Fryingpan River

Facebook/Jerry Young

The man who died after he fell out of his kayak on the Fryingpan River, was a part-time ski instructor for the Aspen Skiing Company. As Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports, Jerry Young was 63 years old.

It’s unclear where Young fell from his blue inflatable kayak but, he and a friend began their float at Seven Castles, just outside of downtown Basalt. Britt Queer and his girlfriend were on a restaurant patio along the Fryingpan when they saw the empty kayak and Young’s body.

Creative Commons/Flickr/Carolyn Cuskey

Rescuers were unsuccessful Sunday (6/21) in reviving a man who fell out of a kayak on the fast-flowing Fryingpan River. 

The man and a friend began floating the river at Seven Castles, about five miles from downtown Basalt. The friend called 911 around 3:30 in the afternoon after the two became separated. Officials with the Basalt Fire Department say witnesses at a riverside restaurant in Basalt saw the unoccupied boat and the man’s body. A group of bystanders downstream pulled him from the river and worked to resuscitate him. The efforts continued when emergency crews arrived, but the man was pronounced dead on-scene. An official with Basalt Fire says flows on the Fryingpan were extremely high. The man was from Grand Junction.

Local Group to Study Fryingpan River/Ruedi Impact

Mar 27, 2014

The Roaring Fork Conservancy is taking a look at what a healthy Fryingpan River means to the local economy. The Fryingpan Valley Economic Study is underway and will continue into next year according to the Basalt based organization. The group says the study aims to understand visitor use and spending related to recreational activities on the Lower Fryingpan River and Ruedi Reservoir, and the river’s economic importance. The final result will give people an idea of what a healthy river means to the local economy. The Conservancy believes the report will also aid in helping to keep the river healthy. Colorado State University and Colorado Mountain College are assisting with the study that is funded in part by the town of Basalt, Eagle County, the Aspen Skiing Company Environment Foundation and other private donors. Over a decade ago the Conservancy conducted a similar study and found the Fryingpan Valley's recreational activities contributed an estimated $1.8 million annually in total economic output to Basalt's economy. Updated numbers are expected to be greater.

Marci Krivonen

This Fall, a local river conservation group is keeping a close eye on the Fryingpan River. This follows last year's drought that brought the levels on the river down. The low flows affected fish, aquatic insects and possibly the local economy. The Fryingpan is considered Gold Medal fishing waters. It draws people from around the world to fly fish there. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.