Join us on October 5th for a slow-paced trip through the old lake bed and dam site to the Columbia. With luck, we’ll see salmon and steelhead swimming in some shallow portions of the river, and spawning beds (redds) for the Fall Chinook. Knowledgeable guides from Zoller’s will fill us in on the natural history.
“It’s like having our very own science project in our front yard,” said Mark Zoller, 29 year White Salmon River guide. “We have such a special opportunity to watch nature re-claim and heal itself over the next several years. I’m amazed, as is everyone at how quickly the river hastaken control and is proceeding to repair 100 years of blockage.“
We will experience breath-taking scenery, some fun rapids (Class III), float past the site of Condit Dam, and pass through the Narrows.
There is an approximately 200-yard portage around one impassable ‘keeper’ pool. If you are concerned about how strenuous this portage is, please contact Zollers.
To reserve your seat, call Zoller’s Outdoor Odysseys directly at 509-493-2641.
In addition to warm weather, summer also brings the White Salmon Riverfest & Symposium to our community each year. Scheduled this summer for Wednesday July 10th, Husum will be bustling with activities with something for everyone all day long.
The event kicks off with the incredibly popular annual community float. This affordable, $20 raft trip is designed for the local community to enjoy the river together. If you have not had that opportunity before, this fun event is a great way to see why the New York Times mentioned this river as one of 4 “must do’s” in the country for 2013.
Reservations for the rafting trip can be made by phone (800.306.1673 / 509.493.8989) or online at www.wetplanetwhitewater.com . Please note, the trip is intended for folks who live in the area, in the White Salmon valley or the extended Gorge communities. “We care about the White Salmon River, and appreciate being able to take visitors and neighbors rafting and kayaking every day. It always surprises us how many folks in the area have never been out on the river, so we love creating this opportunity each year to share it in an affordable way with community members who don’t get a chance to get out on the river as much as we do,” says Wet Planet owner Todd Collins, who is also on the Husum – BZ Community Council.
After the rafting trip, rafters and event attendees are invited to grab lunch by the newest eatery in Husum, Big Man’s Rotisserie. For the occasion, the Big Man’s grill will be stationed at the parking lot of the Husum Fire Hall, welcoming people to the afternoon’s Symposium.
After the community float, the White Salmon River Symposium agenda offers an exciting list of current and relevant topics that have been on many a river user’s mind ever since Condit Dam came out. “The landscape of the White Salmon River has changed, and we hope to provide information on current issues for river users and landowners that pertain to the river and its resources,” says Jeanette Burkhart, organizer of this year’s symposium.
The topics, presented by regional experts, include a “state of the river” overview; conservation resources available to landowners; the threat, identification, and prevention of the spread of aquatic invasive species; watershed stewardship; Fish resources: an update and what to expect. A moderated discussion will follow with a panel of river-related specialists, who will wrestle with the benefits and challenges of wood in the river. Additional sub basin and river-related information will be provided by organizations at table displays. Washington State Dept. of Fish & Wildlife staff will hold two demonstrations on how to decontaminate a water craft (using a boat-washing station outside the fire hall) in order to prevent the introduction or spread of aquatic invasive species, which could threaten the economic and ecological vitality of the river. Raffle drawings will be held in between talks, and visitors will have opportunities to interact with presenters and panelists.
Following the symposium, it’s time to get out on the river again for the Social Paddle & Trash Bash. The Wednesday Evening Social Paddle, organized each week by Luke Maddox with the Kayak Shed, is joining forces with local raft guides lead by Zoller guide Ben Kofoed for a River Clean Up. Paddlers are challenged to pick up as much trash as possible, and prices will be given for the most and/or funniest river trash collected.
After a great day of varied activities, the party will move to the Husum River Side B&B and Ice House Café. The river community will be able to grab a slice of pizza by Solstice, and a beverage at the bar. This will also be a great opportunity to watch OPB’s documentary about the White Salmon River, created by Andy Maser. As of 8.30 PM, local band The Shed Shakers will be filling a packed dance floor.
For more information about the White Salmon Riverfest & Symposium: contact email@example.com, www.wetplanetwhitewater.com, or call 509.493.8989.
You are invited to join us on June 8th for a special extended raft trip and natural history tour of the White Salmon River!
Zoller’s Outdoor Odyssey has agreed to provide a natural history tour of the White Salmon River. In addition to a great whitewater adventure, this trip will include additional stops and opportunities to explore the geology, waterfalls, wildlife, and plants of the White Salmon River. This is a great opportunity to learn about the unique natural history of the river through a more intimate river experience. We have hand picked some of the most knowledgeable guides to lead our tour, so don’t miss out.
Space is limited to 18 members of Friends of the White Salmon River. The trip will cost $55. If you’re not a member, we’re offering discounted memberships at $15. Sign up soon!
When: Saturday June 8th, 9:00am to 1:30pm
Cost: $55 for current members,
Access has been restored to White Salmon River after PacifiCorp’s
safe, successful Condit Dam removal
Whitewater experts stress safety; remind river users to avoid sensitive plant areas,
respect local cabin owners
WHITE SALMON, Wash. – A year after a dynamite blast punched a hole in the Condit Dam, the
last remnants of the structure are gone and access restrictions on the White Salmon River are
now lifted downstream of Northwestern Park. Caution is still advised as the rapids on the lower
river are significant.
“This has been a long journey for PacifiCorp and the partners in the settlement agreement
that led to the Condit Dam removal,” said Todd Olson, program manager for PacifiCorp. “Work
still remains in restoring area vegetation and demobilizing equipment from the work area, but
this has been a very successful project. No one from the public has been hurt, and there have
been no lost-time injuries among our contractors during more than 64,000 hours worked on the
project. We want to especially thank the local community for understanding that access
restrictions have been necessary to assure safety, and for abiding by them.”
The last pieces of the dam came out in September. Just last week, PacifiCorp’s
Vancouver, Wash.-based contractor, J.R. Merit, completed removal of a large logjam that would
have significantly blocked boats drifting the river. Experienced guides from the local rafting
community have inspected the river from the Northwestern Lake Road Bridge to the White
Salmon’s confluence with the Columbia River and confirmed that major obstacles are gone,
though some rapids in the area are for experts only.
“The restoration of a free-flowing river is an exciting event for the whitewater boating
community,” said Thomas O’Keefe, Pacific Northwest stewardship director for American
Whitewater. “Paddling the restored reach will be a treasured, yet challenging, experience for
many. Downstream from the stretch of river near Northwestern Park, the river enters the White
Salmon Narrows, a dramatic canyon guarded by a rapid with powerful hydraulics that only
expert paddlers should attempt to navigate.”
Some access restrictions will remain along the river banks, where signs will identify areas
recently planted with native vegetation. Also, O’Keefe reminded water enthusiasts to respect the
privacy and property of cabin owners in the area. Do not park on cabin access roads or traverse
through cabin areas. River access should be only at the public access point at Northwestern Park.
Settlement parties to the Condit Dam removal agreement originally signed in 1999
include: American Rivers, American Whitewater, Columbia Gorge Audubon Society, Columbia
Gorge Coalition, Columbia River United, Federation of Fly Fishers, Friends of the Columbia
Gorge, Friends of the Earth, Friends of the White Salmon, The Mountaineers, Rivers Council of
Washington, The Sierra Club, Trout Unlimited, Washington Trout, Washington Wilderness
Coalition, the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, the Yakama Nation, the U.S.
Forest Service, the U.S. Department of the Interior, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the
Washington Department of Ecology, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and
Facts about the Condit Dam removal
The project was located approximately 3.3 miles upstream from the confluence of the White
Salmon and Columbia rivers. The dam was a 125-foot high, 471-foot long concrete gravity
diversion dam, with an intake structure that directed water into a 13.5-foot diameter by
5,100-foot long wood stave flow line. Approximately 30,000 cubic yards of material were
removed in the decommissioning work.
Removal opened approximately 33 miles of new spawning and rearing grounds for
steelhead and 14 miles for salmon in the White Salmon River basin. In the summer of
2011, fish biologists moved more than 500 salmon upstream of the dam, which spawned in
their new habitat that fall and then descended the White Salmon River unimpeded by the
PacifiCorp is one of the lowest-cost electricity producers in the United States, serving more than 1.7
million customers in the West. PacifiCorp operates as Pacific Power in Oregon, Washington and
California, and as Rocky Mountain Power in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho. With a generating capability of
more than 10,620 megawatts from coal, hydro, gas-fired combustion turbines and renewable wind and
geothermal power, the company works to meet growing energy demand while protecting and enhancing
The public is invited to the White Salmon River Homecoming, a community celebration of the river on September 29th. The event includes an opportunity to experience the river on a raft trip, share a traditional salmon bake meal prepared by Yakama tribal cooks and local gardeners, and hear updates on the removal of Condit Dam and subsequent restoration of the river. This celebration marks the return of the salmon and the beginning of the restoration process.
After decades of debate, deliberations, and disagreements over the fate of Condit Dam, this event is hoped to be a small step for the community toward healing these divisions. In the morning, the celebration begins with low-cost river floats for community members sponsored by Wet Planet Rafting and the outfitters of the White Salmon River. The event continues in the afternoon when community members will the be offered a seat at the table during a community salmon meal, sponsored by Yakama Nation Fisheries at Northwestern Park beginning at 3 pm. Tribal cooks will prepare salmon and fry bread for the community and donations from Trout Lake gardeners and a local orchard. Events at the park start at 2 p.m. and will include an invocation, information booths, a free dinner, and an opportunity to celebrate with other community members.
The White Salmon River Homecoming is sponsored by Friends of the White Salmon River, Wet Planet Rafting, Yakama Nation and Mid-Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group. For information or to register for the community float or salmon bake, please visit: whitesalmonriverhomecoming.eventbrite.com. Parking for the afternoon event will be at Wet Planet in Husum, with shuttles offered at regular times throughout day.