SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Competitor fisher Jack Wagner is having a hard time finding a stream to fish in because water levels are just too high.
“Just wicked right now, lots of debris, lot’s of moving water,” Wagner said.
He is steering clear of tributaries where he saw lots of debris. Wagner fishes out of his kayak, which he says is sturdy until it hits something solid.
“When you have a current and hit something solid, they will topple over pretty quickly,” Wagner said.
Debris is more common after heavy rainfall because it washes trash and logs from shore into the water.
Tawna Cuzzort, with Indian Point Marina, said, “We see a lot of rain every May, but this has been a lot more than normal.”
Springfield has had one of its wettest Mays on record, with more than 10 inches of rain.
The higher the water, the more debris in river and streams.
Sam Carpenter, with Missouri State Highway Patrol says some of their water rescues occur when people get caught in the debris.
“Water gets up along debris and fallen trees and creates these log jams. We get people stranded holding onto those,” Carpenter said.
The log jams create heavy currents which can pull canoes or kayaks under water.
“The force of water is so great,” Carpenter said.
Eventually debris flows into lakes, creating hazardous conditions for boaters.
“If you have a jet ski sometimes it can suck some of the debris up in it and cause some kind of mechanical issues,” Cuzzort said.
Do not let sunny skies this weekend fool you, the hazard still exists, even long after the rainfall.
“It takes time for our rivers and streams to get back down to normal. They’re all still fairly swollen and running really hard with lots of debris,” Carpenter said.
The best way to protect yourself is to wear a life jacket.
“You have to be able to see what’s in front of you, and be able to navigate around it,” Cuzzort said.
Debris in water may be bigger than it looks. Keep a sharp eye, and navigate around the debris.
With higher water, you will also want to keep a greater distance from the shore.
“When the water is as high as it is, you’ve got a tree line underneath. You don’t want to cause anything…
Read more:: High water brings more debris into the lakes