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Boating Safety  

The Gunnison River, Colorado River and Delores River provide many miles of majestic canyons, scenic views and opportunity for solitude in Mesa County. These rivers provide access to many miles of remote and wilderness areas. Rafts, kayaks, canoes and jet boats are frequently used on the rivers in Mesa County.

For safety always file a float plan with a responsible friend detailing the starting point, route, duration and exit point for your float trip. Then follow your planned itinerary.

Always know your personal limits and skill ability. Don't be tempted to go beyond those self-imposed limits. The river's water levels fluctuate greatly from spring to fall. Know the route, the expected flow and the hazards that exist. Plan for weather changes and have appropriate clothing for a wet environment. A little planning and preparation make the difference between a great outing or a search and rescue emergency.

All motorboats are required to meet the safety requirements provided with the annual registration certificate.

Always wear an approved Personal Flotation Device (PFD). This is your best piece of equipment to prevent a life-threatening emergency. And anyone who self rescues but loses their boat or abandons their boat, should call dispatch immediately to notify emergency personnel that there is an un-manned raft in the water. Otherwise, a passerby will often report the un-manned boat/raft and search & rescue will deploy to the area. In Mesa County, the non-emergency dispatch phone number is: (970) 242-6707.

Colorado River Gunnison River Boating Safety Photo
High water levels shown in these spring 2009 photos of the Colorado & Gunnison Rivers

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