As the Memorial Day weekend approaches, we need to be mindful that Idaho waterways will be a different sort of beast this spring and summer. The risks for boaters, kayakers, swimmers, floaters, and all others who are planning to spend time at Gem State rivers this weekend are extremely high, so be sure to spread the word.

Kayaking has been a passion of mine for more than 20 years now. I've kayaked in the ocean, on the Snake River, and on countless lakes in the western United States, and when the currents are moving fast, it can present some very real risks even for those who think they are above-average swimmers and kayakers.

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The runoff from this past winter is making Idaho rivers extremely dangerous, and that's going to be the case through the summer. The waters are rushing with more force and undercurrents are stronger than they've been in years, which means certain sections of the Snake River like Pillar Falls will likely claim numerous victims over the course of the next four months. It's terrible to think about, but conditions are ripe for these types of fatalities.

Make sure if you have loved ones planning to spend time on the river this Memorial Weekend to warn them. Southern Idaho rescue teams are on high alert presently, and sadly, the odds they will be dispersed to assist in recovery efforts are high heading into the long weekend break.

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