What Are Strainers On A River?

What Are Strainers On A River?

When kayaking in a river, you may come across strainers. What exactly are they, and why are they so dangerous? To help you avoid the risks associated with kayaking in the river, we have put together some brief guides to enable you to kayak or fish safely.

What Is A River Strainer?

Strainers are typically human or natural structures such as trees, fences, or guardrails that obstruct the water. These obstructions prevent boats and other objects from passing through, while water flows out through the small opening in the barrier.

When a dam is present in the water, only a tiny amount of water can pass through, and the river becomes flooded.

A strainer can be created by various objects, including human-made and natural barriers like trees, submerged vehicles, or fences.

What Is The Danger Of A Strainer?

Strainers can create obstacles in your path, and the openings in them are usually too small for you to pass through. Only water can flow through them.

This can be very risky because it can cause your kayak to overturn, and you may become trapped underwater.

If you do not want to get caught in a strainer, it is a good idea to scout the river before paddling. This will allow you to identify any obstacles in advance and take steps to avoid them.

Before paddling, make sure you have the necessary equipment, such as a knife, PFD, and a helmet. It may also be helpful to have others with you as they can assist you if you get stuck in a strainer. Throw bags and ropes are critical.

How to be Safe While River Boating

Make sure to have a life jacket, first aid kit, anchor, and lines with you before entering the water.

Just because you have a baby does not imply that you do not require a life jacket. Everyone should prioritize safety. If you have a guest with you, remind them to ensure that they have all necessary safety equipment.


If you encounter a strainer while paddling, it is a good idea to try to avoid it by lightly paddling around it. It is also useful to check the river, especially if it is unfamiliar, before paddling.

When in the water, make sure you have the appropriate equipment with you and, if possible, take someone with you. Strainers can be a hazardous obstacle, so follow local safety guidelines and use common sense while navigating the river.