A large diversion downstream of the Glenwood Bridge creates a serious hazard for floaters. 

BOISE — Despite its reputation as a relaxing recreational activity, floating the Boise River still poses risks.

This is especially true in areas that are less maintained, or not maintained at all, said Mike Dimmick, project manager for Flood District 10.

“I think what’s behind me here is an example of a serious hazard in the river,” Dimmick said, gesturing to a large diversion made up of logs and rocks in the river near the Boise River Greenbelt in Garden City, just downstream of the Glenwood Bridge.

Logs, rocks and rushing water can cause floaters to become stuck or sucked under by the current. 

The 6-mile stretch from Barber Park to Ann Morrison Park is a safer option, according to Dimmick. This stretch of river is well-maintained, and more importantly, busy. If floaters get in trouble, they can find help from other floaters. That’s not always true for the less trafficked areas of the river, Dimmick said.

The flood district doesn’t have any control over clearing debris in float season, he said. It can only work on the river when flows are lower than 500 cfs. He said he’s fielded a number of calls about potential blockages in the river.

Ultimately, floaters are responsible for their own safety, Dimmick said. 

Still, that doesn’t mean anyone should carelessly float any part of the river — maintained or not.

“Those areas do have hazards, and people need to know (what to do),” Dimmick said. 

For those floating, the best thing to do is to monitor the river for hazards, and if one is found, exit the river and walk around those hazards, he said.

“Have a good time, get out and enjoy the river,” Dimmick said. “It’s a good river. But be careful about it.”

Xavier Ward covers Ada County for The Idaho Press. You can follow him on Twitter at @XavierAWard.

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