Fast-moving water poses danger for anglers

COLUMBUS, OH – Ohio has experienced steady rains and rising waters in the past week. The Ohio DNR urges Ohioans and visitors to avoid high, fast-moving water in rivers and streams.

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

The rain is expected to continue throughout the next week for much of Ohio so lakes, rivers, and streams will remain high and swift, creating and concealing hazards. These conditions pose dangers for boaters, swimmers, 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. ODNR 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.

ODNR 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, lakes or streams.

I spent some time in the Hocking Hills last week and the Hocking River was flowing high and muddy. I chose not to fish it, but instead made the trek to Rose Lake. You might consider skipping the stream or river fishing prospects at least until the waters recede.

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