Many of the region’s rivers and streams are running faster and colder than usual for this time of year.

Spokesperson Robin DeMario of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest says recreationists should be cautious when encountering moving water because looks can be deceiving.

“Keep an eye on children and pets (and) be aware that there are strong currents and sudden drop-offs if you’re entering into the water,” explained DeMario. “It may not look like it’s moving fast but it really is.”

Demario says hikers should be well prepared and plan accordingly in the event their trek includes crossing a creek or stream.

“If you do have to cross a small stream or creek, bring a hiking pole or use a sturdy stick, which helps to increase your balance as your crossing. And remember that streams are often easiest to cross in the cool, early-morning hours when the volume of water is lower.”

This spring’s cooler and wetter weather has led to an increase in water flows and delayed the warming of many rivers and streams.