By Susan Hollingsworth

The new take-out for the Lower White Salmon River has corralled several days worth of whitewater rafting trips and kayakers successfully above the Northwestern Lake bridge.  The last raft floats over the new floating barrier.

Large, orange floating balls can be seen several hundred yards back, allowing for rafters to space themselves out easily for a faster transition.  The buoyies span then width of the river, helping construction workers keep the area safe.

At Wet Planet, rafting trips are working out smaller kinks to make the process of exiting the river the most efficient as possible.  After a few rounds, some may even say it is faster than the old Northwestern Lake Park boat ramp.  Guests and guides simply carry the raft up the new ramp, where guides then load it only trailers.  The bus pulls right up to the new stairs and guests load right up.

The new take-out ramp established by PacifiCorp and the Forest ServiceOver in Northwestern Lake Park, construction is beginning.

Large areas have been prepared for construction vehicles, while also leaving parking for picnickers, sunbathers, and tennis-ball-throwin’ dog owners.  More so than ever, the removal of Condit Dam is taking place before our eyes.  Soon, the bridge construction will be over and we’ll only be a month away from the dramatic draining event of the century.

White Salmon River Fest and Symposium

This year’s 2-hour symposium event, as a part of the day’s River Festivities, will give you all the information you’ve been wanting about Condit Dam.

  • What does this mean for hydropower removal all over the country?
  • What will it be like sharing the river with fisherman and members of the Yakima Nation?
  • Why is it such a big deal to have fish upstream?
  • What will the river be like once the dam is out?

Speakers include representatives from American Whitewater, Yakima Nations Fisheries, Friends of the White Salmon, and Mt Adams Parks and Recreation District.

After questions are answered and bellies are full with a tasty BBQ, Richard Tillinghast and band will perform into the evening with some outdoor jams.  As soon as the sun sets, enjoy some movies on the big screen.

For more information, check out the day’s schedule on the White Salmon River Fest and Symposium blog.

Don’t forget, BYOB!