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OBSTRUCTIONS ON NEBRASKA RIVERS

  1. Bridges generally are built at narrow points on the river, which means the water is deeper and the current is faster. Be aware of logs and other debris collected between bridge pilings. Make plans as far upstream as possible and adjust your position in the river. Move to the shore or to a sandbar, if necessary, to safely determine your best route. Back paddling is always an option to slow down, stop, or reverse the direction of your watercraft.
  2. High Water. If the river is out of its normal banks, it is not safe to float. Recognize when the water level and current speed exceed your abilities. Floating logs and other debris easily can capsize a canoe or kayak.
  3. Jetties made of rock or pilings, are placed to divert the current and stabilize a downstream structure. Jetties may stick out 20 to 50 feet into the river. If the jetties are below the water level, they will appear as a line of disturbed water. When the current hits these jetties it is pushed away from the bank. Stay clear of jetties and safely navigate around them.
  4. Hazards such as logs, limbs, rocks and other debris, may be exposed or lay just under the water’s surface and can create conflicting currents. Walk around any hazards with which you have doubts.
  5. Fences, both barbed wire and electric, extend across some rivers, especially in the Sandhills. These fences are not usually marked. Please understand that there is a need for these fences; do not cut or take them down. When you encounter a fence, STOP and plan your passage. Barbed wire fences can sometimes be negotiated by holding the fence up while going under it. Electric fences create an entirely new set of challenges. Always assume that electric fences are “hot.” If you cannot safely go under the fence, get out and portage.