WATERSPORTS -- A new Spokane River boat access on an improbable site just downstream from Plante's Ferry Park is progressing nicely. While the traditional Plante's Ferry access site requires a significant carry for boater take-outs, the new access will open the stretch of river to boaters and anglers with trailered rafts.
The project is off the Spokane River Centennial Trail Islands Trailhead.
It's next to Denny Ashlock Bridge where the Spokane Conservation District, the Spokane River Forum and other partners are installing the first “slide system” for paddlers, rafters and anglers to safely get their boats in and out of the water. The project is on a steep slope unsuitable for typical boat launch facilities.
About 16 volunteers showed up on Saturday for the second field session to plant slope-stabilizing shrubs in the plan to restore more than 150 feet of shoreline.
Five years of proposals and planning have preceded this year's construction.
Since March this year, on the third Saturday of each month, volunteers have gathered at Islands Trailhead in Spokane Valley to help with restoration. Volunteers include the Spokane Fly Fishing Club, Trout Unlimited, Gonzaga Environmental Organization, Trans Canada, Fairchild Air Force base, Silver Bow Fly Shop, Spokane Canoe & Kayak Club and others.
Said Charlie Peterson with Spokane Conservation District who is directing the restoration effort and volunteers, "Volunteers are crucial. With their help, Islands is coming along nicely one weekend at a time."