Boise River

Anna Webb / Idaho Statesman

A monument commemorating the settlement of Boise by Europeans was set to be the focal point of a new small park along the Greenbelt. After taking a closer look at the inscription, the plan has been nixed and the monument retired.


Kyle Green / Idaho Statesman

OK river rats, here’s the scoop: Ada County will open Barber Park services this Saturday where you can start your day on the river. The tube and raft rentals open at 10 a.m., and the first shuttle departs Ann Morrison Park at noon, where floaters can take out.

For those new to the summertime experience, you can expect the float to take about two hours.

Kyle Green / Idaho Statesman

The temperature is scorching and the Boise River is slowly dropping, but it's still not clear when float season will get underway. Officials say the river is nearly low enough to start pulling debris like logs and other hazards from the water.

With the river running well above flood stage for several months earlier this year, the annual job of removing debris is expected to take longer than usual.

Tom Michael / Boise State Public Radio

It’s Mid-May, I’m at the Boise airport, hopping in a Cessna with pilot Don Reiman and Kevin Lewis, the director of Idaho Rivers United. We’re going to “fly the flood,” to see what the swollen rivers and reservoirs look like from the air, especially along the Boise and Big Wood rivers.

There has been months of flooding on Idaho rivers, with a reservoir system that’s been straining at capacity, as the deep winter snowpack has slowly melted off. Now, in the second half of June, the floodwaters are receding.

Don sketches out the flight path.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The Boise River, which has been over flood stage for months, will drop below that level Thursday. The river has dropped dramatically this week.

The Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have been dropping the amount of water released into the river all week. The river started dropping over the weekend, then fell 500 cubic feet per second on Tuesday and 1,000 cfs on Wednesday.

It will drop another 500 cfs Thursday morning. That will drop the river level at the Glenwood Bridge to 6,750 cfs, that brings it below flood stage which is 7,000 cfs.

Boise River Garden City whitewater
Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

The Boise River is running at some of the highest levels seen so far this season. Along with flooding around Eagle Island State Park, the river is also causing problems in Garden City.

Water managers say they have no plans to lessen the flow of the Boise River anytime soon. With temperatures expected to top out around a hundred tomorrow in Boise and conditions looking to be toasty across much of southern Idaho, lots of mountain snow will melt. That means more runoff coming into the reservoir system.

Boise Police Department

The Boise River is rising again, to what officials say will be the highest levels so far this year.

Flows from the Lucky Peak Dam will go up Friday morning. An additional 500 cubic feet per second of water will be released. That will bring the flow to 9,300 cfs at the Glenwood Bridge gauge. That’s the highest flow this Spring since officials started pushing more and more water through the river to make room for melting snow in the mountains above Boise.

Float the Boise River / Facebook

With summer unofficially here, it’s almost the time of year to float the Boise River. However, with the river still running well above flood stage and untold amounts of debris collecting along the waterway, it’ll probably be a while before kayaks and tubes are allowed to make that lazy trip downstream.

Boise River, Flooding
Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Boise River levels will be on the rise again next week. Officials  with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation hope that by increasing it from 8,900 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 9,500 now, they can reduce the risk of more severe flooding later this spring.

Boise Police Department / Twitter

Much of the Greenbelt is closed and underwater, due to flooding on the Boise River. But eventually, the water will recede, leaving much of the 25 miles of pathway damaged or destroyed. But Boise has a plan once the river slows down.

In many places, the Greenbelt has been totally washed out by the river, which is well above flood stage. And City of Boise Spokesman Mike Journee says there’s more damage below the surface of the path.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Boise officials have expressed concerns with federal maps that propose adding hundreds of acres to a flood plain in the city, which could increase the cost and difficulty of buying or developing nearby property.

The city disagrees with the Federal Emergency Management Agency over maps predicting the contours of a 100-year flood between Lucky Peak Dam and the Snake River. A 100-year flood is an event FEMA predicts has a 1 percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in a single year, The Idaho Statesman reported.

Boise Police Department / Twitter

Idaho Governor Butch Otter says residents facing possible springtime flooding aren't taking seriously what he calls a potential disaster.

Otter made a plea Wednesday for people to pay closer attention to the situation on the flooded Boise River.

“We’ve got to get the word out that this is a disaster waiting to happen. We don’t need people to add to it by getting on the river or getting on the river banks,” said Otter.

Alberto Garcia / Flickr

As the Boise River continues to run well above flood stage, the heightened water level is making for ideal mosquito breeding conditions in some areas. Officials in Canyon County are identifying regions where exploding mosquito larvae populations are showing up.

Tom Michael / Boise State Public Radio

As dam officials bump up the water flow on the Boise River yet again this week, it’s a good time to take a look at the numbers that matter during this flooding event.

This week, the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plan to raise the water level at the Glenwood Bridge to 8,500 cubic feet per second. As of Wednesday, crews were pushing 9,240 cfs of water out of Lucky Peak Dam. Gina Baltrusch with the Walla Walla District of the Corps says about 1,000 cfs is being diverted into irrigation canals and the rest is flowing down the Boise.

Dave Thomas / Flickr

The brutal winter is still affecting the Treasure Valley as record amounts of snow have yet to melt and enter the complex system of reservoirs and dams that store runoff. To prevent a crisis in the event of a heat wave and to accommodate all the water stored in the snow, dam officials are once again raising the Boise River.

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