The boat chute and the associated portage trail around the Helena Diversion Structure were closed to rafts earlier this summer after high water levels formed a strong hydraulic at the bottom of the third drop.
"Water levels on the river have dropped enough where we were able to reopen the boat chute," said Rob White, AHRA Park Manager. "However, boaters are still urged to use extreme caution in this area as a hydraulic still exists in the bottom third drop."
AHRA advises that all boaters utilize the portage trail on river right to scout the area before running the boat chute. The rapid has been classified as a class IV rapid and boaters should portage if they are unsure of their skills or if their skills are inadequate. The swim below the boat chute is shallow and extremely swift.
AHRA is working with the whitewater engineering firm who designed the boat chute to implement the necessary changes needed to try to reduce the likelihood of any future problems with this structure during high water events. Reconstruction work is expected to begin this fall.
"We appreciate the public's cooperation and patience regarding this issue," said White. "The reopening of the Silver Bullet Boat Chute gives boaters one more area to explore and enjoy the great whitewater we have been having this year."