Bureau of Rec and CPW Urge Safety on and Around the Water
Colorado Parks and Wildlife
The Bureau of Reclamation and Colorado Parks and Wildlife urge the public to always practice safety precautions when working or recreating in or around bodies of water.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife manages recreation on seven Bureau of Reclamation reservoirs and dozens of other waters across Colorado. Those waters are wonderful opportunities for water sports, fishing, camping, hiking and other outdoor activities, especially during scorching late-summer days. Both agencies welcome the public to enjoy outdoor adventures on public lands, rivers, and reservoirs, but remind visitors to always be safe on and around the water.
During the current heat wave, beaches, rivers, and reservoirs are popular locations, so it is important to plan ahead and follow the safety and conduct rules on public land and waterways.
The following are safety tips and advice for planning your recreational outings:
• Always check and follow State and Federal Law regarding the use of Personal Flotation Devices while recreating on reservoirs and when swimming or boating on rivers or other waterways.
• It is important to know the area and obtain information about hazards on rivers, reservoirs, and other waterways. For example, if swimming or fishing near a dam, remain a safe distance from the dam to avoid many hazards including under currents.
• Know the water temperature. A few minutes of exposure to cold temperatures may cause the body to suffer severe effects, such as a loss of motor functions, poor coordination, and slower mental functions.
• Know what the different types of buoys mean and what they are communicating or marking.
• Be sure to read all posted signs in the area and pay attention to barriers, such as flood warnings, no-trespassing areas, lifejackets required, etc.
• Always let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back.
• Remember, if you see someone in danger in the water, do not enter the water. Call 911 and use a rope, throwable personal floatation device, or throw bag to try and pull them back to safety.
• Take a watercraft safety class or refresher annually.
• Understand the watercraft safety rules and ensure you abide by them while on the water.
• Never drive a boat while drinking alcohol.
It is everyone’s responsibility to take the necessary steps to reduce the chances of potential threatening incidents in or near reservoirs.
Contact or visit Colorado Parks and Wildlife at https://cpw.state.co.us/ for more information about local conditions, regulations, and recreation resources. Additionally, check with Reclamation’s water operations page to check on current hydrology conditions at the reservoir: https://www.usbr.gov/uc/water/index.html.
For more information and tips on water safety, please visit