Kalispell, MT — Boaters and anglers on the Swan River should take precaution near the Montana Highway 209 bridge in Ferndale due to hazards in the water.
Construction is underway on a bridge in Ferndale. Sections of the river channel feature hazards associated with the construction and boaters are asked to avoid those areas. The clearance between the bridge and the river is approximately six feet. Buoys are being placed in the channel to direct safe travel.
Warmer temperatures are driving increased streamflow across the region and rapid high water can create hazards and lead to periodic closures at fishing access sites due to flooding.
A Personal Flotation Device, or life jacket, is required for all boaters on the water.
Boaters should be prepared for dangers during spring high-water season that may include:
- debris in water
- cold water
- logs that get lodged together and create a hazard where water can flow through and around them but a boat can’t get through
- bridge abutments that catch debris and create swirling waves
- turbid, muddy water that makes other hazards in the water difficult or impossible to see
- the possibility of capsizing and having to rescue yourself or others
- Boaters should not assume a river is the same as it was during a previous trip