The heavy snowpack from the winter and this past weekend’s storms have all rivers and streams in Marinette County flowing high and fast, according to Marinette County Emergency Coordinator Kathy Frank.

She says the main rivers, the Menominee and Peshtigo, are expected to continue to be high for the foreseeable future. As spring fishing gets underway, fishermen should use caution, whether onshore or on a boat, on all rivers and especially when near dams.

Some areas of the river may be clear of ice, particularly below dams, but there is still ice coming downstream as well as debris from the spring melt. Flows around dams can change quickly and ice and debris can be released from the upper reservoir to below the dam very rapidly.

Frank said safety precautions near dams include:

¦ Obey all warning signs and heed flashing lights, horns or sirens

¦ Be aware of rapidly changing water conditions, especially after audible warnings are sounded

¦ Be aware of unstable ice conditions on reservoirs and downstream of dams

¦ Stay outside of buoy lines and restricted areas near dams

¦ Stay back from dry riverbeds below dams – they can quickly change into rapidly flowing waterways

¦ Have an escape route planned when near a dam and evacuate at the first sign of danger

Frank said anyone on or near a body of water is strongly urged to wear their personal flotation device, take extra safety precautions, and stay alert to changing conditions.