Posts tagged: Corps of Engineers
BOATING — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Walla Walla District has announced that while some of its campgrounds and other facilities will be temporarily closed during the federal government shutdown, many other boat launches and sites will remain open if they're supported by local partner groups.
Sites NOT AFFECTED by the shutdown on the Clearwater and Snake rivers include:
Dworshak State Park, Ice Harbor Marina, Boyer Park, Chief Looking Glass Park, Gateway Park, Hells Canyon Resort, Clearwater Park, Clearwater North/Lewiston, Chief Timothy Park, Wawawai Park, Lyons Ferry Marina, Lucky Peak State Park.
Sites NOT AFFECTED in the Tri-Cities and Walla Walla areas include:
Two Rivers Park, Columbia Park, McNary Yacht Club, Hat Rock State Park, Pasco Boat Basin, Chiawana Park, Columbia Park West, Duportail Boat Launch, Sacajawea State Park, Walla Walla Yacht Club.
Note to salmon/steelhead anglers on the Hanford Reach of the Columbia:
The White Bluffs boat ramp in the Hanford Reach National Monument apparently has been closed by the government shutdown, forcing more anglers to pack into the state-managed launch areas at Ringold and Vernita Bridge.
Read on for the just-issued media release with details from the Corps of Engineers.
PUBLIC LANDS — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is warning college students that officers will be patrolling popular sand-dune party spots along the Snake River.
Some public land areas are notorious for big parties, especially after the Aug. 25-26, 2012, blowout at Illia Dunes that attracted about 3,000 partiers and left behind thousands of pounds of trash, broken glass, foam coolers and other liter along the beach as well as about three miles of road ditch. The area had to be closed to the public for cleanup.
Illia Dunes, on the Snake River about three miles downstream of Lower Granite Lock and Dam, is a popular end-of-summer gathering place for students — but it will be patrolled.
BOATING — This week’s heat wave is changing the landscape for boaters and campers planning Fourth of July holiday trips to Dworshak Reservoir, which stretches 54 miles on the North Fork of the Clearwater River near Orofino.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dam operators are more than doubling the flows from the chilly depths of the reservoir to cool the Clearwater River to safer temperatures for young salmon and steelhead.
The increased discharges from Dworshak Dam have caused the Clearwater River to rise 1.5 feet downstream from the confluence with the North Fork.
Visitors in the many campsites along the reservoir will be impacted as the water level drops from the full pool reached last week. The level is expected to drop 5 feet below full pool by Thursday and continue dropping to 9 feet below full by July 8.
Decreasing water levels can leave moored boats high and dry and long expanses of rocky shoreline between the water and the campsites.
Read on for details from the Corps, along for the reasoning of fish managers charged with protecting endangered fish stocks.
BOATING — Dworshak Reservoir is just two feet shy of full pool, which puts boaters into the period of the best access to the campsites along the reservoir up the North Fork of the Clearwater River.
Remember, this is a banner year to fish for Dworshak's kokanee as well as smallmouth bass.
The water should reach full pool at 1,600 feet elevation next week, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Around July 8, the reservoir will gradually be drawn down to provide cool water for downstream salmon. That annual drawdown leaves many of the campsites vacant because of the long uphill walk from the water line.
Read on for details from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which manages Dworshak Dam and the reservoir recreation sites.
FISHING – Little Goose Lock and Dam at Snake River Mile 70.3 near Starbuck, Wash., will be closed to public vehicle traffic across the top of the dam May 15 -July 13, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced.
Bad news for some anglers.
Construction will force the temporary traffic-crossing closure.
Travelers can call 1-888-DAM-INFO (1-888-326-4636) for current dam-crossing information at all three of Walla Walla District’s dams that allow public traffic to cross the Snake River: Lower Monumental, near Kahlotus, Wash.; Little Goose, near Starbuck, Wash.; and Lower Granite, near Pomeroy, Wash.
Info: Walla Walla District’s recreation website.
RIVERS – The Corps of Engineers’ plan to dredge portions of the Lower Snake River is a touchy issue politically, economically and in regard so salmon and steelhead.
I know this because none of the fisheries biologists I contacted this month would comment. They all referred me to managers who referred me to documents their agencies were filing – on or after the public comment period that ended Tuesday for environmental impact statement on the Corps’ sediment management plan,
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game submitted comments to the Governor's Office to be incorporated into a package of State comments on the draft EIS.
Dredging is proposed at three sites in Lower Granite Reservoir and below Ice Harbor Dam because sediment buildup, an expected problem associated with dams, is interfering with commercial navigation.
Sam Mace of Save our Wild Salmon, says there’s a better idea that would be cheaper and more sustainable in the long run: Breach the dams.
Maintenance and operations costs for the lower Snake River barge transportation corridor greatly exceed its economic benefits, she says.
“With a growing project backlog and deepening federal deficits, these new analyses raise serious questions about the lower Snake waterway’s economic viability, and its burden to local communities and American taxpayers.”
The byproduct of such economic responsibility would be boosting endangered salmon runs with a natural, free-flowing river.
BOATING — Most of the recreation facilities at Dworshak Dam and Reservoir are buttoning up for the winter.
Dam View, Grandad and Canyon Creek campgrounds, and Merrys Bay day-use area are closed for the season and will reopen in the spring 2013 as weather conditions allow.
Dent Acres campground will remain open until Dec. 15, weather permitting, to accommodate late-season hunters.
Big Eddy, Bruces Eddy and the fishing wall area below the dam will remain open for use during the winter season.
Roads accessing recreation areas can be challenging and icy during inclement weather.
Info: (208) 476-1255 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
PUBLIC LANDS — Citing budget cuts, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers closed several camgrounds on the Columbia River on Tuesday — weeks earlier than normal.
The move surprised campers as they were evicted on Tuesday in picture-perfect weather for being in a campsite with their families.
Read the Tri-City Herald story.
See a list of Walla Walla District recreation sites and closure announcements.
It probably didn't help the Walla Walla District's budget last week as crews had to clean up trash from 3,000 partiers at the corps' Illia Dunes recreation site on the Snake River.
PUBLIC LANDS — The Illia Dunes recreation area was reopened today as student volunteers from Washington State University helped the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers clean up trash left by more than 3,000 partiers at the popular Snake River site last weekend.
The sandy beach downstream from Lower Granite Dam is one of the more popular Corps of Engineers Snake River recreation areas and a college party hot spot.
The area was closed on Aug. 27 because of glass and trash that raised health and safety concerns, said Bruce Henrickson, spokesman for the corps Walla Walla District.
PUBLIC LANDS — Cleanup continues at the Illia Dunes area along the Snake River downstream from Lower Granite Dam after last weekend's college-crowd of about 3,000 left the popular recreation site marred by trash.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which manages the Snake River shoreline in that stretch, closed the area until it can finish the cleanup, including getting glass out of the water area and testing water quality.
Signs warn that glass is prohibited but that rule, among others, was not observed last weekend.
Corps spokesman Bruce Henrickson said volunteers have offered to help clean up the mess, but for safety reasons the Corps is using only volunteers it has organized.
No decision has been made as of 1:30 p.m. Friday on whether the area will be open for the Labor Day Weekend.
Corps officials said they will be reviewing whether they should adopt a policy of prohibiting alcohol use at the site.
Read on for more details from Henrickson.
PUBLIC LANDS — A popular recreation area along the Snake River southwest of Pullman will not be open for Labor Day because it was trashed last weekend by hard-partying visitors.
Apparently school's in session at WSU.
The Corps of Engineers closed the Illia Dunes after more than 3,000 visitors left broken bottles and beer cans on the beach and littered parking lots with trash, creating health and safety hazards.
The corps says it doesn’t have the resources for such a big cleanup job if visitors can’t pick up after themselves.
The dunes are a popular recreation site with sandy beaches on the south shore of the Snake River about three miles downstream of Lower Granite Lock and Dam
FISHERIES — Combined losses of juvenile salmon and steelhead to predation by Caspian terns and double-crested cormorants in the Columbia River estuary were about 27 million smolts this year, according to a preliminary report by to federal and Oregon State University researchers.
If that number holds up, that consumption by avian predators nesting on East Sand Island would represent a toll of 15-20 percent on the overall number of hatchery and wild fish that survived their journey down the Snake, Willamette and Columbia rivers and tributaries to near the Columbia’s mouth.
Of that total, an estimated 22.6 million smolts were taken by the double-crested cormorants, which is up from 19 million in 2010.
Read details from researchers in this Columbia Basin Bulletin report.
RIVERS — If your upcoming Veterans Day weekend plans include a road trip for fishing or visiting on the opposite side of the Snake River, you may want to take advantage of a rare opportunity to drive across Lower Granite Dam on Monday.
Most U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dams are closed to cross-dam public vehicle traffic on federal holidays, unless otherwise announced.
Lower Granite Lock and Dam, near Pomeroy, Wash., will be open for public vehicle crossings from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Veterans Day, Nov. 11.
Lower Granite’s regular public vehicle crossing schedule allows traffic crossings daily, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., except for federal holidays, unless otherwise announced. Tour and school busses must contact the dam at (509) 843-1493 at least 24 hours in advance for crossing authorization.
OUTDOOR TRAVEL — While dams operated by the Corps of Engineers generally are off-limits to vehicle crossings since the 9/11 attacks, Lower Granite Dam over the Snake River is scheduled to be opened for vehicle traffic Monday as a special Columbus Day treat.
Read on for all the details from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
To reserve a campsite go online to www.recreation.gov. Non-reservable sites are first-come, first-served. — Make camping reservations during August weekdays — Monday through Thursday — and get 50 percent off at facilities near Dworshak Dam managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Dent Acres Campground, with 42 reservable campsites and eight first-come first served, is a good example of a top-quality experience. Open April 7- November 30 (weather permitting), facilities include restrooms, showers, camping, group shelter, playground, day-use, picnicking, fishing, boat ramp and hiking trail. The campground is 20 miles north of Orofino, Idaho.
Info: Dworshak Natural Resources Management. Telephone:(208) 476-1261.
Other Corps recreational opportunities in the Walla Walla District: www.nww.usace.army.mil/corpsoutdoors
BOATING — The summer schedule for recreational boaters using navigation locks to travel past U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers begins Sunday.
Lockage outside the scheduled times will be considered for flotillas or other organized events sponsored by yacht clubs, marinas and other groups, provided 24-hour advance arrangements are made with the appropriate location.
Check information for each dam on the Walla Walla District’s recreational vessel schedule.
The Corps also has a useful brochure, “How To Lock Through.”
Following are phone numbers for operators at each dam.
FISHERIES — Snake River dams will begin spilling water to help young salmon and steelhead migrate downstream to the ocean. The spills start Sunday at Snake River dams and Monday at four lower Columbia River dams.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced the details of its 2011 Spring Fish Operations Plan this week.
“We'll be spilling 24 hours a day, seven days a week at all eight mainstem dams during the out-migration season,” said Rock Peters, the Corps' fish program manager.
The 2011 spring plan, which closely resembles last year's plan, continues operations for fish passage at the Corps' Columbia and lower Snake River dams. It includes spill and flow, adjustments to river operations and transporting juvenile fish beginning in late April or early May.
Some fish are transported to help mitigate the problem of fish mortality as the young steelhead and salmon negotiate the unnatural conditions created by the dams: slack-water reservoirs, dam turbines and ambushing predators.
In 2010, the Corps transported about 35 percent of the spring migrating fish to below Bonneville Dam.