Use Caution if Paddling Iowa Streams
Posted: 05/26/2011

Paddlers planning a weekend trip down an Iowa river should be aware that the high water and faster flows present in many streams increases the risk to paddlers this holiday weekend.

"We recommend paddlers research conditions of the streams and weather before they head out," said Todd Robertson, with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Rivers Program. "Rivers are dynamic changing systems and debris can move during high water and other obstacles can be washed into the streams during heavy rains. These challenges can increase the risk facing paddlers."

Robertson said paddlers should also be aware that while the forecast for the end of the holiday weekend is for temperatures in the 80s, the first have the of the weekend will have cool weather and if paddlers find a stream or lake to paddle, that he recommends wearing a wetsuit to avoid possible hypothermia.

"Remember, wet clothing, cold water and gusty winds make for hypothermic conditions. Dress for the water, not the air. Once we get into the 80s, we should be past the threat for hypothermia," Robertson said. "Paddlers should also be aware of the weather forecast and never paddle when lightning is in the area."