Why Boise River Float Season Might Be Further Away Than You Think
When temperatures reach the 90s, it's easy to start dreaming of the days where you'll be relaxing on your favorite raft, giant flamingo or air mattress as you float toward Ann Morrison Park. Unfortunately, Boise River float season might be further away than you'd hoped for.
When we wrapped up a Boise Music Festival ticket stop in Garden City earlier this week, I was excited to be in the area of the Greenbelt I normally don't get to run much. There's a little parking near the Glenwood Bridge just past Hawks Stadium where you can access the path. I knew that heading toward Eagle would be a lot shadier than out toward Les Bois, but unfortunately the water under the Glenwood Bridge is pretty high right now. The flooding is a pretty good indication that float season is still a way's off. That's the Army Corps of Engineers measure the river flow. As of 9:00 on Wednesday night, the river was flowing at 3330 CFS.
Turns out that's a pretty significant number. The "Float the Boise River" Facebook page shared that in the past 20 years, the river's only been flowing over 3000 CFS on June 12 six other years: 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2016 and 2017 (the snowpocalypse flood year.) Here's when the river FINALLY opened those years:
- 2006: July 1
- 2009: July 1
- 2010: July 1
- 2011: July 15
- 2016: June 29
- 2017: July 29
While the river is considered "safe" for floaters at 1,500 CFS, the average opening day flow is normally 1,154. If history repeats itself, float season might not arrive until early July.
We should note that the Boise Fire Department has an added obstacle to cleaning out debris like downed tree branches from the river before opening it to floaters this year. The boat that they normally use during those operations was severely damaged after it lost power and became lodged under the Broadway bridge during a training exercise. According to the Idaho Statesman, the department isn't aware of a similar boat that they could borrow so they may need to call in outside contractors to help in 2019.