Many Maine rivers and streams are subject to sudden rises in water levels. Hydroelectric dams release water at regular intervals. Whitewater rafters rely upon these releases so they can take advantage of artificially high water. Fishermen need to be constantly alert for their own safety. If you notice bits of debris coming downstream, even though there has been no rain, expect the water level to rise. Some dams have alarms that sound when water is released. If you hear a siren or horn, get to a place where you can go ashore fast, because the water is going to come up in a hurry.
Some Maine rivers have sections that are simply too dangerous to wade. Others have slippery bottoms and sudden dropoffs. Always wear felts or some other device to increase your traction when wading. And always wear a belt around the waist of your waders so they don’t fill up with water, just in case you take a spill.
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