By Susan Hollingsworth

Our own White Salmon River deserves a toast. White Salmon River Fest and Symposium: July 10th, 2011

Here’s to Husum Falls, to water for local farms, to riding the bull at Rattlesnake Rapid, to a home for fish, to the best whitewater rafting in the Pacific Northwest, to clean lines at Double Drop, and so much more.

At this year’s White Salmon River Fest and Symposium you’ll get the chance to raise your glass to this spectacular white water rafting and kayaking resource right in our backyard.

On Sunday, July 10th, join local community residents and river enthusiasts for a day of events that will help you play on the river and learn about the river’s transition to its fully free-flowing natural character with the removal of Condit Dam.

Event Schedule:

2:30 pm – Community Raft Float
2:30 pm – Kayak Competitions: White Salmon Huckfest
5:00-6:00 pm – BBQ and Raffle
6:00 – 8:00pm – Symposium
8:00… – Music from Richard and Tova, More food, and River Movies on the Big Screen

Community Raft Float

2010 River Fest Community Raft FloatFlowing through many of our backyards, the White Salmon River offers world-class whitewater opportunities. Experiencing the river on a raft trip is one of the most exciting ways to connect with the extraordinary canyon and surrounding areas.

This year’s Community Raft Float is an opportunity for local residents to raft down the White Salmon River, from BZ to Husum, for only $25 per person.  The trip is available for community residents only (Klicitat and Skamania County residents and Hood River dwellers).  Reserve your spot by calling 1-800-306-1673. Have your zip-code ready for proof of residents.

Participants will meet at Wet Planet Whitewater Center in Husum, Washington.

Kayak Competitions: White Salmon River Huckfest

Put your kayaking style, finesse, strength, and stamina to the test during this year’s kayak competitions.

There will be a panel of 3, judging in the following categories on a scale of 1-10 with the highest score taking the win:

  • Safety is #1: judges will first score on safety considerations for every line.
  • Creativity: costumes, creative lines… we’ll leave it up to you!
  • Your landing and recovery
  • Finesse
  • Technicality of your line over the selected drop
  • Biggest Beat-down

You can compete in 2 separate events:Rattlesnake Rapid: White Salmon River Fest and Symposium kayak competition location

1. BZ Falls Huck

2. Rattlesnake Rapid

Prizes will be awarded to:

1. Winner in each individual category

2. Overall winner (competitor participating in both categories)

Safety will be set up at each rapid.

Price: Donation will be excepted to help offset the cost of the event.

Competitor meeting time:

BZ Huck: 2:00 p.m. at BZ Corners Launch
* If you are paddling down from the Truss, please leave your boats right below the “Flume rapid” and use the trail to hike back to BZ. Please stay on trail.
Rattlesnake: 3:30 p.m. at Husum

BBQ and Raffle

Feast on a tasty BBQ and good conversation. Share stories from your river trip, learn who are the winners of the White Salmon Huck, and fill your bellies with a great meal.

We will also be raffling off a variety of gear, clothing, and services donated from your favorite businesses around the Columbia River Gorge.

RECENT UPDATE: Jackson has donated a kayak for the raffle!

BBQ, music, movies, and symposium will be $15 per person (includes one free raffle ticket)

UPDATE: Addtional raffle tickets: $1 per ticket for small items, $5 per ticket for Jackson Kayak


Todd Collins tells about the geology of the Columbia River Gorge at the 2010 symposium

With the removal of Condit Dxam just around the corner, the White Salmon River is on the brink of a big transition.  This year’s symposium will focus on the changes associated with the removal of PacifiCorp’s hydropower project.

We’ll hear from Amy Kobers with American Rivers on the national trend for hydropower removal and river restoration, with emphasis on the Pacific Northwest.  Jeanette Burkhardt with Yakima Nations Fisheries will speak about the past and present cultural significance of the White Salmon River for the Yakima Nation.  With fish passage as a primary reason for decomission, Jeanete will help us understand how the Yakima Nation will be a new presence on the river.

Finally, Dana Scheffler of Mt Adams Parks and Recreation District and Pat Arnold of Friends of the White Salmon will provide us with an overview of specific changes on the river and the future of river recreation.

Live Music

Let the festivities continue into the night with live music from Richard and Tova.  We’ll also save our biggest raffle of the night for now!

River Movies

After the sun sets, we’ll keep things going with movies on the big screen!  We’ll screen the top 4 movies from last year’s PDX Kayak Film Fest, as well as a film by local Northwest filmaker Andy Maser on Salmon Migration.

White Salmon River Fest and Symposium

Get up-to-date info on the White Salmon River Fest and Symposium blog.  Or even easier…head over the event’s Facebook Page to get updates on your newsfeed!