, but the Larimer County Dive Rescue Team encourages you to respect the power of the water and know your limits. Don't get in over your head! Beginning kayakers are encouraged to take classes from one of the many commercial organizations that provide lessons by qualified and experienced instructors.

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