Spring runoff is in full swing, meaning area rivers are running high, fast and cold. Recreationists taking advantage of this week’s warm weather should take extra precautions around the water. Irrigation canals are also full of water; keep children away!
Idaho Power operates dozens of campgrounds, boat ramps and other recreation access points near the company’s hydroelectric facilities on the Snake River and its tributaries. Life jackets are available to borrow from kiosks near many of the company’s more popular locations.
But no matter where you are boating, fishing or otherwise enjoying the water, safety is important. Idaho’s lakes and rivers can be cold enough to cause hypothermia, according to state health officials. Here are some tips from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare:
- Wear a lifejacket.
- Avoid swimming or boating in high water.
- Check water conditions; never dive or jump into unfamiliar or shallow water.
- Swim in designated areas only.
- Take special care to avoid irrigation canals and ditches; swift water and steep banks make it difficult to get out.
When boating near Idaho Power facilities, observe all posted signs, buoys and other safety precautions. Stay clear of spillways, and listen for alarms. Conditions can change rapidly downstream of hydroelectric dams.