Thanks for the responses, and thanks to Gunnerman for taking the time to talk. We will be running in a few weeks, and I would expect flows to be around 600 cfs depending on releases and rain. As advised, we will avoid the trip if heavy rains are in the forecast.
I love the Gorge but this is my first trip as captain of my own boat (trip leader). This is my annual trip that my brothers have done for 8 or 9 years, but first at the helm. Safety first, tight lines second and yes we will be packing out our poop.
As for the spare paddle, I saw it in the brochure I took last year and again saw it on the BLM's website - BLM Boating Gunnison Gorge
Paraphrase - "Rescue is very difficult in the Gorge. If in doubt, SCOUT!
The River Map provides locations and class of rapids. Each raft must carry an extra oar or paddle, first aid kit, repair kit, and extra PFD."
Not sure why this is in the regulations, or whether it only applies to commercial trips. As for the PFD's, the ranger I spoke to when I called today said that they aren't required to be worn, but it's recommended. We will have ours on because mine has my fishing gear and other necessities in it and it's seems like to smart thing to do.
Thanks again for the info.