JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Personnel from Bridger-Teton National Forest (BTNF) managed to clear a section of Hoback River today by removing a tree that had been partially blocking the river.
River users reported the troublesome snag at a spot known by frequent river runners as Sherri’s Ledge, just about a mile south of Hoback Junction. Obstructions in a river channel are particularly hazardous when water levels rise and currents are swifter due to increased river flows. Downed trees will likely continue to be an issue this spring.
“With the amount of avalanche activity and the summer fires we had last year, the opportunity for trees to be in the river channel and blocking the stream is much higher this year,” said BTNF’s river manager David Cernicek. “Around every bend there is a chance for blockages to appear and it is up to everyone to be sure they are alert and to plan accordingly.”
River users are encouraged to consider the following before attempting any springtime boating on the Bridger-Teton:
- Properly wear safety gear such as life jackets and helmets at all times.
- Check water levels the day of your trip to determine the relationship of the water level to the degree of hazard. Low or high water changes the character of rapids and the difficulty and manner in which they should be run. In addition, high water carries debris such as whole trees and logs that can pose serious and unpredictable risks.
- Rapids are not posted, listen for them, know where they are and scout them prior to running them.
- Be constantly alert for logs and other debris that may have become lodged in critical passages.
- Spring and early summer water temperatures are cold and hypothermia can set in rapidly if you are exposed to cold water for even a short period of time.
- Alcohol and other stimulants impair judgment and motor functions affecting your ability in making quick decisions. Use a designated driver just as you would when driving an automobile. Don’t risk your safety and the safety of others.
- Accidents occur on the river shoreline too. Be cautious when entering and exiting your vessel and wear appropriate footwear.