Dangerous conditions exist on the South Fork of the Payette

Tips from kayakers to stay safe on the water
Posted at 6:25 PM, May 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-12 20:25:01-04

BANKS — The Payette River system features some of the best white water in the world and during runoff when the rivers are flowing high is a time that kayakers look forward to every year.

Paddlers need to be aware of a log jam that is blocking the left side of the river on Dogleg Rapid on the South Fork of the Payette River, the hazard is downstream of Bronco Billy Rapid and upstream of Staircase Rapid.

Strainers are one of the most dangerous hazards on any river, however, accidentally floating into this log jam would most likely be deadly and drives home the point that only experienced river runners should be running the Payette River system this time of year.

Kayakers also take several other steps when it comes to safety on the river including traveling in groups and wearing the proper safety equipment.

The proper river gear involves sturdy shoes (I look neoprene booties because they also keep your feet warm in cold water), a life jacket, a helmet, a river knife and clothing to keep paddlers warm this time of year the rivers in Idaho are cold this time of year.

Paddlers have some special clothing to keep warm, rafters often go for the full on dry suit while kayakers prefer a dry top and for anyone going on the river its best to dress in layers and avoid cotton.

It's also important to know your skill level and to be honest about it the Payette River system offers some of the most advanced paddling in the world on the Northfork, the Southfork is somewhere in the middle and the Main is more of a beginner stretch.

To learn more check out the video.