HAVE FUN, BE SAFE & ENJOY THE SPORT OF PADDLING!
The dam flow rate affects safety and changes frequently. If river levels are too low you can be running on rocks. If levels are too high the river can be much more dangerous – it is easier to get trapped beneath bridges and trees, corners are more difficult, etc. The City of Beaver Dam does attempt to adjust the flow rate on certain dates (typically Saturdays) throughout the summer but only when the weather and lake level allow. This supports a better, safer paddling experience, but is not always possible as conditions change.
Many paddlers feel that between 150 and 250 Cubic Feet Per Second (CFS) is ideal.
PADDLING INVOLVES RISK
We always recommend paddling as a group and learning about the river, especially the most recent flow rates, before you go. Please bring your lifejacket and be prepared to self-rescue if you go in! We do not maintain rivers and lakes and they are not theme parks - canoeing and kayaking can be dangerous. We recommend that you attend lessons from a qualified professional and review safety information to learn how to safely paddle. Be aware of your surroundings including rocks, branches, weather, and water levels.
GROUP PADDLING RECOMMENDED
We encourage you to paddle with a group. Beaver Paddlers, Inc. invites you to take a trip on the Beaver Dam River with us! Check out our Events Page or find us on Facebook to find upcoming paddle events. We begin just below the dam across from Annabelle's Ice Cream Parlor (301 Front St, Beaver Dam, WI 53916) and end at Hwy. J, just South of Leipsic, WI 53916. The typical paddle trip is approximately 5.5 miles and takes 1.5 to 2.0 hours. It is just $10 to join an event, which helps Beaver Paddlers, Inc. host future events or for $10 there is also typically a shuttle back to Annabelle's.
GROUP PADDLING TIPS
SELF-RESCUE: Make sure you know how to right and reenter in the event of capsize.
PACE: Set a reasonable pace so everyone can stay together. Don’t crowd the person in front of you. Watch for when group members are tired or having difficulty and adjust your pace.
DRESS: Dress appropriately. For example, water shoes or old sneakers can protect your feet.
STABILITY: Do not stand, avoid shifts that cause capsize. Keep 3 points of contact.
STAY SHARP: Don’t use drugs or alcohol before or during on-water activities.
SIGNALS: Hearing can be difficult. Think about getting a whistle if you don’t have one. HAZARDS: Scan for and avoid hazards. For example, downed trees or obstructions can create strainers. A strainer is an obstruction where only limited water can pass through. These can be difficult to pass and may even hold a person under water.
BRIDGES: When approaching bridges, stay to the inside of the current until you can straighten out. Paddle hard to stay centered once inside and it should be easy to navigate. Note that you can break your paddle if you push it against the wall.
DEEP WATER: Don't stand in water more than knee deep. Strong currents can knock you down, rocks can trap your feet. Grab the upstream end of your kayak and swim to shore.
REAR GUARD: Designate a “sweep” boat to bring up the rear.
LINKS TO BE SAFE & ENJOY THE SPORT OF PADDLING!
The American Canoe Association has the following resources and many others
Top 10 Tips for Canoeing and Kayaking Safely
Essential Gear All Paddlers Need to Carry on the Water
Paddling with Other Boat Traffic in Multi-Use Waterways
What do I need to know about Kayaking with Kids
Proper Technique for Paddling a Kayak
Kayaking Rules of the Road
Safer Paddling: What If I Flip?
How to Re-enter a Sit-On-Top Kayak
How to Re-enter a Sit-In Kayak
Dressing Appropriately for Paddling - What to Wear
Know Your Limits - A Special Safety Publication from the ACA
More helpful information can be found on our Facebook page and by searching the web for "Beaver Dam River Kayaking".
Please Stay Safe! We do not maintain rivers and lakes and they are not theme parks - canoeing and kayaking can be dangerous. Paddle at your own risk. At a minimum, we recommend that you attend lessons from a qualified professional and review safety information from other sources to learn how to safely paddle. Be aware of your surroundings including rocks, branches, weather, water levels and be prepared to self-rescue. Do not take chances.
We try to ensure that the information we share is accurate, but it may contain subjective opinions, errors and omissions. Neither Beaver Paddlers, Inc. nor its members, directors or agents are liable for property loss or damage, personal injury, or death that may result in any way from relying on this information, or from your accessing or paddling the waterways.
Beaver Paddlers, Inc. is a Wisconsin nonprofit corporation with 501(c)(3) status.
Note: Paddle at your own risk. Neither Beaver Paddlers, Inc. nor its members, directors or agents are liable for property loss or damage, personal injury, or death that result in any way from relying on this information, or from your accessing or paddling the waterways. We try to ensure that the information we share is accurate, but it may contain subjective opinions, errors and omissions.