Spokane River & Lakes Safety Information
With the access to the Spokane River now open, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Marine Enforcement Unit would like to remind everyone to use caution in or around the Spokane River and area lakes.
Although the Spokane River level has dropped, it is still flowing at a high rate, the water is very cold and debris carried by the current and snags near the shoreline are still a danger. Due to these extreme conditions, people are urged to use caution when walking near the river bank and know unsuspecting children or pets should be kept away from and out of the water for their safety. With the cold water temperatures, a person or pet could easily be overwhelmed by the current and succumb to hypothermia within minutes even if they are strong swimmers.
People are urged to stay out of the river; however, we understand there are individuals who have specialized equipment and training who have expressed their desire to enter the water under these extreme conditions. Please be aware of the changing river conditions, consider the dangers and your abilities before you make the decision to forgo these risks.
The area lakes are high causing boating hazards due to floating debris and submerged stumps or rocks that would normally be visible. In addition, with the high levels, boat wakes near the shore could cause damage to structures, docks or erode the shoreline and should be avoided.
Remember, always wear Personal Flotation Devices and following safe boating laws.