Boaters warned of debris in area rivers

Flood debris at the Keizer Rapids boat launch. The Oregon Marine Board incourages boaters to use caution in the coming weeks as flooding impacts area rivers.

Marine Board photo
Flood debris at the Keizer Rapids boat launch. The Oregon Marine Board incourages boaters to use caution in the coming weeks as flooding impacts area rivers.

Last week's historic snowfall and the projected warm, and wet forecast this week sets up the perfect scenario for potential flooding on Oregon rivers, especially west of the Cascade Mountains.

And with flooding comes debris flows with trees, root wads, and other material that can impact the safety of boaters on the water.

The Marine Board and marine law enforcement strongly urge boaters to take the following precautions:

• Make sure the boat ramp is open for launching. The Marine Board is working closely with facility managers and will include closure information on the Boat Oregon Map.

• Scout the river before running it. Rivers are dynamic, and don't stay the same over time. Boulders and logs move, trees fall, and currents shift. When in doubt, scout and portage out.

• Wear a life jacket. Given the water temperature and equally cold air temperature, boaters are encouraged to wear a properly fitting life jacket on the outside of their cold weather attire.

• Boat with others and stay within sight of one another.

• Know your limits and how to self-rescue. Be sure your skills and experience are equal to the river and the conditions.

• Fill out a digital float plan and print out a copy to let others know where you are boating and when to expect your return.

The digital form, when submitted, sends an email to the Marine Board that can be used later to aid marine law enforcement should a boater need help.

Visit online at www.boatoregon.com and click on the Boat Oregon Map.

The website and the application are optimized for mobile devices.

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