Posts tagged: rivers
WILDLIFE WATCHING — “I had a rare treat today (March 13),” says J. Foster Fanning of Curlew. “Came across a family of four river otters enjoying the warm, late winter's afternoon and nearly ice-free Kettle River upstream from Curlew, Wash.
“While they were curious about the photographer, they were also shy. Took a bit to get a few good images.”
Click “continue reading” to see his treat multiply.
Google Maps is making a splash today with another innovation in the way the service continues to revolutionize the way we see the world.
Google's pioneering Street View cameras have taken users to narrow cobblestone alleys in Spain using a tricycle, inside the Smithsonian with a push cart and to British Columbia’s snow-covered slopes by snowmobile.
In 2012, they put the technology in a backpack to showcase through the Internet the most popular hiking trails in Grand Canyon National Park.
Today, Google Maps has launched a new “river view” version of Street View that takes viewers through 286 miles of the Colorado River, including stunning views of the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, as seen from aboard a raft.
American Rivers staff joined Google Maps on an eight-day rafting trip through the Grand Canyon last August to take photos of the river. The Street View camera, on a special mount built for the raft, captured a full 360-degree photo sphere every few seconds.
The project was launched in partnership with American Rivers, a Washington D.C.-based environmental group. This marks the first time Google Maps has used its street view technology on a major whitewater river in the USA, but the cameras already have been mounted on jet boats for use on other rivers.
“Making Street View imagery available of the Colorado River is a tremendous opportunity for us to drive interest for this historical and natural landmark,” said Google's Karin Tuxen-Bettman. “We hope this inspires viewers to take an active interest in preserving it.”
The 1,450-mile Colorado River, which passes through seven states, is the main river of the Southwest.
American Rivers named the Colorado River America’s Most Endangered River in 2013 because of the threat of outdated water management, over-allocation and persistent drought.
ADVENTURING — My recent multi-week winter rafting-hiking adventure on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon (see story here) prompts a few hints to people planning similar river trips as well as to anglers planning multi-day trips to places such as Alaska:
CARE FOR YOUR HANDS. River trips suck the moisture out of your skin, especially your hands. I've come home with cracked, bleeding hands after week-long float-fishing trips in Alaska, my fingers so sore it was difficult to stuff a sleeping bag in its sack.
Colorado River rafters emphasize this point and recommend preventive treatment.
Based on a recommendation from an experienced Canyon boater, I started using ProKera lotion (available at RiteAid stores) twice a day several days before we launched.
During the trip, I wore paddling gloves as much as possible while on the boat and especially while loading and tending bow lines.
And I applied the extreme-care ProKera lotion two or three times a day. This is the kind of lotion (Tiger Balm also works well) that takes several minutes of rubbing to absorb into your hands. The time is well spent. My hands came out of the desert river trip in excellent condition.
ADVENTURING — My recent multi-week winter rafting-hiking adventure on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon (see story here) with a private group prompts me to share some observations to people planning similar group river trips. For example:
BAG THE GROUP KITCHEN: If your trip is long and the group is larger than about six members, rafting guide Brian Burns recommends letting every rafter, couple or family bring and prepare their own meals on their own cooking equipment.
“The group kitchen thing can cause problems on trips longer than a week or so,” he said. “People eat different quantities and have different food preferences and the chores can become a sense of friction if some people think others in the group are slacking.”
And it can be a big bummer to get up at 5 a.m. on a bad-weather day to get the group meal going so the coffee's ready by 7 — especially if several in the group want tea.
The do-it-yourself method worked beautifully on our Grand Canyon trip. It gave people time to chill on their own and then mingle as they wished during breakfast and dinner, sometimes sharing with the group treats such as cocktails, chocolate, smoked oysters and wine before and after mealtime.
Even after a couple weeks, the only person you could blame for inadequate food was yourself.
About 50 hours ago I snapped this photo after hiking out 10 miles and nearly a mile in elevation to the Grand Canyon's South Rim Village.
I'd been rafting the Colorado River and exploring the side canyons for two weeks. But I had to leave my rafting buddies and return to Spokane as they continue downstream on one of the greatest 30-day adventures one can have in the USA.
Two things motivated me to put the pedal to the metal for the 1,240-mile return drive from the Canyon:
Stories to come. Stay tuned.
PUBLIC ACCESS — A landowner’s claims that he can keep the public out of a portion of the Ruby River don’t hold water, the state Supreme Court said Thursday in a decision upholding Montana’s stream-access laws, the Associated Press reports.
The 5-2 decision favored the group Public Lands Access Association Inc. in its legal dispute with James Cox Kennedy, who owns about 10 miles along the river in Madison County.
The group said Kennedy built fences along county roads and bridges next to his land that prevented the public from using rights of way to reach the Ruby River.
Kennedy argued that the state’s 1985 Stream Access Law allowing access to streams within the high-water mark and a 2009 law allowing access from bridges are an “unconstitutional taking of his vested property rights.”
Read on for more of the story from the Associated Press.
PADDLING — For the 19th year, paddlers from the Spokane Canoe & Kayak Club bring in the New Year with an outing on the Little Spokane River. Wednesday was no different, although the temperatures were more on the mild side compared with other years.
Eric Erickson, above, is pictured by canoe partner Juile Titone during the float in 2000. As Titone said, he was “looking determined to reach the potluck-and-wood stove part of the day.”
FISHING — Solid winter trout fisheries are hot items.
Check out this report from Mark Morical of the Bend Bulletin about Central Oregon's Crooked River, a trout stream that lures fly fishers from far and wide, especially to the 7-mile stretch below Bowman Dam.
CONSERVATION — The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will accept public comments through Nov. 15 on proposed updates to the Hydraulic Code, which governs construction work in and around state waters.
Agency staff will hold a public meeting to discuss the changes on Monday, Oct. 28, at Center Place Event Center, 2426 N. Discovery Pl. in Spokane Valley.
Hydraulic Code rules were last updated in 1994, with the exception of those for mineral prospecting, which were updated in 2008.
The proposals would update the requirements to stay current with fish science and design technology and streamline the review process for hydraulic permit applications, agency officials said.
BOATING — The Spokane Parks and Recreation Board apparently has reached an agreement with the Spokane Public Facilities District that may assure maintaining a viable boat take-out point under the Division Street Bridge after the voter-approved $55 million Convention Center expansion project is finished.
But here's a message received tonight from Parks Board member Andy Dunau of the Spokane River Forum:
I’m pleased to be able to share what I believe is good news. Today, the Spokane Parks and Recreation Board passed a resolution that the PFD has agreed to. The resolution addresses items needed to move forward this fall with development activities on Centennial Trail and Spokane River shoreline that are part of the convention center expansion. The section of the resolution that is essential to a put-in/take-out for the water trail reads as follows:
“The Park Board approves the Access in principle and subject to further review and approval design of the Park Board, and further authorizes the Spokane Parks and Recreation Department to be the lead agency in getting the Access permitted, conditioned on the District’s acknowledgement that it will bear all costs and expenses associated with permitting and construction of the Access, including any expenses ordinarily assigned to the City as lead agency for any permitting and/or construction of the Access, up to an amount not exceeding $47,000.”
The PFD verbally agreed to the resolution at the Park Board meeting, and will memorialize their agreement to it in a letter being sent to the Park Board.
We now have in writing a commitment of funds from the PFD, a design that has received broad support (also funded over the summer by the PFD), and Parks and Recreation agreeing to be the lead agency to develop the access. We can now get to the fun part: creating the Spokane River Water Trail Division Street Bridge Access.
Over the past week, intensive hours were committed by both PFD and Parks and Recreation staff and Boards to take this critical step forward. We are very appreciative of their time, effort and support. The Forum would also like to thank Spokane City Council for amending the municipal code last spring to allow this site location to move forward; Avista for their support in developing the design; Spokane Riverkeeper for providing important policy and regulatory guidance; and the many individuals and user groups who are the lifeblood of helping make good things happen.
UPDATE: Sept. 12 at 8 p.m.: Tentative agreement reached on Spokane River boat access at Division Street.
RIVERS — Plans for the voter funded $55-$65 million expansion of the Spokane Convention Center are advancing to the construction stage, but Public Facilities District officials continue to suggest that maintaining viable public river access at Division Street Bridge for rafts, kayaks, paddle boards and outfitters is not their priority.
I wrote about this in April when the designs were being approved.
I wrote about it again today as the PFD readies to begin digging without giving a commitment to a viable boat access when the construction is complete.
FLY FISHING — My friend David Moershel and I drove over Lookout Pass on Thursday, dodged lightning storms and endured weather ranging from cool to hot over two days to check out Montana's Clark Fork River a week after fishing restrictions were lifted after weeks of water too warm for the health of the trout.
The verdict: The Clark Fork is back in action, when it's not being cruel.
The three photos with this post (click continue reading) show the thick 14- to 16-inch cutthroat, rainbow and cuttbow I caught on dry flies and nymphs in a two-hour period on Friday morning. They were among five other fish I caught including a whitefish in three hours of walkng and wading.
Not bad for a guy who casts like a zombie and was trying to train his English setter to stay on a rock and NOT retrieve the fish as they were reeled in.
But while we had periods of good fishing, we also had stretches when we couldn't buy a trout. On Thursday evening we drove to several spots that have been good to us in the past and we couldn't find a rising fish.
The moral: When it's hot, it's hot; when it's not, it's not.
RIVERS — The annual Spokane River Clean-up is set for Sept. 28 and the planning team and REI volunteer coordinator Carol Christensen are putting out the call for more crew leaders.
“If you’re willing and able to give a couple hours ahead of time for training and a morning of work leading a crew of about 30 volunteers,” she says, “please e-mail email@example.com.
WILDLIFE ENCOUNTERS — A relaxing evening floating the river with friends two weeks ago took a turn for the worse for Sydney Sainsbury, who was attacked by an otter about 200 yards east of the Madison River Bridge.
The otter, she said, was relentless as it attacked, leaving Sainsbury with a broken right hand, torn ligaments and tendons and many bites and scratches. She said the animal bit through joints and ligaments on her hand requiring pins to be surgically implanted in her hand joint.
Her legs, too, were bitten and scratched, as well as her stomach and arms plus a gash above her left eye.
See the story from the West Yellowstone News.
FISHING — The Clark Fork River has been closed from Big Eddy Fishing Access Site to Dry Creek Fishing Access Site along Interstate 90 because of operations related to fighting a wildfire northwest of Superior, Mont., the state Fish, Wildlife & Parks Department has announced.
This is one of the more popular stretches among fly fishers who float the river to catch trout.
This section of river is closed in the interest of public safety while aircraft dip water out of the river to fight the West Mullan Fire. This stretch will remain closed as long as fire activities continue.
Click here for updates.
RIVERS — The author of “Elwha: A River Reborn,” will be in Spokane on Tuesday for a free presentation on the people, places, fish and history behind the world's largest dam removal effort.
Lynda Mapes, a Seattle Times reporter, will speak at 7 p.m. in the Community Building Lobby, 35 W. Main Ave.
Mapes joined Times photographer Steve Ringman to document what’s led to this monumental $325 million environmental restoration project.
Two antiquated dams are being removed to allow the Elwha to run freely for 45 miles from its headwaters in Olympic National Park to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The effort is opening more than 70 miles of spawning habitat to steelhead and all five species of Pacific salmon
Scientists, tribes, elected officials, local communities, agency officials and anglers are putting stock in the power of nature to turn back the clock on an Olympic Peninsula river once known for hosting runs of 100-pound chinook.
BUMPY ROAD TO RECOVERY: Fish hatchery losses
A pump failure at the Elwha Klallam fish hatcher last weekend led to the deaths of at least 200,000 coho salmon, spawned last fall, and roughly 2,000 year-old steelhead trout — about 50 percent of this year's crop of the fish destined for restoring runs in the Elwha River. See the story.
BOATING — An updated Idaho Fishing and Boating Access Guide with a list of access sites on lakes and streams is available at state Fish and Game Department offices, including the Panhandle Region headquarters, 2885 W. Kathleen Ave. in Coeur d'Alene.
The guide includes regional maps of fishing and boating access sites.
Access locations managed by Fish and Game also are presented in an alphabetical list that includes available amenities and special access features, such as boat ramps, docks, restrooms, camping and ADA fishing access.
The guide also is available online in Idaho Fish and Game's interactive Fishing Planner. This includes the added feature of being able to toggle to satellite imagery of the maps. You can zoom in on a photo of a site and see it in amazing sharpness and detail.
WHITEWATER — A 22-year-old North Carolina man has died in a kayaking accident on the Payette River in Idaho, north of Boise, the Associated Press reports.
Boise County officials say Eric Weigel of Asheville, N.C., was kayaking the North Fork of the Payette with two friends on Wednesday afternoon when he apparently flipped over and hit his head, losing consciousness.
The sheriff’s department tells KBOI-TV that Weigel was upside down in his kayak for several minutes before friends could get him to shore. He died at the scene.
The sheriff’s office says Weigel and his friends were on the final day of a 21-day whitewater rafting trip when the accident happened.
The North Fork of the Payette is known for its challenging Class V rapids.
FISHING — Rain, moose, bushwhacking, scattered yellow stoneflies, a half-hour hatch of March Browns, 47-degree water, one hook imbeddd in thumb requiring cord-jerk extraction (worked slick) and more cutthroats than you could shake a (fishing) stick at….
It was another great day at Cutthroat Creek, where the trout are handsome, the anglers smell strong and the fishing is always above average.
PADDLING — Canoeists were rescued from Lake Pend Oreille after their boat — filled with three people and a dog — capsized in high winds that blasted Bonner County on Sunday evening, according to the Bonner County Bee.
One person in the canoe managed to swim safely to shore, said Bonner County Sheriff’s Lt. Ror Lakewold.
The other two paddlers clung to pilings supporting the U S Highway 95 Long Bridge, the Bee reported.
A cyclist heard or saw them and called it in, said Lakewold. The call came in about 5 p.m.
All three went to Bonner General Hospital to be checked for hypothermia and were later released, according to Lakewold.
Perhaps this should be emphasized: They all were wearing life jackets, according to the sheriff's report.