By now, most people know that the Lower Lower White Salmon River is open for paddling. Condit Dam was breached a little over a year ago, and on Saturday, Nov 3rd, PacifiCorp officially openend the new stretch of river to paddlers. If you haven’t already seen what it looks like, we released a video tour down the Lower Lower White Salmon River in a previous blog post, as well as described some of the rapids and hazards. Throughout the process of the dam removal, Wet Planet worked with PacifiCorp and JR Merit (the contracting company doing the work) to help with wood removal and hazard evaluation. As a result, we’ve been interviewed and filmed by a number of different news organizations and documentary film makers. It still is one of the most exciting things happening for river rafting in Washington and kayaking in Oregon.

Most recently, we took a film crew from KGW Chanel 8 news in Portland and journalists from OPB down the new section. The Chanel 8 News story aired on TV and the OPB story was broadcast over the radio. Both stories are super fun, and have both fun footage and interviews with the Wet Planet Crew (watch Drew Parker row and be interviewed at the same time).

This is the NewsChannel 8 broadcast (sorry, it starts with one of those silly ads):

On November 11th, members of the White Salmon River community, all involved in one way or another in the removal of Condit Dam paddled downstream from Northwestern Park through the previous site of the dam. The group included paddlers from throughout the river community, including Wet Planet, American Whitewater, American Rivers, River Network, Friends of the Columbia River, Columbia River Keeper, Mid-Columbia Fisheries, Friends of the White Salmon, the Yakama Fisheries, the Damnation film crew, OPB, and local paddlers. This trip was a spontaneous celebration of the freeing of the White Salmon River. For many, it was the first time experiencing the newly freed section of the White Salmon River.

Along on this trip was Amelia Templeton, from OPB. She did a great write up of the trip, which can be found along with a slideshow on the OPB website.

Even better LISTEN TO THE AUDIO BROADCAST, by Amelia Thompson with OPB. Yep, you can hear me in parts of the broadcast.

Author Todd Collins lives on the White Salmon River in BZ Corner and works year round for Wet Planet.