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Sheriff’s Office: Snake River is too dangerous for recreation

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office says it is too dangerous to play on the Snake River, at least for the time being.

Some of the highest flows of the year occur from Memorial Day through the second week of June.

Current flow at Heise is about 19,000 cubic feet per second, about double the usual flow in July and August.

The sheriff’s office said springtime water is very cold and murky, and high currents dislodge trees and other debris. It can be very difficult to identify a hazard in time to respond in the fast-moving water.

Cold water, strong currents and floating debris can quickly overwhelm even a strong swimmer, and unpredictable conditions make boating hazardous as well said the sheriff’s office.

Until high flows subside, officials ask you follow these guidelines:

Do not recreate in the River. Keep pets leashed near the river as they may chase other animals into the water. Use caution on river banks that may be unstable due to the strong currents undermining the river’s edge. When conditions eventually permit recreation, use equipment appropriate to the conditions. (Motorized watercraft or river rafts as opposed to inner tubes or light inflatables.) Always wear a life vest. Avoid the use of alcohol when operating a watercraft or playing in the water.

The sheriff’s office says if someone does get in trouble, call 911 immediately. Do not enter the water to attempt a rescue.

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