By Emily Bozeman

It’s that time of year again to start looking forward to the White Salmon Riverfest and Symposium! What is Riverfest, you ask?

This annual event, started in 2006, is an all-around celebration of the river that we live on, play on, and many of us draw our resources from in many different ways! Boaters, fishermen, and any of our local neighbors are invited to learn more about our watershed, and simply enjoy it together.

Members of the community are stoked on Riverfest!

For one day, we invite the community to come together to appreciate the White Salmon River from the seat of a raft or kayak, to hear and share about “what’s hot” in our watershed, eat delicious local food, dance to the music by the popular local Shed Shakers. At Wet Planet, we love bringing our community together to have fun for a day, and learn from each other and invited experts about our watershed.

Riverfest is a great time for kayakers, rafters, landowners, and anyone else who loves our rivers!

It’s more than a party– a very important part of Riverfest is the Symposium. It’s a chance to find out how the river is responding after the biggest dam removal in the U.S. to date, and to interact with other river users and specialists about how we can protect and continue to enjoy the watershed in a low-impact way. This is a great opportunity for the community–professional river guides, local kayakers, fishermen, landowners– to learn more about the ecosystem in which we live, work and play every day.

Protecting the ecosystem is just one of many topics to be covered at Riverfest this year.

This year, Riverfest is being held on Wednesday, July 10 at the Husum Fire Station.

Sounds great, right? If you live in the Columbia River Gorge area, we invite you to kick off Riverfest with a community rafting trip at 10:00 AM. Click here to register.The rest of the schedule is as follows:

10 AM Community Raft Float – $20/person
(By participating outfitters. Facilitated by Wet Planet)

1 PM Lunch – $5 Big Man Rotisserie, Husum

Husum Fire Hall
2:00-2:15 Introduction (MC)/Tribal history & context (Davis Washines, Columbia River Inter-tribal Fish Commission Enforcement, YN)
2:15-2:35 River Ethics (Margaret Neuman, MCFEG); Underwood Conservation District-conservation, resources available to landowners
2:40-3:00 Invasive Species-threats, detection & prevention (Blaine Parker, CRITFC)
3:05-3:15 Break
3:20-3:30 Friends of the White Salmon River & raffle drawing
3:30-3:50 Salmon-who’s back in the river & where? (Rod Engle/USFWS)
3:55-4:20 Panel discussion & forum: Large Wood -Hazard or habitat?
Short presentation/video and moderated panel discussion (Emily Plummer/6Rivers Mediation, moderator)
Bill Norris, PE INterfluve, Inc.
Will Conley, Yakama Nation hydro-geomorphologist/boater
Sam Kolb, WDFW habitat biologist
Diane Driscoll, National Marine Fisheries Service
Tom O’Keefe, American Whitewater
Tim Hardin, kayaker, Klickitat County Search & Rescue
4:20-4:30 Wrap-up
*Q&A and raffle drawings will take place between the presentations

5 to 7 PM Evening Social Paddle & Competitions

“Trash Bash” competition – prizes for the most interesting, heaviest, or most pieces of garbage picked up from the river

w/prizes by supporting businesses/sponsors, including the Kayak Shed and Columbia Gorge Kayak School

7 to 11 PM White Salmon River Party
w/ Food by Big Man Rotisserie or Solstice Pizza
w/ Beer & Wine by River Side Café – $ by the glass
w/ Music by Shed Shakers
w/ River Movies (pending)
LOCATION: River Side BnB & Café, Husum

Locals, come get out on the water and feel its captivating flow for yourself!

Emily Bozeman is part of Wet Planet’s awesome base staff.