Water Levels

HIGH WATER MARK

Water that reaches this mark often hides debris and dangers. Use extreme caution.

However, on certain sections of the New River, higher water is desired to avoid deep hydraulics and rock ledges.

AVERAGE WATER LEVELS

Water levels are moderate.

However, on certain sections of the New River, higher water is desired to avoid deep hydraulics and rock ledges.

LOW WATER MARK

During low water you will likely need to adjust your course. Consider the fact that you may have to portage more often around shoals.

Recognize Moving Water Hazards

High Water – Stay off the river if you see these warning signs of high water: swiftly moving water, muddy water, a river out of its banks, debris in the river, or water flowing among the trees on the shore.

Strong Current – Currents often cannot be seen, but can be extremely dangerous.

Uneven Riverbed – Deep holes, uneven current, rocks, roots, broken glass, and fishing line all pose real dangers.  The “Fall Line” area of the New River is especially dangerous in this regard.

Don’t Stand In Moving Water – Foot entrapment between rocks or in debris lets current force victims under. Float. Keep feet up and downstream to fend off rocks.

Hydraulics – Hydraulics send water falling over ledges or dams, creating holes, then recirculating the water to fill the holes. This can drag trapped victims under repeatedly.

Strainers – Strainers, such as downed trees, debris piles, and undercut rocks, let water flow through but strain out boats and bodies, holding them under. Paddle well clear or walk around these obstructions.  If you are out of your boat and cannot avoid being washed into a strainer, swim vigorously towards it and climb over it.

Diving – Never dive into anything but a swimming pool.  Diving in shallow water or into unexpected underwater rocks and logs can cause injury, paralysis, or death.

Hypothermia – Cold water exposure, or even dampness with a little wind chill, can cause loss of coordination, clouded thinking,
unconsciousness, and death. Dress appropriately.

Alcohol and Drugs – Alcohol and drugs make swimmers and boaters more likely to take risks but less able to deal with these risks.