photo and illustration-Ted Walke

Trees in streams are good for fish. But we have to be careful near these trees. People who canoe call trees fallen into the water "strainers." Strainers are common on rivers and streams. Strainers are just like the strainer, or colander, used in the kitchen when draining spaghetti or cleaning vegetables.

Strainers are deadly obstacles on the river. The water flows through the tree and holds a canoe or a person against the tree. In a strainer, boaters are like the spaghetti or vegetables in the colander. Water flows past the spaghetti and through the holes in the colander. Water flowing fast between docks and bridge piers on a river or stream is another kind of strainer.

Avoid strainers. They can be dangerous. If you find yourself stuck against a strainer, do not worry about your canoe or boat. A boat can be replaced. You can't be! Get out of the boat and pull yourself over the strainer. If you can't do that, get yourself on top of the strainer and sit there. It will be easier to find you sitting on top of the strainer than looking for you as you float down the river or stream.

Always wear your personal flotation device (life jacket).

It is designed to keep you floating in the water.


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PLAY Fall 1999

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