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Old 04-20-2011   #11
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 54
I was at confluence a few weeks ago. After watching can that looked like it once had paint-thinner in it circle the eddy with me and while surfing and seeing chunks of styrofoam sitting on my bow I almost puked. I immediately took a shower and washed all my gear when I got home! I really hate that I'm going to be out of town this weekend for the Platte clean-up.

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Old 04-20-2011   #12
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 166
You can see mountains of garbage from union chutes.
We fondly call them the poop chutes......................

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Old 04-20-2011   #13
jmcdannel's Avatar
Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 159
it can't be much worse than the murtaugh was last weekend. I couldn't tell if the flavor was most influenced by pesticides, fertilizer, or just plain cow piss. fun though.
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Old 04-20-2011   #14
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 91
Not That Bad most days.


You might call me biased, but I will tell you that the water quality is not that bad on most days. Now there are days when it is terrible, and days when it is pretty good.

And on the days when it is the worst, you will generally find the greatest # of boaters out there. Why is That? When the platte is flooding, the surfing is fantastic. When the platte is flooding, a large part of the runoff is straight out of the storm sewers. Union is almost always cleaner than Confluence, because it is upstream of more of the storm sewers.

If you are a beginner, you'll want to avoid those high water days anyway...If you are experienced, you'll need some noseplugs, and a shower afterward, but you will have a great time.

Otherwise at low to medium levels, the water quality depends on a couple of factors. How much flow is coming from chatfield vs urban runoff. And what the water temp is. Generally the worst water quality is later in the summer when temps are up, and very little water is coming from chatfield. Right now the water is cold, and on most days clear.

I probably have more days on the Platte than anyone in History (something to brag about?) and have seen the water quality improving. Every whitewater park in the state is downstream form a sewage plant, where do you think all those turds from central city end up anyway...

Come play in the Platte, you'll have fun.

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Old 04-20-2011   #15
jmcdannel's Avatar
Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 159
That's Jaun opinion.
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Old 04-20-2011   #16
The OC, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 56
I recommend the C-hole on the Yampa. It is raging right now...
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Old 04-20-2011   #17
Steamboat, Colorado!
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 149
Hmmmmmm........ not sure what to think. But it is decidedly early in the season and perhaps I can wait it out. While I think the odds are low of me swimming (knocking on wood) I shutter at the thought of paint thinner and plastic products. But I may get desperate soon. Thanks for the info....

And Forest you are gross.
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Old 04-20-2011   #18
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
Confluence has a nasty rep, but is bark is worse than its bite. Yes its urban, yes there are floating bottles and styrofoam, but whats a floating piece of foam going to do to you?

As noted above, the water quality is generally OK early season when its low like currently. I would avoid confluence immediately after the first storm flush, as every do turd in town will go into the river. After the flush (ie on the back side of the peak) I don't think the water is that bad, but the trash can be amazing (think 100+ bottles at trestle wave), but so can the surfing.

For what its worth, I regularly paddle at confluence, but I also live close by. Confluence always has water and it always has current to practice and get a workout. Its not going to win any awards for cleanliness or for beauty, but I know the 10+ early season training runs I put in pay dividends in May/June when the water hits. I see the same guys out there every weekend I go, and they say they have been paddling it for 15 yrs, and they are still alive.

So... if you want to get some training in, and don't mind some trash (that won't hurt you), then confluence is probably a good idea. If you get grossed out by floating styrofoam and can't handle it, then you might not like confluence.

Either way, its probably better off to judge for yourself.
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Old 04-20-2011   #19
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80523, Confusion
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 81
Better after Saturday. Come help! 5th Annual South Platte River Cleanup | April 2011

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