FWP Adds New Signage Near Dangerous River Dam - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

FWP Adds New Signage Near Dangerous River Dam

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CORVALLIS -

Search and rescue teams have responded to the same diversion dam on the Bitterroot River three times in the past eight days.

Two of the recent rescues were successful, but in one case, a 6-year-old drown after a boat capsized below the dam.

Corvallis fire officials said they think the stretch of river between woodside bridge and tucker crossing is too dangerous for recreation, and should be closed.

However, on Wednesday, FWP officials put up a large, new warning sign before the dam, and that it's up to the people on the river to keep themselves out of harm's way.

FWP Region 2 Warden Captain Joe Jaquith said the new sign is about 100 yards upriver from the dam that diverts irrigation water to a dairy farmer's land just north of Corvallis.
 
Jaquith said, "Since people were having a little more trouble here, obviously, with this hazard than other hazards on the river, that we would at come out and at least post it a little better."

Jaquith said all river recreators must be aware of portage locations, where they're required to pull their boat out of the water onto land, and walk it around the hazard.

It's terrible when people trying to have fun fall victim to tragedies on the river, but diligence will help keep people safe, he said.

"When you go onto a wild river like this, you're assuming the responsibility for your actions on the river and you have to be careful," Jaquith said.

Jaquith said FWP will add two more, large signs marking two portage areas just before the diversion dam.

He added, "If you're in any kind of doubt at all, you should beach your boat, get out, walk ahead, look at what you're going to be going through and then you can make an informed decision as to what you're doing."

FWP officials said floaters should also be on the lookout for log jams and other big snares in the water.

"Any of that stuff presents a hazard and has to be watched out for because they do exist on Montana rivers," he said.

For more information about hazards on Montana rivers, click here.

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