Forest Service urges visitors to be cautious on northern Michigan waterways


High water levels on the Pere Marquette have made some low-hanging obstacles impassible. Photo Courtesy of Dave Jaunese, Forest Service

CADILLAC, Mich (WLNS) – The USDA Forest Service is urging visitors to be cautious on waterways while celebrating the July 4th holiday.

Recent weather has generated higher than average water levels on several popular rivers, including the Pere Marquette, the Pine, and the White.

Visitors using waterways throughout the Huron-Manistee National Forests may experience strong currents, have difficulty navigating under bridges or low-hanging obstacles and encounter more debris than usual in the water.

“Even experienced paddlers have been surprised by recent changes to the rivers,” said Dave Jaunese, Assistant Ranger for the Baldwin/White Cloud District. “The biggest challenge for paddlers right now is that there are more obstacles on and underneath the water.”

Tubers may experience swifter currents, reduced float times and low water temperatures can induce hypothermia even in the summertime.

All visitors are reminded to watch out for posted warning signs, drink alcohol responsibly, and wear proper flotation devices.

“The rivers see heavy use during summer holidays,” said Recreation and Hydropower Program Manager Kristen Thrall . “Please remember that your actions can impact the safety and experience of other visitors.”

The USDA Forest Service has more information available on water safety.

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