Thousands of water fans in Boise have had a disappointing start to the river season this year. High water, flooding, and damage to river banks meant that the usual season for floating the river would be cut short. Some thought it might not happen at all.
Well, those fears can be set aside. Even though the floating season is getting the latest start on record, the river will open to floaters, tubers, and rafters on Saturday.
The Boise River Raft and Tube equipment rentals will open at 10 a.m. just in time for a day of triple digit temperatures. The first shuttle will run from Ann Morrison Park at noon.
Before this year, the latest opening date was July 15 back in 2011. The river was running at a peak of 9,660 cubic feet per second (CFS) but has been steadily dropping over the last few weeks, and is expected to be at around 1,000 CFS for opening day.
The Boise Fire Department will do a final debris sweep of the floating area before it opens this weekend, but floaters are still advised to use caution.
The river is still cold and running fast, and floaters are encouraged to wear personal floatation devices that fit well. Floaters under the age of 14 are required to wear them by law.
As usual glass bottles or containers are not allowed on the river, and alcohol is prohibited as well. The opening of the floating season officially also means that if someone is in trouble in the water and needs to be rescued, they will not be charged for the rescue.
The floating season is open, green belt repairs are on the way, and it looks like Boise is finally recovering from the long winter and flooded waterways.
Just be careful out there. At its best, the river can be a dangerous place. Keep an eye on your kids, have fun, and always wear sunscreen.