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DNR advises caution for paddlers, boaters on Iowa’s rivers this weekend

DES MOINES — The approaching Fourth of July weekend usually sees thousands of paddlers hitting Iowa’s waters.  With heavy rains in the forecast, the DNR is advising paddlers and boaters to carefully watch water levels and increased traffic.

“While many rivers are at safe and optimal levels today, this may change as we have a chance of heavy rains through tomorrow night and again on Friday,” said Todd Robertson with the DNR’s water trails program. “Levels will be a concern and people must be aware that rain will raise water levels in mere minutes.”

After heavy rainfall, those on the water should watch for debris causing hazards. Some log jams have already been reported, like at the Anderson Access on the Skunk River just below Story City. Paddlers will need to portage around this large log jam.

In addition, the holiday weekend can also bring more boat traffic, more canoes and kayaks on the water, and more anglers. Boaters should also be familiar with Iowa’s boating while intoxicated laws.

Current stream flows are available from the U.S. Geological Survey at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ia/nwis/rt.

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