There's hope for a Boise River float season

Posted at 5:53 PM, Jun 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-14 20:11:24-04

Boise River flows Wednesday were at the lowest levels the area has experienced since March. Still hovering just above the flood stage, there may be hope for a float season.

A warning sign is posted at the Barber Park launch point and likely will be for at least another month and a half, if not through the first weekend in Sept. If that were the case, there would be no float season from Barber Park to Ann Morrison Park all together this year.

"We're at the mercy of a lot of different, unknown factors right now," says Scott Koberg, director of Ada County Parks & Waterways.

The top three factors Koberg references include a river flow range between 700-1,500 cubic-feet-per-second. Currently, the Boise River is at 7,250 CFS.

Once the river comes down, then it's safe for a Boise Fire Department special operations unit to clear debris out of the waterway, which it's anticipated there will be more this year.

Also, the temperature needs to be about an 80 degree average.

Normal year or not, the floater concession at Barber Park in Boise closes on Labor Day.

However, if everything lines up just right, the float season could occur in August.

So, the rafts have recently been inflated and inspected, and managers are out getting a first glimpse at possible water damage. They won't be able to really tell what repairs are in order until the river level comes down.

What's most encouraging, Koberg says, is that the Boise River is now past the flooding peak.

Water managers with the reservoir storage system, the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will continue to carefully monitor the situation.

"They've still got a lot of work ahead of them to balance the water budget for the year from reservoir storage and recreation up at the lakes, to irrigation delivery to farmers and ranchers and then, hopefully, for recreational users on the river," Koberg says.

Check out Float the Boise River's Facebook page for up-to-date information on a possible opening date.

Even though levels are starting to come down, though, officials say the water is still very dangerous for people and their pets.