Iowa DNR Issues Safety Warnings For Paddlers, But They Are A Bit Different This Year

Although the forecast right now is a bit on the gloomy side for the Memorial Day weekend, many people may still be tempted to get out on the state’s waterways. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) wants to make sure that people practice safe paddling over the holiday, but this year that means something entirely different than in the past with a call for adherence to social distancing guidelines. “People can easily keep the proper physical distance while paddling,” says Nate Hogeveen, River Programs Director for the DNR. “But everyone needs to take extra precautions at the accesses, on the water and while shuttling.” Limit the size of the group to no more than 10 and paddle only with family and friends you now. Maintain a minimum of six feet in distance from others at all times, giving those ahead of you plenty of space to launch or load and try to paddle lakes instead of rivers which will help eliminate the need for shuttles. Only touch your own gear and after your trip sanitize surfaces. Make sure you bring along a supply of hand sanitizer or wipes. Avoid sharing your snacks and drinks and do not gather on sandbars or “raft up” to others. An interactive paddlers’ map can be found below.

Paddlers’ Map: www.iowadnr.gov/Things-to-Do/Canoeing-Kayaking/Where-to-Paddle