FS: High flows in Trinity River prompt safety reminder
The following if a Press Release from the Six Rivers National Forest:
EUREKA, CA–Forest Supervisor Tyrone Kelley reminds visitors to be careful while recreating on forest lakes and rivers, especially on the Trinity River. On Sunday, August 25, 2013, the Bureau of Reclamation will begin to increase releases from Lewiston Dam to the Trinity River in support of the Hoopa Valley Tribe's bi-annual Boat Dance Ceremony. The increased flows in the Trinity River will also meet downstream needs and will be adjusted at rates that protect the public and fish and wildlife. The increased releases will raise flows gradually from the summer base flow of 450 cubic feet per second to a peak of 2,650 cubic feet per second by midnight Sunday.
The Lower Trinity Ranger District manages the following river access locations along the Trinity River and South Fork of the Trinity River that are open to the public: Sandy Bar, Todd Ranch, Big Rock, South Fork River Access (Surprise Creek) Tunnel Flat, Hlel-Din, Gray Falls and Hawkins Bar. The Willow Creek Community Services District manages the river access at Camp Kimtu. “We want people to have fun while recreating on and around the river, but do so in a safe manner,” said Kelley.
Some safety principles to keep in mind:
· River currents can be dangerous and may be stronger than they look. If you find yourself caught in a current, float on your back, feet downstream until the current weakens and you can swim to shore.
· Jumping or falling into cold water, because of the initial shock and rapid heat loss that follows, is especially dangerous and can lead to hypothermia.
· For anglers wearing waders, a belt should be secured around the top of the waders to prevent water from filling up the boots of a person who should accidentally fall or slip into the water or is caught by swift currents.
· Wear a life jacket for all river activities.
· Keep a close watch on children even if they are far from the water. They can quickly enter the water and get in trouble when your attention is diverted for only a moment. Children should always wear a life jacket when on or around the water.
· Don’t go in the water after someone in trouble. Rescue from shore and get help.
· High river levels and strong flows can often create new river hazards, such as submerged logs (strainers); boulder movement can also change river hydraulics.
· Have a “designated watcher” with a cell phone or two way radio.
· Know where you are. If help is needed the caller should be able to describe your location; e.g. Bear Campground beach or mile post 1.1 off of road XYZ.
· Any time a person comes to a national forest for recreation, it is recommended they inform a responsible person of their location and planned return time.