Plan ahead for a safe boating adventure

It’s mid-summer in Idaho, and hot temperatures are driving more and more people to the cool waters of the Payette, Salmon, and Boise rivers. This increased traffic means that some of the more popular put in spots are becoming overrun. How do we combat that?

Have a Plan A, B, C for your day’s adventure. If you get somewhere that is heavily trafficked, don’t worry just move on to your Plan B or C.

Before you go, do some research, talk to local river guides, drive just a little bit farther for that once-in-a-lifetime experience! Rather than stick with the most popular go-to spot, enjoy the river less paddled and see something new.

There is plenty of space to Recreate Responsibly in Idaho, if you Know Before You Go then your experience may be much better than if you wait in line at the most popular spots.

Pay attention to these reminders to ensure you have a safe boating experience and have minimum impact on the resource:

  • Pack out your garbage. Pack it in, pack it out. Pick up “microtrash” at lunch stops and beaches on the river.
  • Pay the day-use fees for rafting put-in locations. Those fees go toward maintaining the boat-launch areas.
  • When boating new sections of a river, check on water levels before you go.
  • Check on weather before you go.
  • Know your abilities and stay within your abilities to avoid hazardous swims in very cold water.
  • Wear a personal flotation device, also known as a life jacket.
  • Do a safety talk with your boating friends before launch and talk about self-rescue on the river, and how to pull swimmers back into the boat.  
  • Have rescue throw-ropes ready and handy in the boat for rescuing a swimmer(s) who might fall out of the raft.

“Know before you go, so you can have a great time and come home safe,” says Erika  Schauback, Payette River Ranger for the Boise National Forest.