Each year, officials warn recreationists to stay off the Bitterroot River.

It's high water time in the Rockies and that means all rivers and streams are running near the top of their banks, and occasionally cresting over the edge. Whether flooding occurs or not, this is not the time to take a leisurely float on the river.

As fishing guides know, this is a good time to be tying flies or working on the boat, getting ready for clear waters, instead of the current brown, muddy flows. The speed of the river has increased, bringing with it submerged debris such as dead trees and limbs.

Another tip - don't throw sticks into the river for your dog to fetch. The animal can't keep up with the fast-moving current.

The Bitterroot River is below flood stage at both the Darby and Bell Crossing river gauges. Depending on temperatures and rainfall, the water level could rise again.