Boaters, anglers urged to avoid high water

Mike MooreColumbus – After the steady rain Ohio has experienced during the past two weeks, Ohioans and visitors are reminded to avoid high, fast-moving water in rivers and streams, according to the DNR.

"With the increased amount of rain, extra precautions are needed to ensure that the strength and speed of a river does not exceed people’s skill capabilities or that of their equipment," said DNR Director Jim Zehringer. “Always remember to a wear life jacket while boating. It’s a simple decision that can save lives.”

While most of Ohio is expected to enjoy beautiful weather this weekend, many rivers and streams could still be near or at flood stage. These conditions pose hazards for boaters, paddlers and anglers.

High and fast stream currents, downed trees that act as "strainers," undercut and eroded banks, debris and other underwater obstacles can be dangerous to people walking, wading or boating in or near a waterway. The DNR recommends "scouting" a stream before launching a boat or wading in an unfamiliar area. Boaters are urged to file a float plan with a responsible person. Capsizing or falling unexpectedly into high, fast water can be life-threatening.

The DNR further advises Ohioans and visitors to properly wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket while boating and when wading and fishing in rivers or streams.

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