The Yampa River in Steamboat Springs is a popular activity for visitors and residents alike in the summer months. (credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – A year ago the popular activity of tubing on the Yampa River in the Steamboat Springs area wasn’t an option.

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The low river flows made for a very early, short tubing season, and businesses were feeling the impact.

When water levels are very low wildlife officials have to ban activities like tubing on the river because it could cause damage to the fish habitat.

This year’s it a completely different story. The river has been flowing fast, and the season is only just now getting started.

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Backdoor Sports owner Peter Van Der Carr rents out tubes, and he he told CBS4 last year water levels were the lowest he’d seen them in 22 years.

“It was just crazy. I pretty much had to fire everybody with no ability to acknowledge any kind of employment in the future and then had to quickly re-staff,” he said.

The Yampa now looks like it’s shaping up to have a year, with tubing operations expected to last throughout the summer.

“I’m very optimistic,” Van Der Carr said. “The dry weather has got me a little bit nervous, but it’s beautiful right now. I mean it’s running 600 cubic feet per second. We’re at the end of June. It will be flowing for people through the end of July.”

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PHOTO GALLERY: Tubing On The Yampa River