ROUTT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Part of the popular Yampa River has been closed between the Stagecoach State Park Dam to the “lowermost park boundary.”

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

Colorado Parks and Wildlife says dry conditions and low snowpack levels have caused critically low water flow.

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They say the emergency closure is meant to protect the fish.

Rainbow trout (credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife)

“We are trying to be as proactive as possible to protect the outstanding catch and release trout fishery we have downstream of Stagecoach Reservoir,” said Area Aquatic Biologist Bill Atkinson.

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The closure will begin June 14 and remain in effect until further notice.

CPW officials warn  it could take several years for a fish population to fully recover from low water flow levels, if not protected.

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For more information, contact Stagecoach State Park at 970-736-2436, or CPW’s Steamboat Springs office at 970-870-2197.