14th Annual White Salmon River Fest ~ 2019 Dates Coming Soon

The White Salmon River Fest celebrates the White Salmon River, the communities, and the natural and cultural history that surrounds this watershed. This river is an invaluable social, recreational, agricultural and economic resource to those who call it home.

The River Fest aims to gather the local boating and non-boating community together for celebration, education, whitewater rafting and kayaking, food, dance, and more. Founded in 2006 by Wet Planet and traditionally co-hosted with other members from the local river community, this year’s River Fest will be a joint effort including Brendan Wells from Mountain Mind Collective in Trout Lake and Jeanette Burkhardt from Yakama Nation Fisheries.

Since the removal of Condit Dam in 2012, the event’s symposium portion has become the premier resource for the most up-to-date information on the decommission process. The changes occurring in the river canyon as a result of this groundbreaking hydropower removal project are of epic proportions. Join us to learn more about what is happening on your favorite Pacific Northwest River.

2018 White Salmon River Fest and Symposium Schedule:

June 1st

3 – 6 PM: Gear Swap at the Husum Fire Station
Hosted by Rivers for All
Got extra gear? Need some gear? Ready for a change? Come to the Rivers for All Gear Swap to buy and sell gear while supporting a good cause! For those selling gear, drop off will be Thursday, May 31st, from 6-8 PM. Sellers will receive 80% of the proceeds, and 20% will benefit Rivers for All.

6 – 9 PM: Wild and Scenic Film Festival at the Husum Fire Station
Hosted by Wet Planet Whitewater, Washington Water Trust, & Friends of the White Salmon River – Minimum $5 donation. Doors open at 6, Films begin at 7. 
Experience the adrenaline of kayaking the wildest rivers, climb the highest peaks, and trek across the globe with adventure films from around the world. Witness how individuals and communities across the globe are taking action. Join us for this night with this local community event to celebrate our international community of people who are out there making a difference. The impressive list of films featuring wild and scenic rivers includes Wild Olympic, a film featuring our very own Adam and Susan Elliott with Wild River Life. A big thank you to Wild & Scenic Film Festival for making this event possible!


June 2nd

10 AM: Community Service Project and River Clean Up
Hosted by Jeanette Burkhardt from Yakama Nation Fisheries with help from Mt. Adams Institute and Friends of the White Salmon River
Bring your friends and family and spend a day cleaning up and enjoying the White Salmon’s beautiful river banks. There will be several river side locations to help out at, including the restoration site at Northwestern Park, BZ Falls, and Trout Lake. For more site information, register here.

9 AM – 12 PM: Weldon Wagon Trail Work Party
Hosted Friends of the White Salmon River
Trail work and clean-up on this historic, much-loved trail. Led by Steve Stampfli, Rani Merz, and Avery Hoyt, help take care of this local trail by removing invasive weeds, installing water bars, removing barbed wire, and having a really good time.

10 AM – 1 PM: Extreme Kayak Race on the Green Truss
Hosted and facilitated by Brendan Wells/Mountain Mind Collective.
Registration will take place at the event check in. More information available at the event’s Facebook page.  

4 PM – 6 PM: Gear Swap at the Husum Fire Station
Hosted by Rivers for All
Got extra gear? Need some gear? Ready for a change? More information on selling gear to come. Gear drop off will be Thursday, May 31st, from 6-8 PM. 20% of proceeds will benefit Rivers for All.

6 PM – 9 PM: Symposium at the Husum Fire Station
Hosted and facilitated by Jeanette Burkhardt from Yakama Nation Fisheries / SHARE the White Salmon River.
The perfect opportunity to ask questions, interact, and visit informational tables representing local organizations.

Speakers this year will include:
–Brendan Wells with Mountain Mind Collective- How boaters and anglers can protect spawning salmon on the Wild & Scenic White Salmon River
–Becky Blanchard with USFS – Free-flowing Forever: Celebrating 50 Years of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act
–Josh Epstein with Inter-Fluve – Underwood In-Lieu Site: Restoring Navigation & Riparian Habitat following Dam Removal
-Zbigniew Grabowski, PSU graduate student: Living Rivers in ‘thick’ social and infrastructural landscapes: Results from a comparative study of Watershed Futures post-dam removal in the Hood, Sandy, and White Salmon Basins.
–Jeremy Wilson and Elise Olk, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife – Recolonization of the White Salmon River by Anadromous Salmonids
–Bengt Coffin, USFS – Hydrology and Geology of the White Salmon River
–Panel & community discussion about The White Salmon River: Free-flowing forever?: How is the Wild & Scenic White Salmon River Management Plan holding up?

June 3rd

9 AM – Start Community Rafting Trip White Salmon River at Wet Planet Whitewater
Hosted and coordinated by Wet Planet Whitewater for local residents.
For our much appreciated community and local residents! Other local outfitters typically include River Drifters, All Adventures, Wild Water, and All Star Rafting. $30 per person. Reservations required.

2 PM – 5 PM: Kayak and SUP events in Husum
Hosted by Mountain Mind Collective and Wild River Life
Mystery events at Husum. More information to come, registration will take place at the event check in.

5:30 PM – 10:00 PM White Salmon Fest at our private venue in Trout Lake
Buy your tickets online
 before the event for $15. Tickets at the door will be $20. Proceeds of all events will benefit SHARE the White Salmon River, Rivers for All, and Friends of the White Salmon River.

Event details:
•        Live music by the Van Rontens from 7-10
•        Food available from Big Man’s Rotisserie
•        Camping in a beautiful meadow, included with your ticket
•        Raffles with great prizes donated by NRS, Adventure Technology, Immersion Research, Kokatat, and more – tickets available for purchase separately
•        Beer provided by local breweries, including Everybody’s Brewing in White Salmon.


Donations are appreciated for individual events. Proceeds will go to SHARE White Salmon River Organization, Rivers for All, and Friends of the White Salmon River.

History of the Festival

The annual White Salmon RiverFest and Symposium began as a Headwaters Institute seminar, created by Wet Planet co-owner Jaco Klinkenberg in 2006. The vision and goal for the annual event has always been increase the knowledge and awareness of the river system for local professional river guides, boaters and extended community members by bringing the whole community together, build bridges, provide fun informational and educational events, while also giving back to the community by including service projects, and free or affordable river events concluded with a celebrating party at the end.

Please contact us (info@wetplanetwhitewater or jaco@wetplanetwhitewater.com) if you or your company would like to participate, support and/or help facilitate this year’s event. We would love volunteers and supporters from all over the river community!

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