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Heller Bar boat ramp closed two days for repairs

A 10-pound steelhead hooked in the Snake River near Heller Bar is brought aboard a fishing boat by Aaron Donnelly of Moscow.
A 10-pound steelhead hooked in the Snake River near Heller Bar is brought aboard a fishing boat by Aaron Donnelly of Moscow.

FISHING -- As reported earlier, the Snake River boat ramp at Heller Bar upstream from Asotin is being repaired this week, just as the chinook salmon and steelhead runs are spiking over Lower Granite Dam.  

While restricted access is being allowed most of the week, the boat ramp will be totally closed for use on Tuesday and Wednesday,the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife says.

Here are more details in a story by Eric Barker at the Lewiston Tribune:

ROGERSBURG — The busy Heller Bar boat ramp will be closed Tuesday and
Wednesday as work crews from the Washington Department of Fish and
Wildlife make repairs to the concrete there.

The work will start on Monday and last through next Friday on the
two-lane ramp. One lane will be open on most days, allowing boaters to
use it. However, the ramp will close entirely for the two days in the
middle of the week.

“Broken concrete sections underwater at the bottom of the ramps could
cause severe damage to boat trailers,” said Bob Dice, manager for the
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Blue Mountains wildlife
areas. “Fixing this now during very low water allows our work crew
access and gets the problem fixed before water levels and the steelhead
season pick up.”

The Snake River has eroded the lower portion of the ramp and caused the
chunks to break off. Trailers can be damaged if their wheels drop off
the broken portion of the ramp when people back down it to launch or
retrieve their boats. The construction crew will remove broken sections
and replace them with 11 feet of cabled concrete blocks that will extend
across the bottom of the entire ramp.

“The ramp repair is part of a larger effort to improve overall safety
and general conditions at the Heller Bar water access area,” said Steve
Sherlock, statewide access coordinator for the department. “Other future
improvements planned for this site include expansion of boat launching
opportunities, new signs, and an information kiosk.”
Heller Bar, at the northern end of Hells Canyon, is the starting point
for jet boat trips into the canyon and the take-out point for people who
raft the Lower Salmon and Snake rivers.

It can develop into a tent and camper city when steelhead begin to pulse
upriver and collect at the mouth of the Grande Ronde River.

The ramp area is owned by the state of Washington and managed by the

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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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