It may be enticing, but Boise River still unsafe for floaters

Posted at 2:46 AM, Jun 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-25 04:46:46-04

BOISE, Idaho — Over the 4th of July weekend, people in the Treasure Valley try to cool down by getting on the water, but it's not safe quite yet.

"The opening weekend, I just try and float every year because I like to see how many people are on the river and we have the super soaker things too so I'm ready to have fun," said Michelle Jimenez, Boise resident.

Currently the Boise River is flowing at 3,300 Cubic Feet Per Second which is too fast and dangerous to float. The mark for safe floating is usually just 1,200 to 1,500 CFS. The water needs to drop nearly 2/3rds to get to that point.

"This year, because of the cooler weather, it's been a delayed runoff year so we've had more flood control operations than we normally would and didn't anticipate back in May. Usually it's about June 20th, June 25th when we have people on the river for floating, but this year just because you know, we had a lot of rain in May, it cooled off. IIt's been a delayed run off pattern this year," said Joel Fenolio, Bureau of Reclamation water management group.

The Boise Fire Department must work to clear debris before they can reduce the flows. Ultimately, it's up to Boise Fire to open the Boise River for floating season.

Once the Boise Fire Department does decide the river can be opened, the Bureau of Reclamation will lower it to about 1,200 CFS. While there isn't a guarantee what day that will be, they hope to have it open around the Fourth of July. Fenolio says floating is always at your own risk.