Idaho rivers are prime for rafting season ahead

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by Andrea Lutz

KREM.com

Posted on March 16, 2013 at 7:41 AM

Updated Monday, Nov 25 at 9:31 PM

BOISE-- Water experts met Friday in Boise to discuss this year's runoff impacts and the spring water outlook.

Hydrologist Liz Cresto with the Idaho Department of Water Resources said if the spring stays too warm-that could put stress on those depending on irrigation flows.

“It’s going to be a tight season,” she said. “When you talk about runoff in terms of irrigation, you really hope for cool slow runoff and you really don't want hot dry weather that increases your demand and increases your runoff.”

Water experts said high elevation snow in November and December set up Idaho's mountains and rivers for a good season.

However, mid-March brought 70-degree weather.

“This half of March has been well below average, we like a nice steady increase of consistent storms and we haven’t had that recently,” said Cresto.

Many of Idaho’s water basins are running at adequate levels, some are evening at higher than average levels.

Steve Stuebner with the Idaho Outfitters and Guides Association said current snowpack levels will make this season a great river floating season.

“Yeah we are stoked for a great season this year,” he said.

Stuebner said with roughly 3,000 miles of Whitewater Rivers in Idaho-this year is likely to boost the seasonal economy, by bringing in tourists yearning to float.

“The economic impact is pretty major and a lot of people depend on those jobs,” he said. “So a lot of people are looking to Idaho to see what the conditions are like and I think it’s looking really favorable for a good year.”

At Idaho River Sports in Boise Peter Kurts says he is already seeing customers come in excited about the season ahead.   

“Our rental chart is always filled,” he said as he inflated a raft getting it ready to be rented out.

He said last season was excellent, and he predicts the same for this year.

“Our rafts were out almost all season for rental,” said Kurts.

Still, Cresto said conditions remain in the air, because although they are looking good for the river season, the spring weather could bring more moisture or even warmer temperatures.

 

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