DGIF would like to advise recreational boaters to use extreme caution this upcoming holiday weekend.
Over the past several days, many areas of Virginia have received a significant amount of rainfall. Not only is the ground saturated but the rivers are at treacherously high levels, particularly in southcentral Virginia. 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.
Traditionally, the Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of the boating season, many schools are out for the year and families begin taking recreational outings with many utilizing our numerous waterways.
If you are a boater and chose to launch on any river, specifically the James River, Staunton River and Dan River, we are making the following recommendations:
- We strongly urge you to think before you go. Check local river conditions.
- Be aware that it is possible that high water will force the temporary closing of some boat ramps.
- Have a good plan and share this 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 a properly sized and fitted life jacket. Remember that life jackets save lives!