The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) would like to advise recreational boaters to use extreme caution this summer as unstable weather systems are likely to lead to flash flooding in many areas.
Over the past several days, many areas of Virginia have received significant amounts of rainfall. Not only is the ground saturated, but the rivers are at treacherously high levels. Navigating rivers in these conditions can be hazardous due to significantly higher than normal water levels and trash and other debris that could be floating on the surface or just below the waterline.
If you are a canoer, kayaker or other recreational boater and chose to launch on any river, the following recommendations are suggested:
●Think before you go. Always check local river conditions.
●Check your local forecast. Pop-up storms can cause flash flooding and water levels can change drastically and quickly.
●Be aware that it is possible that high water will force the temporary closing of some boat ramps.
●Have a good plan and share your plan with someone who knows where you will be and when to expect you to return.
●Finally, make sure you have the proper equipment onboard and that you wear an appropriately sized and fitted life jacket. Remember that life jackets do save lives!
-Submitted by Paige Pearson