If you are planning an overnight trip on the river, remember to watch the weather in the UPPER WATERSHED. Heavy rains in North Carolina and south of us will cause unsafe conditions in the Giles County. Check the weather forecast frequently. Any questions, please call one of our outfitters.
River Safety Checklist
Respect The River – Natural patterns of free-flowing rivers can be learned but cannot be controlled.
Buddy System – Never wade, tube, swim, or boat alone. Go with someone who knows the river.
Life Jacket Required – Essential for fishing, wading, tubing, swimming, or boating on moving water.
Equipment – Wear shoes, appropriate clothes, and sun protection. Take a first aid kit and plenty of drinking water.
Swimming Ability – Be a swimmer. Non-swimmers often panic, endangering themselves and others.
Skill/Physical Condition – Take a boating course. Be physically fit. River sports are demanding.
No Alcohol/No Drugs – Impaired coordination and judgment increase risk of loss of life.
Trip Planning – Consider water levels and available time. Allow one hour’s paddling for every two miles of river (longer if fishing). Let someone know your plans, when and where you will start, and when and where you expect to complete your trip.
Weather / Time of Day – Get a weather report before starting your trip. Lightning, cold weather, high winds, dusk, all mean get off the river until conditions improve.
Scout Unknown Hazards – Rapids are always hazardous, but even calm areas can hide deep holes in the riverbed, treacherous underwater currents, shifting sand bars, broken glass, fish hooks, undercut rocks, logs, roots, and assorted trash.
Water Levels – Check USGS before beginning your trip. When the river is in the Green area you will enjoy the best river experience. In the Yellow, the river flow is faster and life jackets are essential. In the Red, stay off the river, rescue is difficult or impossible!
BWI (Boating While Intoxicated) is prohibited under Virginia law. Violators will be prosecuted. Legal limits have recently been lowered. If you drink, wait till your boating day is over.
Possession Of Alcohol is prohibited at all public access points, including parks and riverbanks. Violators will be ticketed. Under Virginia law, possession of alcohol by those under 21 years of age will result in revocation of driver’s license.
Fishing Licenses – Virginia residents 16 and over and non-residents 12 and over must carry a valid VA fishing license on all trips. Virginia residents will need an in-state license, and non-residents can purchase a 5-day, non-resident license. To purchase your license online, please visit the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Online Fishing License Application website. www.dgif.virginia.gov/