River Programs outreach coordinator Todd Robertson says the conditions are dangerous especially for rookies and he has this advice.
“Make sure you know how to control your boat properly, that you’re an efficient paddler. The best way to do that is to stay off of moving water and start practicing on flat water. Right now with the way rivers are, flat water and lakes are the safest place to be,” according to Roberston.
Robertson says because the air temperatures have been well below normal, the water temperatures are cold. He says that could cause problems if you capsize because the shock of the cold may be disorienting. Robertson says the high water is sweeping a significant amount of extra material into the fast-moving current.
“When you get a lot of rain, if you went and stood by the river and looked upstream you would see all this debris coming downstream,” Robertson says, “trees, tree limbs, things that have washed in off the bank, those things can be very hazardous for people.”
Robertson says life jackets are a must for boaters, kayakers and canoers.
He says according to Iowa law, adults do not have to wear a life jacket but there must be one onboard for each person. Children aged 12 and under are required to wear them at all times.
(Thanks to Pat Blank, Iowa Public Radio/DNR photo)