Water flows from Dworshak Dam will increase 5/18
The Corps and NOAA-Fisheries will hold a public meeting at the Best Western hotel in Orofino on Tuesday, May 18, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. to explain the need for this operation and answer questions.
Weather Spotter Training in Orofino April 14
The National Weather Service in Missoula is looking for volunteer severe weather spotters in Clearwater County. A severe weather spotter training session will be held Wednesday, April 14 at 7 p.m. at the Orofino High School, 300 Dunlap Road, Orofino. Boaters can appreciate the ability to look at the sky and have an idea of what the kind weather is headed their way.
Severe weather spotters volunteer their time to assist the National Weather Service to issue more timely and accurate warnings. During periods of inclement or severe weather, spotters will call the National Weather Service toll free number to report significant weather in or near their area.
Training material is given to all spotters to help understand meteorology and severe weather. From time to time spotter training sessions are held to further train spotters.
If you are interested in becoming a severe weather spotter, please attend one of the training sessions or contact Trent Smith, Forecaster/Spotter Program Manager at 406-329-4840, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Big Eddy Boating and Water Safety Fair
So bring the family to Big Eddy on May 22nd (9 to 3pm)—there’s something for everyone at the 1st annual Boating and Water Safety Fair!
Dworshak Fill Unlikely
Only 2001 and 2005 had less snow than this year, the current snowpack is the third lowest since 1961. High elevation snow survey sites are well below normal and the low elevations and south facing slopes are already bare and dry.
The Clearwater basin as a whole has 55 percent of normal snow water content. The North Fork Clearwater River (Dworshak Reservoir inflow) is only forecast at half of average.
Dworshak Reservoir is currently 67 percent full, and although 103 percent of average because managers held some of the water anticipating the shortfall in run off, it is not expected to fill later this spring with the projected inflows at half of average.
(Editor note: On the bright side, I believe the best camp access is when the water is down 5 - 15 feet. When the lake is full the shoreline is difficult to negotiate, there is actually a useable beach shoreline you can secure your boat too when the water is down.)
Dworshak Dam Visitor Center hosting WSU raptor education program; additional film day for children; new summer season tour hours
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Dworshak Dam Visitor Center staff invites families and children to attend two days of educational programs and films at the center during April.
The first educational program takes place on Friday, April 16, 2010, at 1:00 p.m. on the visitor center plaza. The Washington State University Raptor Club will present a raptor conservation education program with various live raptor species, including falcons, owls, and hawks. Donna Bryant, Park Ranger at Dworshak, hopes that “families and children will learn how raptors play an important role in the forest ecosystem, and leave the program with an appreciation of these magnificent birds.”
A free film day for families and children takes place on Saturday, April 24, 2010, at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. at the visitor center. Back by popular demand, children’s wildlife films and water safety cartoons will once again be shown in the theater. Visitor center doors will open at 12:30 p.m. Seating at each film session is limited to the first 55 guests. All kids 16 and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian throughout the films. The films being shown are:
- "Habitat and Niche"—a film that highlights wildlife interdependency within a habitat area
Dworshak tours during the 2010 summer recreation season will take place Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Tour times are: Monday – Friday at 10:00 a.m., and weekends at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
To get to the Dworshak Dam Visitor Center, drive five miles west of Orofino, Idaho, on state Highway 7; turn right onto Viewpoint Road and follow visitor center signs for about two miles; the visitor center is adjacent to the north dam abutment, located at North Fork Clearwater River mile two on the north river bank. For more information regarding the education programs, facilities access, or recreation, call (208) 476-1255, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Parks Board to meet with Parks Department (2/23)
The DRA briefly met with the County Commissioners Monday, February 22 for an update on the Dworshak State Park closure situation.
The Recreation and Parks Board is meeting with the Department of Parks and Recreation this Thursday, February 25. The Commissioners indicated that the Park Board would be presenting a budget and plan to keep Dworshak State Park open. The Board has been working on a ways to keep the park open such as cooperative agreements with the county and other entities.
Worst case scenario here is the Parks Board has determined they don't have the budget to keep the park open and we are back where we started, so we are not out of trouble yet. But it is looking like they will keep the park open.
I understood the Clearwater County Sheriffs Department has agreed to assist in the adjustment of the marina docks as the water level changes. It was also suggested the DRA or others may be asked to work with the Sheriff and State to volunteer staff the marina to make fuel available at times at the Big Eddy Marina or assist the Sheriff with dock adjustment.
(I know this is a bit late in the season for this, but it is a good explanation as to the winter situation on Dworshak.)
Every winter on or around December first the Corps closes the main gate at Dent Acres, along with numerous other recreation facilities. The primary reason for Dent's winter closure is because they cannot ensure that the facilities are properly maintained for the safety of the public during the winter months. The water systems are shut down to prevent freezing and restrooms cannot be cleaned; roads are not plowed or maintained, so garbage pickup is suspended; and courtesy docks are pulled to the top of the rails to prevent damage from winter storms and water fluctuations. The Corps cannot predict when weather conditions will prevent our customers from accessing or being able to leave the campground on a week to week basis, and we choose not to pass that risk on to the public, our contractors or our staff.
Another reason is that the expenses required to keep the gate open from
December to March could not be justified for the small amount of use the
ramp might receive, versus the risk to the public and the facilities
themselves. The Corps limited recreation budget would be better spent maintaining
and improving those facilities during the time period when the public
receives the greatest benefit. It is simply not economically feasible to
Grandad is never locked (no gate) - the only hindrance there is snow!
Canyon Creek- the boat ramp is unusable at this water level. The main campground is gated off but the two most popular campsites are still available (they are outside the gate) and the vault toilet is open. You can drive right down if there isn't too much snow.
Recreation Facilities Chart
Email from Senator Gary Schroeder just confirmed that the Parks and Recreation Board has decided to keep all the parks open.
Senator Heinrich is also involved and sent this email:
"I have been talking with Park & Rec board members and yesterday a group of concerned citizens and elected officials met with the board and they did take action to take back Dworshak Park as one of theirs. Now we will have time to work out cooperative agreements with the county and other interested parties, such as yourself. I was happy to be a small part in continuing the Parks operation as it is so vital to Clearwater County. Thank you for your comments."
Parks Board Unanimously Vote to Reconsider Dworshak (2/4)
Everyone I talked to thought it was a long shot, but the parks
and rec board seems to have seen the light. Makes me wonder what
gets said to who behind closed doors. In my opinion, I think democracy
Here are some excerpts from the Idaho Statesman article:
"About 30 state and county officials and others from North Idaho
attended Wednesday's meeting prepared to make their case to
the board not to close Dworshak. They were pleasantly surprised
"The board unanimously voted to reconsider its decision to close Dworshak Park in North Idaho."
"The board was under political pressure...."
See the full article here.
In my opinion, I think a lot of people talked and emailed our government leaders
Dworshak park was very close to being self supporting. With some cost savings efforts and possible fee increases, it could be self supporting. I do believe user fees will rise no matter who runs the park. In meetings this fall before the park closure, a few of us boaters worked with the state to agree on a fee increase at the marina. We agreed an increase of 10% was acceptable and warranted.
The Parks and Recreation folks are cutting 25 management jobs in the "paradigm shift" they are currently implementing. This obviously means they had way to much overhead consuming funds that should be getting back to the ground, supporting parks that the people who pay the taxes that create those funds can enjoy. This makes sense.
I urge you to continue (or start) to express your concerns to our goverment
leaders that Dworshak Reservoir and it's Parks are something this community
You can just copy and paste the following into an email to any of them. Edit it as you see fit but you need to send it or they do not know you are concerned. P.S. Don't forget to thank Schroeder!
Worst Case Scenario - Dworshak (2/4)
I met with the Corps of Engineers this past week and the worst case scenario is that the State decides to not open the park and the county decides it is too much of a task to take on. In that case, the local corps folks would collect moorage fees to allow boats to reside at the marina. They are exploring a card lock system for the fuel at the marina. That would be about all that would be offered. No camping at Freeman Creek or Three Meadows, no staffed marina sales. They have already taken over adjusting the docks as the water levels change. Just doing this much would mean some other maintenance will have to be reduced.
Local Corps Folks are not the Bad Guys (2/4)
They did not build the dam or pass the environmental laws that protect the fish the draw down is protecting. They are not closing the state park. They have done everything in their power (and sometimes a bit outside of that) to maintain and keep Dworshak facilities open. They have hard working crews that work with small budgets to keep things working. The local managers constantly try to get more funds from their leaders in Walla Walla and Washington to maintain and enhance Dworshak. They deserve our thanks.
Corps to host Invasive Species Training (2/4)
Sheriff, Corps, State and others to host water safety fair (2/4)
Dworshak State Park Discussions Continue (11/16)
The County Commissioners decided to approach the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation Board (IDPR) and request they consider working with the Clearwater County to keep the park open by subleasing the park to the county. The Commissioners are looking into the possibility of coordinating efforts between adjacent counties, cities and local organizations to operate under an IDPR sublease. The advantage being that the IDPR has the reservation system in place and already has the lease agreement in place with the Corps.
Dworshak State Park Discussions Continue
The meeting in the courthouse Monday afternoon attracted a number of community and government leaders. Looked like everyone the Clearwater County Commissioners invited attended. This was a good thing as a lot of the folks that needed to know what is going on were in attendance. The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR) briefed the group on how they arrived at the decision to close Dworshak State Park. Nancy Merrill, IDPR Director, David Ricks, IDPR deputy director, who was interim director as this decision developed, David White, IDPR North Idaho Field Bureau Chief and a Steve Klatt, Chairman of the IDPR Board, represented the state. Many of the employees from the park were also in attendance.
They narrowed it down to Dworshak, Hellsgate and Lucky Peak. Dworshak was the hardest to manage because of its three individual sections and the drawdown. They decided to turn it back to the Corps.
-IDPR had considered raising the Dworshak park entrance fee $1, but that would net about $6000, far short of the $145,000 they are short to keep the park open thru June. They also think that the problem will not go away in 2010 and that budget shortfall may be worse, forcing the closure of other parks as well as Dworshak.
Read the IDPR news release on the meeting.
More details in the Clearwater Tribune article.
Future of Dworshak State Park 11/3/09
The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation is proposing to close Dworshak State Park. The department needs to find a way to operate on a reduced budget, a result of the slow economy, and closing Dworshak Park is one of their options.
There are three sections to the park. The main camping area at the mouth of Freeman Creek, the Three Meadows cabin area just up the hill from the camping and the marina at Big Eddy. These are all on federal land managed by the Corps of Engineers. The state leases all park sections from the Corps of Engineers.
There is a $145,000 budget shortfall for this fiscal year 2009. The states fiscal year ends in June. So that means they will run out of money to operate the park before the recreation season starts in the spring. Indications are things would not be any better budget wise for the next year 2010. The park board's proposal or solution to their budget shortfall is to close the park and terminate the lease with the Corps.
This Monday 11/2, the Clearwater County Commissioners, City of Orofino, Corps of Engineers, Orofino business people and a substantial group of concerned citizens met to discuss the matter and brainstorm how to proceed from here. Everyone in that group wanted the park to remain open.
Some observations and comments by the group:
-Statistics on the park's department web site show use has increased 35% over the last year. Seems the slow economy which is driving the closure of the park has folks recreating closer to home.
-The Sheriff's Department and CPTPA rely on the marina and fuel. There is a safety / access concern if the facility was not available.
-The parks department was asked for a detailed line item budget listing costs of the park operation. Are there ways to reduce operation costs? That detail has not yet been provided by the state.
-Some folks thought the Governor's budget cuts on state agencies is a move to trim the overhead in these agencies and consolidate the management of programs state wide. Cutting some government overhead and getting the money to the ground and the people may be a good thing.
-Some folks thought this was a move by the state to get the Corps of Engineers (Federal Government) to share more of the cost of operation of this park. The state already has most of the money making portions of the parks and the Corps does most of the costly large labor and repair work.
-The Corps does not currently have the budget to operate the facilities. Paul Pence indicated they would have to look for things to not do on the lake to shift funds to operate the park facilities and he could not say if that was even possible. The Corps would most likely look for some other entity to take over operation of the park. There are other Corps holdings in Idaho operated by private individuals / corporations.
-Soliciting for another operator would take considerable time. The lease agreement with the parks and recreation department requires the state to give the Corps 12 months notice that they would be terminating the lease. This would give all parties involved time to come up with some solutions. At this time the state does not seem to be putting much stock in that requirement. That 12 month notice requirement needs to be further addressed. It would give all parties concerned time to discuss solutions
-The Nez Perce Tribe who ran the marina in the past, has expressed some interest in the situation. They are also waiting on the detailed park budget figures from the state.
-The parks board facilitates the park closure by presenting that recommendation in the budget that they submit to the state legislature for approval. Their budget would not fund Dworshak State Park and probably make the recommendation to turn it back to the Corps of Engineers. The legislature can approve or disapprove the proposed budget.
-The closing of Dworshak State Park would have economic effects. First of all, park employees will be laid off. There will be domino effects on the local economy. When people visit the park they spend money on local businesses, such as restaurants, fuel, food and recreation equipment. (It was noted that the park has operated without a manager for a year and half and seems to be doing just fine. Maybe there are other managers we can do without?)
-Recent studies on Orofino's economy indicated that expanding the recreation facilities on Dworshak would be a great thing for Orofino's economy because there are users that would use those facilities. There are waiting lists to get boats moored on the lake and the park turns visitors away on occasion because it is full. There is a need to expand, not close facilities.
-Orofino lost a prime recreation area when Dworshak Dam flooded the North Fork of the Clearwater. They were told the reservoir created would provide similar recreation. Since then the fish recovery drawdown reduced the quality of that recreation.
-Environmental concerns have all but ended the woods products industry in the area, once the main economic / employment provider in the area. Now they want to end what little recreation draw we have left on the lake. Like the Lewiston Tribune editorial indicated, "how much more can Orofino afford to lose?"
-The City and County are going to meet with the State next week to continue the discussion on the proposed closure of Dworshak State Park. The parks board will be invited to the meeting so they can answer some questions on how they made their decision. Hopefully more discussion and more information will lead to some solution or at least identify what the next step is going to be....
Check out the Associated Press article on this park closure proposal in The Olympian.
As soon as more information becomes available it will be posted here.
DRA Thanks to Supporters 10/6
The DRA would like to offer a sincere thank you to the folks that donated to the DRA effort. Your financial and volunteer support continues to provide this venue for sharing information and helps us influence and enhance the management of the Dworshak Reservoir. We received donations from out of the area folks that came and enjoyed our wonderful lake as well as the normal local folks and businesses. Thank You!
Big Eddy Wave Attenuator
The Corps is still reviewing the attenuator plans. Appears the Heritage Resource folks have not completed their cultural values assessment. They are concerned with anchors that may cover or damage artifacts that are 200 feet under water and 20 feet under bottom silt? Also the state parks folks have decided late in the game to try and get the Corps to maintain or share the maintenance of the system. The Corps has stated from the very beginning they will not take over maintenance of the system. In good faith the Corps has now offered a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for cost reimbursable maintenance assistance.
The wave attenuator / additional moorage is really needed at the marina. The additional moorage would provide a place for more large boats or houseboats which are ideal for the lake as the water drops. The camps are unusable as they quickly become out of reach protected by a steep muddy shore. If you want recreation improvements including more moorage that will help the local economy I recommend you contact your state and federal representatives and ask them to give this this project a push. Hopefully they can ask the Walla Walla District Corps of Engineers and the Idaho State Parks folks to move this important project along.
Dworshak Big Eddy Marina Boat Moorage Fees 10/6
The Idaho Parks and Recreation folks invited a number of boaters to a
meeting on 9/23 at the Big Eddy marina to discuss moorage rates.
Dropping budgets has the Parks and Rec board considering raising
About 15 people were invited and 4 showed up.
The group reviewed existing moorage rates around the state. Dworshak had the lowest current rates.
The factors affecting moorage at Big Eddy discussed were the remoteness from a major population center, the fluctuating water level, limited amenities, separate boat required to access house boats (few have slips for this boat).
The group arrived at the following consensus.
-Need to pay an equitable amount based upon slip size (width X length)
and not boat length. In the past a small boat taking up a full slip paid less than large boat taking up the same slip.
If you have any comment on this proposal please let me know and I will forward to the Parks and Rec folks. DRA Email
Wave Attenuator / Big Boat Moorage 10/6
The engineering is completed on the wave attenuator. We have an excellent set of plans from matrix Engineering. The Corps approved the project and system for Big Eddy Marina. The attenuator would have protected the marina from weather damage and facilitated possibly enlarging the marina. It would have also provided moorage for larger boats, starting with moving the houseboats off of the failing buoys.
The next step was for the Idaho State Parks and Rec Department to request bids on the construction of the system.
Unfortunately the Idaho State budget has dwindled as the current economic situation lingers. A state wide review of the budget indicated a need to cut the Parks and Rec Budget by 7.5%. We were told earlier that a 4% of over cut would mean this project would not move forward at this time. Clearwater Economic Development folks did meet with the Governor to discuss the project. He was aware of the project but the budget situation would be the deciding factor. It is unfortunate for Dworshak and Orofino that this project is stalled but it makes sense to not start a new project as the budget shrinks. They did not want to cut other essential services or personnel to fund this project.
We do have the plans and approval to go forward. Hopefully down the road the economy recovery will bring the project back into consideration.
Lake Pump Outs 10/6 (UPDATE 10/9)
The fall weather approaches freezing temps. The Corps has announced that they will shut down the
P.S. WINTERIZE YOUR BOAT ENGINE TODAY! A CRACKED BLOCK IS A VERY EXPENSIVE FIX.
DRA Web Site 10/6
The DRA web site has been approached by an advertising agency to place an ad on the site for a yearly fee. The proposal stated that our site:
"would be a good match for our client, whose target demographic is similar to your own. We're working on their behalf to acquire advertising from quality websites such as your own."
We were quite pleaseed with the praise and proposal but are concerned over the possible content of the advertisng and the payment offered. The DRA Board is looking further into the proposal.
Salmon Educational Program at Dent Campground 8/20
Marina Wave Attenuator and Large Boat Docking 8/20
The project slowly moves forward. A meeting this Wednesday of the advisory committee discovered some minor typos in the final package. The Corps final approval is supposedly in the mail. One possible hang up is the State is now negotiating with Corps to get them to take over maintenance of the system. The Corps has offered to assist in the maintenance if they are reimbursed for wages and equipment which they have offered to the state at a reasonable rate. I am concerned this may be a critical wrench in the works. The Corps has maintained since the get go that they would not be able to assume the costs of maintenance, the State is the one changing their position as their budgets diminished.
I suggest there should not be any maintenance on the new system for a while barring an emergency situation caused by weather. Why not set up an account that some of the moorage funds go into to accrue to be used as marina / attenuator maintenance. This should have been done all along for the last 10 years. It appears to me that most of the funds collected at the marina have gone directly to Freeman Cr Campground part of Dworshak State Park and very little to the marina.
The Clearwater County economy could really use a boost and larger boat facilities on Dworshak would do just that.
If the State and Corps come to agreement on the maintenance situation, the next step is for the state to put the project out for bid. Keep your fingers crossed or better yet, let Butch Otter know that you support this project. Maybe he can get the state parks moving along.
Lake Foam - Corps Provided Information 8/18
The lake foam that you observed is a result of a combination of factors. The
first is that during this time of year there is greater primary production
occurring, this results in increased oxygen and other gasses in the upper
water column. With the increased production there is also an increase in
Based on what we have been seeing in the chlorophyll a and in the phytoplankton samples the reservoir is slightly more productive this year than in past years. This observation and with the right wind conditions is likely the cause of the foam islands you are observing.
Darren Brandt, Aquatic Ecologist
Bass tournament this past weekend. Looks like these folks know what they are doing, largest weighed in at just over 6 lbs.
Dent Amenities Improved
There are now horseshoes available at Dent Acres! For a $20 deposit (cash or check only, with identification), people can use the horseshoes, then return them to get their money back.
Water Level and Temp
Water level continues to drop, as of 8/16 it is at 1552 which is 48 feet down. The cool temps and rain this past week dropped the water temp to 78, but it should warm quickly this week.
Dent Acres docks will be on the lower rail dock unit by Monday 8/17 afternoon.
Hobo Feast on Wednesday Night Dockluck
Weather was comfortably cool with some clouds. Limited turn out could have been blamed on the weather or you might want to consider what hobos feast on? Actually all the food was quite excellent as usual. This home baked in the can bread was delicious. Check out a few more photos.
Canyon Creek and Bruce's Eddy #2 ramps are now closed due to low water levels. 8/9/09
As of Aug 9 the water is at 1558 which is 42 feet below fool pool. Temps have dropped a few degrees back to 80.
Fred's Bay Safe Harbor Dock 8/1/09
Our thanks to the Dworshak maintenance crew for the repair and placing of the Fred's Bay dock. Recreation facilities are limited on the lake as the water drops and the dock is appreciated. This dock is one of the Safe Harbor docks around the lake that were obtained a number of years ago by the DRA working with the Corps of Engineers in securing a Big Boat Grant.
Reservoir Update 7/30/09
Water Level and Temps
The reservoir is dropping about a foot per day. As of July 30th, 2009, the water level is at 1575 feet mean sea level. That is about 25 feet below full pool. Water temp is around 83 degrees.
Bruces Eddy Gas Thieves
Last week on two separate occasions some one stole gasoline from a truck parked over night at Bruce's Eddy parking lot. The incidents have been reported to the Sheriff.
Mexican Dock Luck
Wednesday nights gathering was the best food of the year so far. mexican night usually is a great one.
Reservoir Update 7/25/09
Water Level and Temps
The reservoir is dropping about a foot per day. As of July 25th, 2009, the water level is at 1579.77 feet mean sea level. That is about 20 feet below full pool. Water temp is around 80 degrees.
Video on Invasive Species in Idaho
Christmas in July Dock Luck
There were two turkeys and a ham and all the fixins with loads of dessert. We had 37 folks in the gift exchange. Weather was excellent! Check out a few photos. This Wednesday is Mexican night, bring some food and join in the fun!
Boat Load of Managers
This past week a number of managers from the Walla Walla Corps Office toured the lake. I felt sorry for them in their heavy boots and full long sleeve military Khakis and life jackets as it was going to be over 100 degrees that day. I do not know what their 'mission' was on the lake.
Mysterious Water Release
Last week water was being released thru the spillway. I asked two local Corps folks what was going on and neither one could explain it. One suggested it was for the fish. One indicated they did not understand why they would do that This water was not generating power at Dworshak but could be used for power at the 6 dams down river. Curious? This type of release can cause harm to fish by raising gas levels in the water. You think they would have some explanation as to what was going on.
As excitedly related to me by a park ranger... .Last weekend some "excitement" at Dent. A pickup truck with extra gas cans and the owner sleeping on the attached pontoon boat rolled down the hill and hit the main Dent power transformer taking out power and showering sparks. No one was injured and the quick maintenance folks had the repairs completed promptly. Those guys are good.... now please put the Fred's Bay dock back in place its been missing now for a year and a half. Please...
Aqua-Leisure Industries Recalls Inflatable Baby Floats Due to Drowning Hazard
Corps Update 7/25/09 (As provided by the Corps)
Flint Knapping Demonstration at Dworshak Dam Visitor Center
On August 8, 2009, from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm a free cultural program will take
place on the Dworshak Dam Visitor Center plaza, located just outside the
visitor center. Mike Tylznski will demonstrate the Native American ancient
art of flint knapping by creating historically accurate stone knives, tools,
and blades. Flint knapping is the 4-million old process of making stone
Tylznski describes the technique as a "process of reduction because flakes of
stone are broken off the original piece," a piece he mentally "visualizes"
within the stone matrix. First he works towards removing large flakes from
the stone by using direct percussion with a hammerstone, or a traditional
Dworshak Dam Visitor Center activities are free, photos are welcome, and all ages are invited. Visitors are advised to bring a hat, water, sunscreen, and lawn chair for comfortable sitting. For more information call (208) 476-1255, or stop by the Dworshak Dam Visitor Center, open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Why Do They Drop the Water Level
Many folks ask why the Dworshak Reservoir is lowered this time of year here's a link to the Corps' of Engineers site that explains the flow augmentation for migrating juvenile salmon in accordance with the National Marine Fisheries Service Biological Opinion:
Dent Acres Improvements
-Work on the long-awaited Dent Acres courtesy dock is almost done.
-The 2 horseshoe pits at Dent Acres (near the playground equipment) is a
-During the last two weekends, Granddad and Dent Acres campgrounds have been
Here is a quote from a Corps' Ranger "Pssst--here's a secret! With my own eyes I saw more than 20 decent (by "decent" I mean pan-size) Kokanee caught near Dent bridge. Yahoo--the fish
Reservoir Update 7/16/09
Pirate Night and Down on the Farm Dock Luck
We have had two Wednesday night Dock Lucks since I updated the site. First Pirate Night, generally a favorite but only a few of us got into character. As you will see in the gallery my grand daughter and I had some fun. Food was great as usual. Then along came Down on the Farm night. Best turnout of the year! Very hot and calm. We had a marvelous Duck Race. prizes were given and all entry fees went to the DRA bank account. Thank you everyone for the donation total of $44, I was only able to deposit $42 since they would not take Bill's Eye-Oh-YOU! Check out the photos!
Indian Creek Dock Goes for a Cruise
The anchors slipped on the Indian Creek Dock this week but the Corps maintenance folks were right on it. It is slightly relocated but back on anchor.
Dent Courtesy Dock
The Corps is working with the state installing the new dock obtained by grant moneys at Dent. This is a dock with fingers and slips for use by campers spending time at the state park.
Fred's Bay Dock Ready to Return
As soon as the barge returns from the upper reservoir fertilization nutrient supplement program this dock will be placed in its old location in Fred's Bay. The Corps maintenance crew completed repairs on the dock. It will be a welcome return to the marina end of the lake. Many thanks to the maintenance crew that does a great job keeping lakes facilities operational.
Big Eddy Wave Attenuator
Final approvals from Walla Walla, (Sec 10 regulatory permit and cultural resources), should be this week - the local Corps Admin folks do not anticipate that being a hang up.
Idaho Parks and Recreation has requested a meeting with the Corps to discuss future maintenance
DRA Funding Reminder (One more time)
If you enjoy Dworshak and / or would like to help enhance the recreation on the lake, your donation to the non- profit Dworshak Reservoir Association (DRA) in any amount would be appreciated. All funds will be used to enhance recreation on the lake or pay for this web site hosting. No one is making any money, all the actual work is volunteer donated. Some local businesses have donated substantial sums; and we thank you! Most folks choose the $5.00 (or a bit more) annual membership. The more members we have the more influence we have when we discuss reservoir management with the Corps. We are slowly growing. Donations can be made to the Dworshak Reservoir Association account at the American West Bank in Orofino (American West Bank, 100 Main St, Orofino, ID 83544) or mailed to the DRA at 12894 Hartford Ave, Orofino, Idaho, 83544. We would like to acknowledge your participation, however let us know if you wish to remain anonymous.
Houseboat Capitol of Idaho?
We could be. Dworshak is ideal for a house boat. The water drops on july 4th and camps become inaccessible but the miles of pristine water are still out there. I have talked to many people that would like to moor a large boat on Dworshak but unfortunately there is no where to moor a large boat. The Clearwater County Economic Development Coordinator, Chris St Germain has worked hard on implementing the wave attenuator and extra moorage. It has been problematic and frustrating. She has continued in the face of adversity and deserves praise for her efforts, but there is only so much she can facilitate. I urge you to contact your representatives and tell them of your interest in improving recreation on Dworshak. Ask them to let the parties involved know that they support improving Dworshak and possibly specifically this current marina project so it can get implemented.
A small rental fleet of houseboats would be an excellent addition to Orofino's economy. House boaters buy food. Rent extra boats and toys. Buy toys for the lake. The boats need maintenance and repair. Most folks come a day early before their trip and book a room. Maybe book after the trip also.
I also suggest you talk to the Dworshak State Park administrators and get on a waiting list to moor a large boat if you are interested and I suggest ask them for a copy of the list with your listing shown.
If you want recreation improvements including more moorage that will help the local economy I recommend you contact your state and federal representatives and ask them to give this this project a push. Hopefully they can ask the Walla Walla District Corps of Engineers and the Idaho State Parks folks to move this important project along. IF THEY HEAR FROM ENOUGH PEOPLE THEY DO LISTEN.
Reservoir Update 7/6/09
Fourth of July
The lake was a busy place this holiday weekend. Blue skies and 100 degree air temps with the water temps hovering around 80. Freeman Creek / Dworshak State Park was extremely busy. Folks trying to launch were lined up from the pay station at the entrance all the way to the lake! The water level is dropping like a rock (already 3 feet down) so that will be the last of the crowds. The Fourth of July weekend is always the busiest of the year. New friends were made on the Merry's Bay Destination Dock. Folks from lewiston and Orofino and Missoula shared in the fun of tubing and swimming. A new twist was the relay race. There are more photos of the Fourth of July weekend here.
Wednesday Night Dock Luck - School Colors Night
There was some odd food at last Wednesdays School Colors night. There are more photos of the event if you wish to enjoy them. Hopefully the weather will let us do the best Dock Luck of them all this Wednesday, July 8.....
Reservoir Update 6/30/09
Update Water Temps and Cell Phone Coverage
The water was up to 76 degrees this past weekend and climbing. The Fourth of July weekend looks hot and dry!
In cruising this past week I made a point to check the cell phone reception on my boat bag phone. I boat corrected. Things are better than I reported earlier. I had good coverage everywhere from the dam to Dent. That's is the best I have seen, maybe they improved things or it was just one of those good days? NOTE: I have a 12 volt bag phone with a fifteen foot antenna on top a 16 foot boat.
Corps Watch Program
The Corps is about to implement a Corps Watch program. You should soon see posters & signs displaying info about the program - it include rewards for information on vandalism - and good thing is the money comes from HQ not the local recreation budget.
Fish Nutrient Program
The once a week fertilization of the plankton / fish project appears to be working - it takes a few years to work
Reservoir Litter Bags
The small litter bags are temporary. There was a glitch in the ordering system and so the local Corps had to borrow
Fred's Bay Safe Harbor Dock
Fred's bay dock is no longer attached to the fore bay booms - the maintenance folks, John
Reservoir Update 6/25/09
Drift Creek Dock
The Corps surveyed the damage to the Drift Creek dock. The dock was damaged by most likely a hot BBQ grill placed on top of the steel anchor hanger on the edge of the dock. The dock heated up and melted causing the warp in the plastic and the steel hanger melted through the holder, releasing the anchor pulley.
The good news is that the dock is still anchored in place as the cable is attached through the counter weight pulley on the opposite side of the dock.
The bad news is the repair will be very difficult due to the warping of the surrounding plastic sections.
The Corps has posted damaged section closed and opened the remainder of the dock.
Rangers will be monitoring and replacing the signs and caution tape as needed until the dock is fixed.
Rangers will patrol regularly.
Maybe there should be a reward for information on the perpetrators. Four times now does not seem to be an accident to this editor.
Water Levels, Temps and Cell Phone Coverage
We received some great feed back from our viewers. It was requested that the water level and temperature be made available on our home page. There is a link on this webs link page to water info. For your current information the lake is full. Here is the link...........
The water temp is hovering around 74 degrees according to my boat sensor, which is great for kids but a touch cool for this old grandpa yet. I need about 3 more degrees! Folks enjoyed the water at yesterdays dock luck.
Cell Phone Coverage
Cell phone reception on a regular hand held is tough any where on the lake. Most of the lake has no reception and the few "good" spots are sporadic. The ones I have found are in Merry's Bay just behind the dam and at the mouth of Elk Cr. Many times your phone will ring because the tower has more power than your hand held. The handheld is lower power and can't get back to the tower. I have a 12 volt bag phone on a fifteen foot antenna and I can get out of the good spots really well.... but most of the lake is dead for me also. If you know of other spots please let me know. If there enough good spots we can post a map.
A few of us were lucky to be properly positioned to watch a great aerial battle Tuesday eve in the skies above Merry's Bay. An Osprey had what appeared to be a small fish in it's talons while being attacked by a Bald Eagle. We were not sure which critter was the others possible dinner? Then a bunch of swallows joined in the acrobatics and attacks. Looked like a World War I dog fight. The Eagle got in too close for comfort and the Osprey dropped the supposed fish which appeared to be gliding down to the water. Looked like a dive bomb in Pearl Harbor. I was sure it was going to auger in and splat on my boat. Odd thing is the fish sort of dipped and turned a bit. Apparently it was a now wounded Swallow and not a fish at all. The other small birds escorted the wounded bird off toward the shore. The Eagle and Osprey broke off the fight. I did not know Osprey fed on small birds as well as fish?
DRA and Corps News 6/22/09
Summer Arrives With Good News and Bad News
The first day of summer was a cool wet day but all ramps are open, and the reservoir is just about bank full. We do have some real bad news, once again someone has used a BBQ on the Drift Cr Dock and this time the damage is worse than ever.
The Drift Creek dock is out of service right now due to a broken anchor cable connector.
This is about the fourth time there has been damages due to melting / small BBQ's - this one being by far the worst. The dock is flagged unsafe and is not to be used at all until it is repaired which might not be until after the water comes down. This is going to ruin a lot of recreation for a lot of people.
If you see someone using a small BBQ inform them of the melting problems and continued damage to the docks. We need to spread this word and get this stopped.
Life Jacket Loaner Program an Ongoing Success
The lake is Life jacket loaner boards are stocked and being used--there is now a loaner
Flag Day Activities at Visitor Center
Flag Day weekend festivities at the dam visitor center was enjoyed by many! There was over 100 square dancers whirling and twirling on the center plaza; a local flint-knapper demonstrating the ancient art of making stone tools; and a patriotic craft session with one of of the Corps' volunteers in which we made red, white and blue flowers from ribbon. The volunteer hopes to have a craft session again on July 4th weekend. Since the Visitor Center "plaza" is fast becoming a venue for programs, watch the newspaper and this website for future activities.
Fish Getting Bigger
The nutrient program is ongoing. There's been a few reports (from fishing
As always springs rising water and creeks bring lots of flotsam to the lake. There's still a lot of debris in the water. Boaters beware. Some of it is very large.
Big Eddy Wave Attenuator Tangled in Red Tape
The Corps has been reviewing and reviewing and reviewing the wave attenuator and additional moorage project for over two months. I understand this is the last hurdle before the project can go out for bid and possible construction. Indications are they are almost done with the review and are going to approve the project. Keep your fingers crossed but don't hold your breath.
Row row row your boat...hey gas is expensive!
Corps News Release 5/25/09
Deb Norton is new Dworshak Lead Ranger
is with Great pleasure to announce that Deb Norton has accepted
the position as Lead Ranger at Dworshak.
Deb has a B.S. degree in recreation leadership and a M.S. in recreation, parks and tourism administration.
Deb has been with us here at Dworshak for the last four years as the Public Awareness Ranger. She has made many significant improvements to her programs and now will have oversight of the Ranger team and the recreation program. The next several years in the recreation arena will be very challenging with shrinking budgets and new demands on the resource. If one's past success in finding and implementing creative solutions is an indicator for future success, then the Dworshak recreation program reins are in capable hands. We are looking forward to continued success with Deb in the coming years.
Please join me in congratulating Deb on her new position and responsibilities.
Water levels were incredibly low for a while bracing for the run off. Sorry I missed that!
can watch the water level trends on the Corps site which is linked
from this site elsewhere site:
As of Sunday 5/1 the larger wide straight ramp in Bruce's Eddy is almost functional, at 4 feet of water rise a day it should be useable by Tuesday.
Please be very careful and watch out for debris. As usual in the spring there are a lot of floating logs.
Big Eddy Wave Attenuator Good News 5/19
It has been determined that the anchors for this project are structure and not fill. The 404 permit that would have significantly delayed the project is not necessary.The Corps is continuing the review process, some of that is consultation with Fish and Wildlife, hopefully that and the Cultural Resource review will end soon and we can get on with a bidding process and get the thing built!
DRA News 5/8/09
Idaho Invasive Species Fund
There was a surprise in the mail yesterday. A pamphlet from Idaho Parks and Recreation. A new law requires any boat that is registered in Idaho or another state, and any non-motorized vessel (canoe, kayak, raft, drift boat, etc.) need to have the an invasive species sticker. Inflatable non-motorized vessels must be less than 10 feet in length to be exempted from this requirement. Failure to have the registration in 2009 is subject to a $57 fine.
More info is available at the Idaho Invasive Species website.
Editor comment: This was a surprise to me. It appears to me this came out of nowhere? My first reaction is why have another complete sticker program to manage? Why wasn't this just an added fee on boat registration? The law indicates this is mandatory.
Wave Attenuator - Marina Enhancement Project
US Army Corps Engineering review of the project is complete, the Planning department has sent a completed Biological Assessment to US Fish & Wildlife Service for SEC 7 consultation; Cultural Resource assessment is underway. We may need a 404 permit for the anchor system.
The wave attenuator plans review has been completed by the federal engineering folks.
There is a requirement for all projects like this to be run past US Fish & Wildlife Service under a law referred to as Section 7, the Corps indicated they do not anticipate any problems or delays on this project from Fish and Wildlife
As crazy as it seems since its 200 feet under water and probably another 20 feet under silt, the Cultural Resource group has to document the affects of placing of any anchors or a disturbance of a known cultural site. The land under the water at this location was an identified site.
A permit is necessary under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act if there is fill is added to "waters of the United States". They are trying to determine if the anchors for this project come under the 404 permit regulations or are they outside that definition and considered a structure and not fill. If they are fill, the volume of anchors for this project may exceed the national blanket 404 permit already in place for this type of action which means they may need project specific permit. This could add significant time to the project development.
Corps of Engineers - Stimulus Package Funds Local Projects
The United States Army Corps of Engineers today released a listing of Civil Works projects to be funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The Dworshak projects are:
-Repair/Paving of Dent Acres
campground .Fund the contracted rehabilitation/repair
-Repair of Granddad Road.
Fund the contracted rehabilitation/repair and improvement
-National Fish Hatchery Effluent
System upgrade planning and design and architectural
The full list of projects is available on the Corps website.
DRA Boaters Clean Docks
Geese have decided that the destination docks are a great place to hang out. The docks are "decorated" by the geese all winter and getting them cleaned off for human habitation is a chore. Some DRA folks took it upon themselves to start the cleaning. Thanks to John, Rick, Vern, Devon and Ed for their efforts and time. No thanks to the geese for their efforts.
Corps of Engineers Maintenance Crew leader
John Beck has been hired by the Corps as the new maintenance crew leader. John's crew is currently finishing the water system improvements at Dent. He indicated his next project is to get the Merry's Bay and Fred's Bay floating docks back in place.
Corps of Engineers News 3/11/09
The Corps of Engineers has a number of positions that were or will be advertised. All can be viewed at USAjobs.com or at Orofino job service.
There may also be opportunities through Orofino job service for student jobs in the community, if so, we have agreed to host 2-4 positions at DWO.
are waiting on a little warmer weather to re-install the Merry's Bay destination dock.
Stimulus money: changing daily as we receive information
The most immediate needs were for items that could be installed or purchased within 4 months. One Dworshak item made that cut:
- Resurface Dent Campground roads - The 30+ year old asphalt is all cut-up and degraded after recent upgrades to the electric system.
A lot is up in the air right now and I believe this to be the first cut to get money out in the economy and get people working - there may be more coming and we are preparing
The nutrient addition project is moving out for the third application year, all contracts are in place. It looks like we are having an impact on the pico-plankton, phytoplankton and zooplankton. If things go the way we expect, we hope to see a significant increase in size and quantity of edible zooplankton this year, (that is until all the hungry Kokanee start to eat it). Based on what we saw last year the length of Kokanee is only slightly increasing, but the weight is significantly increasing.
Kokanee numbers are expected be moderately low this year, but size should be good. I have already heard one report of a group catching 75 with good size of 12-14 inch. Of course they did not tell where that catch came from.
Use Plan update:
Grants: we applied for two state grants- one for Dent campground paving (to fix cuts made in asphalt when we upgraded the electrical system) and for a new destination dock. We should know by late May or June if we received these grants
Boat inspections: corps rangers will do on land State of Idaho boat inspections (same inspection the sheriff's dept does)
Fish station openings- scheduled to open Memorial Day weekend
When around water, ALWAYS wear your PFD
DRA News 3/1/09
Winter on Dworshak is a very slow time. Hopefully as the weather changes we will have some more news to post so please check back as spring arrives. If any one has a suggestion on what information they would like to see on this web site please let me know.
Big Eddy Marina Wave Attenuator / Moorage Project Update
The design for construction of a wave protection and moorage structure on Dworshak Reservoir continues. The project, a wave attenuator and big boat moorage for Big Eddy, has been in the planning stages for three years. The plans and bid package are in the final stages of review. Final approvals of the package by the Idaho State Parks and Corps of Engineers is needed before a recommendation to proceed can be made to the county commissioners. If all goes well construction could start late this spring. The plans indicate a 75 day build time so the structure could possibly be in place by mid to late summer.
Below you can see a conceptual drawing of the proposed wave attenuator / moorage dock in relation to the existing facility. The yellow blocks are large boats. Depending on bids, the project may not be able to build the entire structure shown below. The specifications on the numerous anchors designed by Glosten Associates from Seattle will keep the wave attenuator from moving less than 20 feet in any direction, even as the water levels go up and down. One of the anchor designs suggests slipping used rail road car wheels on to a cable until the desired weight is reached!
Corps of Engineers Grant Proposals
The Corps is applying for two grants this year. One for a floating recreation dock for the Big Eddy area. This would be another large destination dock for the lake. Also a small RV grant for the Dam View Camping Area on the way to Big Eddy. They would like to place 3 covered picnic shelters for that area.
Note: The DRA provided a letter of recommendation to the state grant committee endorsing this project.
Marine Deputy Grant Proposal
The sheriff was requesting a grant to replace the aged marine patrol pick up truck. The grant funds are limited state wide so not all projects can be funded. The Clearwater County Commissioners made a great move in funding this vehicle out side of the grant program, possibly freeing up grant funds go to other projects in the county. Those other projects includethe ones listed on this page as well as others not associated with Dwoprshak Reservoir.
Note: The DRA provided a letter of recommendation to the state grant committee endorsing this project.
State Park Grant Proposals
Note: The DRA provided a letter of recommendation to the state grant committee endorsing this project.
Corps of Engineers to Reset Docks
The Merry's Bay destination dock was ripped from it's anchorage in a large storm last summer. It has been temporarily moored in the center of the bay on a temp anchor. The Corps plans on replacing / improving the anchor system and placing it in the old location on the east side of the bay. The Fred's Bay Safe harbor dock was pulled under last spring as the water came up, the anchor line was tangled in bottom debris. It spent the entire last summer hiding near the dam in a storage mode. The Corps plans to replace / improve the anchor system and place it in the old location in the bay.
Dworshak State Park Manager
state park manager position was advertised to be filled
in early February. The vacancy solicitation has closed.
We may soon have a new state park manager.
Corps of Engineers Maintenance Crew
The lead Corps resource maintenance position was also advertised.
DRA News 10/1/08
NOAA Weather Spotter Class a success
There were 30 attendees at the NOAA Weather Spotter Class Tuesday September 30 at the Dworshak Dam Visitor Center. Peter Felsch did a great job presenting the information and there seemed to be a lot of interest from folks in joining in as Weather Spotters for the area. We would like to thank Peter for his efforts and the Corps for hosting the class.
Marina wave attenuator / additional moorage discussions continue
The committee led by Chris Kuykendall and assigned by County Commissioners to review and over see the development of a wave attenuator and added moorage at the Big Eddy Marina continued the process of trying to match the best design with the available grant moneys. In reviewing the preliminary drawings and cost that Matrix Engineering provided the group came up with some questions on possible changes to the designs to lower costs but needed to know what that change would do to the functionality of the system. It is still real early in this process and as things solidify we will provide better information. The group is scheduled to meet with Matrix on October 9.
The initial plan was to have a 400 foot long 10x10 concrete dock in front of the marina with boat slips on the marina side with finger docks. There may not be enough funds to accomplish all this so the team is looking at ways to cut costs and still provide wave protection and moorage. The finger docks for boat slips may not be possible but can be set up to be added at a later date.
Matrix Engineering was to sign the design contract on Monday 9/29. This starts the desgn package in motion. First item is to obtain the topography of the lake bottom in front of the marina (bathymetry). Harrison Dock builders out of North Idaho is going to run that survey. Next is obtaining weather data, wind speeds, wind direction and duration to try and determine how much protection the marina needs. Matrix works with a deep sea anchor design firm, Glosten Associates out of Seattle that will design the anchor system based on the attenuator configuration, bathymetry and climate.
DRA Meeting list accomplishments, discusses finances and assigns directors
short overview and business meeting of the DRA prior to
the Tuesday weather class discussed association accomplishments,
finances and voted on officers.
assisted the Corps in assembly of the Indian Cr Destination
Dock and placed temporary tables on the dock. Raise funds
to purchase two commercial grade tables for that dock.
Maintained this www.dworshak.org web site. Worked with
NOAA and Corps to provide Weather Spotter course.
We consider everyone that uses Dworshak Reservoir as a member. There are no mandatory dues or fees but most folks have donated $5 a family (or more) to be better members! The money goes to the operation of the web site that is full of information and news on Dworshak and to projects on the lake such as tables for the docks or life jackets for the boat ramp loaner kiosks. All money received or spent is documented in the associations records and all expenditures must have the majority approval of the Board of Directors.
can donate by making a check payable to the Dworshak Reservoir
Association and depositing it in our account at the American
West Bank in Orofino
Since we began actually incurring expenditures and donation around August 2006. We have raised raised $2940.80.
$104.80 on web domain registration and hosting
Ed Lozar was nominated for the the position of president and the group agreed to the assignment. Devon Bunyan and Dave Parker were nominated to be on the Board of Directors and the group agreed to their assignment.
DRA News 9/4/08
Corps sets two public meetings for Dworshak public use plan 9/15/08
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will hold public meetings Sept. 17 in Orofino, and Sept.18 in Lewiston, to gather public input and ideas to include in developing a plan for public uses for lands and water around Dworshak Reservoir on the North Fork of the Clearwater River.
The meetings are set for 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Best Western Lodge at 615 Main Street, Orofino, and 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Red Lion Hotel, Port #3, 621 21st Street, Lewiston.
The purpose for the meetings is to receive public input to assist planners in the development of a draft public use plan, originally produced in 1970.
Meeting participants will discuss balancing increasing demands for public use with changing reservoir levels and conditions, then, explore options for management considerations for the public use plan. The public will be provided the opportunity to ask questions, discuss concerns and provide ideas for future management.
For information regarding this meeting, contact Dworshak Natural Resources Manager, Paul Pence at (208) 476-1258. or access the Dworshak Public Use Plan page on the Corps' website at
NOAA Weather Warning System Update
the severe storm on August 8, 2008 that blew through Orofino
and caused damage in town and on the lake, the DRA asked
the NOAA if there was anything they could do to enhance
weather warnings for Dworshak Reservoir. The NOAA looked
into their procedures. Kerry M. Jones, the Warning Coordination
Meteorologist (WCM) for the National Weather Service in
Spokane, WA responded,
"Several severe thunderstorm warnings were issued that day for Asotin, Nez Perce, Clearwater and Idaho Counties. During the event, a staff member at NWS Spokane was manually sending each individual warning to the Lewiston NWR. Two of the warnings made it to NWR, including one just 7 minutes earlier, but regrettably the 637 pm PDT warning for Clearwater County did not. To ensure this does not happen in the future, we will modify our scripts/procedures such that any and all severe weather warnings will automatically go to NWR."
In addition the NOAA has offered to teach a course on weather spotting in Orofino. Peter Felsch, the Warning Coordination Meteorologist of the National Weather Service in Missoula is working with the DRA to present a weather spotter training course. The free course would last around 45 to 50 minutes. After the course you would have a good idea of the weather headed your way based on cloud formations. The actual weather spotter class will start at 7 pm, from 6:30 to 7 pm the DRA will conduct a short business meeting that the public is encouraged to attend.
After the training session, those who are interested and sign up to be severe weather spotters, are given a spotter packet containing the training material, reporting procedures and criteria, as well as a 1-800 phone number to contact NOAA at any time on the reservoir or at home. The spotters are plotted on a map and the NOAA operational staff have their home and cell phone numbers available to contact them. Typically NOAA would call them when we either issue warnings and/or observe strong storms approaching their location to get feedback and ground truth information..
has a full section on their web page which explains the
severe weather spotter program at
the middle of the page, there is an online course mainly
for summer convection training at
The commissioners met with Matrix Engineering and Harrison Dock Builders August 25, on the wave attenuation system / additional large boat moorage design for the Big Eddy Marina. After discussions, the commissioners have agreed to have Matrix Engineering design the system. Matrix is doing some preliminary work to estimate the size and cost of the system the county envisioned. An aggressive schedule without any unforeseen problems, could have the design completed in 10 weeks. Construction could start early 2009. We will keep you posted.
Scope of Work for engineering services to be provided will include:
design shall include:
DRA Donations Secure New Picnic Tables
big thanks to everyone that donated to the DRA's efforts
to purchase two new tables for the Indian Creek Destination
dock! The tables have been purchased and delivered from Pilot
Rock and are currently awaiting assembly and deployment
in the Corps of Engineers warehouse here in Orofino. The two tables are heavy duty commercial
grade tables like the ones already in place on the other
docks on the lake. One of the new tables is wheel chair
accessible. Including shipping the cost of the tables
was $2047! A substantial sum for our association to secure.
Again, thanks to all that helped make this project successful.
Hopefully we can get some pictures posted in the near
number of fisherman did quite well over the weekend bass
fishing. The average fish weight was 4.5 pounds!
Spokane Yacht Club Plans Dworshak Cruise
The DRA received a request for recreation information about Dworshak Reservoir from the Spokane Yacht Club. They are considering traveling here with 10 to 30 boats (20-30 foot cruisers) to meet up on the lake, cook a community dinner and breakfast and just enjoy the lake. This is in the early planning stages but if they decide on the trip they have indicated they would invite the members of the DRA to join in the fun!
Merry's Bay / Fred's Bay Dock Update
The Merry's Bay destination dock anchorage system was lost in the August 8 storm. The Fred's Bay Safe Harbor dock anchorage was tangled on the bottom debris this winter when the water was low and lost. The Corps has ordered cable, pulleys and anchors for both docks and hopes to repair them as soon as possible. The Merry's Bay dock is temporarily tied off to the yellow can buoy in Merry'sBay and open for public use.
DRA News 8/22/08
Merry's Bay Dock Repaired
Great news! The Corps maintenance crew repaired the Merry's Bay Destination Dock Thursday August 20, that was damaged by the wind storm August 8. Unfortunately the one anchor that they thought survived the storm did not;: one anchor disappeared during the storm and other one during recovery. The remaining anchor connecting plate was held on by a thread and dropped off as they were preparing to lift it for repair. The dock itself is now intact and tied off to the yellow can buoy in Merry'sBay and open for public use. The Corps is in the process of ordering new cable and anchors.
NOAA Weather Offices Respond to DRA
The DRA sent a letter to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather folks in Spokane. They are responsible for the marine VHF weather broadcast. The letter requested that the NOAA broadcast out of Lewiston specifically target Dworshak, specifically when high winds are possible. Peter Felsch, the Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Missoula and Don Gardner, the Clearwater County Emergency Management Coordinator both responded almost immediately.
The DRA is discussing with the Corps and NOAA to see if any thing can be done to improve the weather warnings on Dworshak.
Life Jacket Loaner Board Works....But....
The life jacket loaner program worked quite well this summer. The jackets were used extensively and returned to the board. Up until last weekend only one jacket went missing. This past weekend, six more took a hike. We are hoping they will turn up. Please return the jackets after using them, even if it is at the gas station on the way out of town. The next person that needs one will certainly appreciate the jacket.
DRA News 8/18/08
local toxin test from 8/8 on the algae came back negative.
Two two more tests 8/15 also came back both with negative
recreation level results. The levels are below the safe
recreation level of 10ppb. It is safe to go in the water.
Algae has mostly all subsided, (short life cycle). The
two blue-green algae's in the reservoir are Anabaena and
Microcystis with the bloom being mostly Anabaena.
DRA News 8/10/08
The thunder / wind storm last Friday 8/8 caused some damage around the reservoir.
The Merry's Bay destination dock was torn in half by high winds from the sudden storm. The bay went from dead calm to 3 foot waves in about 5 minutes.
NOAA marine radio gave no indication of the storm approaching
Orofino. A warning was issued for Lewiston and Asotin
on the radio. Discussions after the storm with folks in
town indicated the NOAA television weather had posted
a warning for Orofino. Most boaters will vacate the dock
for shelter if they know a storm is coming. The DRA intends
to discuss the lack of warning on the marine radio with
the NOAA. I think the storm moved so fast they just could
not get it to the recorded radio message. Discussions
are also taking place on how to avoid such surprises in
the future and possibly establish some guidelines on when
to seek shelter.
the private boats were safely removed from the dock under
their own power and the Corps of Engineers (COE) rounded
up the pieces of the dock for future repair.
The COE do not expect to have this dock functional until next season. The closest dock is in the mouth of Indian Creek about 4 miles up the lake from the dam.
A smaller boat got caught in the storm out front of Dent campground. The individual made it back to shore but his boat was swamped on shore. The CCSO , (Mike Gladhardt), responded and gave assistance and follow up assistance the next day. We are so fortunate to have such a dedicated and effective marine deputy program on this lake.
Dent campground was without power for a while and a couple of trees came down in the campground with no damage to person or property. Rangers did warn and assist the campers at Dent and the Dent Group camp.
There were no reports of any marina damage.
injuries were reported on the reservoir.
Blue Green Algae Blooms on the Reservoir
There are minor algae concentrations in some of the calm back bays and around docks.
algae are actually bacteria (cyanobacteria) which are
able to photosynthesize, hence the green color They usually
are too small to be seen individually, but sometimes can
form visible colonies. Some cyanobacterial blooms can
look like foam, scum, or mats on the surface of fresh
water lakes and ponds. The blooms can be blue, bright
green, brown, or red and may look like paint floating
on the water.
John is confident that Anabaena algae will soon leave Dworshak and the system will return to a less 'green' state.
There are many species of algae, most do not produce toxins. It is important to remember that algae are a natural part of our water ways and all cyanobacteria can produce skin irritants under certain conditions and some can produce multiple types of the more harmful toxins. The water is being tested for these toxins.
Algae Do's and Dont's (Info from NOAA, Center of Excellence for Great Lakes and Human Health)
Remember, BOILING THE WATER WILL NOT REMOVE THE TOXINS It is not known at this time if toxins are being produced by these algae, test results are not yet available, the information will be posted here on the web when it is received.)
Clearwater County Commissioners to Interview Prospective Engineering Firm
commissioners have selected Matrix Engineering of Harrison,
Idaho as the prospective designer of the wave attenuator
and additional large mooring slips at the Big Eddy Marina.
The firm will meet with the commissioners on August 25
at 3:30 for an interview, price negotiation and discussion
on the scope and needs of the project.
The County Commissioners received Statements of Qualification from three prospective engineering firms this past Monday. The statements are from three engineering firms that are interested in the design component of the construction project of the wave attenuator and additional large mooring slips at the Big Eddy Marina.
A group of seven are in the process of evaluating the statements. The team consists of Stan Leach, County Commissioner; Chris Kuykendall, Clearwater County Economic Development; Ed Lozar, Waterways Committee; Paul Pence, Corps of Engineers; Heather Burnham, Orofino Chamber of Commerce; Devon Bunyan, Dworshak Reservoir Association; and David Ricks, Department of Idaho State Parks and Recreation (Boise) and Dworshak State Park staff, Chuck Gross.
The evaluations are to be completed by noon Monday 8/11, after which Chris will compile the results and present to Commissioners at 4:30 pm Monday 8/11. The proposals are available for review at the Commissioners office or you may discuss the proposals with any of the team members.
firm identified as the most qualified will then meet with
the Commissioners to discuss the actual design, engineering
specifications and costs in more detail. As I understand
this process, if the firm and commissioners can come to
consensus on the design and costs they will be awarded
the design contract. The actual construction bidding will
take place once the design is complete and be managed
by ID Parks & Recreation. It is anticipated construction
will start this winter and the new facility will be in
place for the 2009 boating season.
Night Dock Luck in the Movies
Indian Creek Destination Dock Returns
Corps anchored the Indian Creek dock last week. It is
now at the mouth of Indian Creek with some temporary tables.
DRA is Chamber of Commerce Lunch Program
Ed will attempt a lunch talk at this Wednesday's Orofino
Chamber of Commerce lunch. He was invited to tell them
about the DRA. Wish him luck, he hasn't speeched much
Corps of Engineers plans to apply for a grant for two
new destination docks this fall. The Corps matches the
grant funds using the cost of labor and equipment they
furnish. Grant funds are used to purchase the materials.
The Corps has asked if the DRA can commit to volunteer
labor to assemble the docks. Local commitment of labor
shows the grant committee there is local support and may
help influence their decision. The DRA needs to hear from
folks if they are willing to commit dock assembly time.
Corps is thinking of locating the one of the new docks
across and just upstream from the marina and another
DRA Membership and Awareness Increases
last few Clearwater Tribunes highlighted some activities
and projects that the DRA has accomplished and has underway.
Interest in the DRA has increased. Local business's have
donated funds and so have individuals. All funds go to
the enhancement of recreation on the reservoir.
Places Temporary Tables on Indian Creek Dock
Wednesday Night Dock Luck - DRA meeting 7/17/08
was Gangster Night and food
on a stick night. Don't ask me how those were combined.
There was, as usual a lot of great food. This weeks
game was a bean bag toss. Accidentally invented by
my grand daughter Montana while messing with left
over wood scraps in my garage. Once again, instead
of taking half the winnings as a prize, the grand
champion donated all the funds back to the DRA. Thanks
to John Schlee pictured below handing the donation
to Gangster Ed, the DRA president.
Night Dock Luck - DRA meeting 7/09/08
Dworshak Reservoir was a busy place over the July 4th weekend. Folks came from near and far to enjoy the
full pool, warm water, great campsites, fishing,
water skiing, tubing and destination docks. Dworshak is a community asset. Folks that recreate on the lake
help the local economy. The scenery alone is worth
the trip, not to mention the continuously improving
fishing. The DRA is working with the Corps of Engineers
to enhance the recreation experience.
Boaters enjoy the Drift
Creek Destination Dock
, looks like a full house.
, looks like a full house.
A few weeks ago the DRA organized
a volunteer work group to rebuild the Indian Creek
destination dock. The docks provide a place for safe
swimming away from boat propellers and a place to
visit with fellow boaters while enjoying a picnic. There is now
room on the enlarged Indian Cr dock to accommodate
a few tables. The Corps should have the dock back
in Indian Creek soon.
, hot dogs all around!
, hot dogs all around!
The DRA is in the process
of gathering donations to purchase 2 tables for the
Indian Creek dock. Commercial grade out-door tables,
that can with-stand the outdoors year long,
are not inexpensive. The group hopes to fund the purchase through
membership dues / donations from any and all that
are willing to help or join. They are also working
with the Corps on funding part of the life jacket
loaner boards. One loaner board was put into place
over the weekend. The jackets were provided to insure
everyone can have a safe boating experience.
If you enjoy Dworshak and / or would like to help enhance the recreation
on the lake, your donation to the non- profit Dworshak Reservoir Association (DRA) in any amount would be
funds will be used to enhance recreation on the lake.
Some local businesses have donated substantial sums;
some folks choose the $5.00 annual membership. We are slowly
growing. Donations can be made to the Dworshak Reservoir Association account at the American West
bank in Orofino. We would like to acknowledge your participation, however any
anonymous donation will be gladly accepted.
Destination Dock Tables - Matching Fund Opportunity
We have an opportunity to purchase and two dock picnic tables for the price of one. An anonymous donor has offered to buy one table if the DRA can come up with the funds for one table. The tables cost is $500 - $700. These are heavy duty out door commercial grade tables. You can donate by depositing funds in the Dworshak Reservoir Association account at the American West Bank in Orofino or by mailing to the address in the next paragraph.
We are non profit but we do incur expenses, mainly the web site domain name and hosting (internet disk space), all the coding and site maintenance is donated. We accept donations to cover those expenses. In order to facilitate the proper handling of those expenses and donations we have opened a checking account. (Little did I know about the pile of forms the IRS now wants!) Records of donations and expenditures are kept. We are considering a voluntary solicitation of dues. Like $5 a year per family. What do you all think? dra @ cebridge.net (I did not make it a hot email link because it will get spammed.)
some funds will also help us get more involved in
projects on the lake like sponsoring one of the life
jacket loaner kiosks. If you have a comment or wish
to donate your dues. Make the check payable to the
Dworshak Reservoir Association, 12894 Hartford Ave,
Orofino, Idaho 83544.
With the large long lasting snow pack all over the state, the reservoir is full a few days early and may remain full for a longer time this July. Normally the pool is only full for the July 4th holiday weekend but this year rumor has it it may stay full a whole week before it starts to drop to aid the fish migration. Hopefully it will drop slower than it has in the past also making the mini camps accessible longer.
Be very careful boating as full pool has floated all the shoreline debris and it is hiding every where. Some of it looks like it can bite!
of biting. If you hike the reservoir shores and trails
be sure and watch for snakes. I saw this Bull Snake
this weekend, but there are also Rattle Snakes. Watch
where you step!
Dock Volunteers Deserve Thank You
A number of folks volunteered their time and did a
lot of hard work in the past week. They gave up a
Tuesday morning to take a part some docks to set the
stage for the following Monday assembly / modification
of the Indian Creek destination dock on Dworshak Reservoir.
The volunteers really worked hard. Assembling the
docks is no easy chore. It is hard physical labor.
By the end of the day folks were very tired and probably
all took some muscle ache reliever and went to bed
early. The volunteers deserve a large thank you as
the new dock will be enjoyed by a lot of people this
Not shown because the camera was not around when he helped - Dave Parker
Life jacket loaner program looking for sponsors.
The life jacket loaner boards are in place and the Corps is looking for entities to sponsor the boards by funding the purchase of jackets. The DRA was asked if they could contribute but we really don't have any money. We are so non profit...we have none. Looks like Walmart may be offering them at cost. If there are a few of us willing to chip in some money and sponsor a board that would be a good thing. I am sure any amount would be appreciated. These jackets will be available for public use (honor system) and will have various sizes of life jackets to fit both adults and children. There will be information on how to properly fit and wear the jackets at each board. We ask that once you wear the jackets that you return them to the board in which you borrowed them from or to any state park, state park employee, the dam visitor center, any Corps employee or the sheriffs department.
New Corps Web Site
Corps of Engineers has a new recreation web site that does a good job on the
This was really good innovative work and prevented the corps maintenance folks from having to drop 48,000lbs of anchor off the barge.
The Corps took advantage of the low water and installed an additional rail on the Big Eddy ramp to allow the plastic rail dock to be used at lower water levels.
Bald Eagles have left the Merry's Bay nest, the trail has been re-opened.
Life jacket loaner boards are in place and jackets should be available for loan soon.
Dworshak Dam and Reservoir ready for spring visitors
Enjoy beautiful north Idaho at the facilities operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Dworshak Dam and Reservoir. The reservoir level is changing every day and Bruces Eddy Ramp #1, Big Eddy and Dent Acres ramps are open.
Early season camping begins April 10 at Dent Acres Campground. Site fees are $10 per day by self-deposit registration. Regular season camping starts May 22 with full hook-up sites available for $18 per night. Make reservations for the regular season by calling 877-444-6777, or by visiting the web site, www.recreation.gov.
Those seeking a more primitive camping experience can visit Dam View and Canyon Creek where primitive camping is available at no charge starting April 1.
The Big Eddy day use area offers attractions to young and old. Big Eddy amenities include a swim beach, playground, picnic shelters and barbecue grills. Take a hike along the Big Eddy trail to Dworshak State Park and have a picnic at one of several mini camps along the way. The Merrys Bay day use area opens April 1 and offers secluded picnicking and fishing.
Turkey hunting season is just around the corner. Hunting is allowed on all Corps property around the reservoir except in developed recreation areas. Be aware that ATV operations is prohibited off designated roads and behind gates or fences.
Please allow all safety precautions while recreating in the forest during the hunting season. When boating on the reservoir, remember that lake levels can change quickly. The weather may be warming but water in Dworshak is still very cold from the spring snowmelt.
For updated water level and boat ramp information, call 800-321-3198. Always be aware of the hypothermia danger and wear a Coast Guard approved personal flotation device.
For more information regarding facilities access and current conditions call 208-476-1261, or stop by our Visitor Center, which is open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.
Corps Notes 3/14/08
Includes some repeats with more details
Dent Acres Ramp is open and the campground will open on April 10. Merrys Bay, Canyon Creek, Dam View and Grandad open on April 1.
There appears to be vandalism at the Big Eddy floating pump out station there is a rock sized hole in the solar panel. Maintenance is working on getting it repaired.
A new solar light at Canyon Creek is awaiting installation. It was an in-kind product from a real estate easement renewal and replaces the current vandalized solar light.
Life Jacket Loaner boards will be installed at Bruces Eddy #1 ramp, Dent Acres and Big Eddy ramps. These jackets will be available for public use (honor system) and will have various sizes of life jackets to fit both adults and children. There will be information on how to properly fit and wear the jackets at each board. We ask that once you wear the jackets that you return them to the board in which you borrowed them from or to any state park, state park employee, the dam visitor center, any corp employee or the sheriffs department.
Dworshak park rangers are working with the local sheriffs department in provide water safety classes to kids in Orofino and surrounding areas.
In the near future, hikers will find trailhead kiosks (such as the one already in place at the Big Eddy Trail) installed with maps and helpful hints specific to each trail. This included Merrys Bay, Cold Springs, Dent Acres and Canyon Creek trails.
reservoir nutrient program is preparing for a second year of application
after a very successfully first year report.
DRA Notes 3/7/08
Cable Repair Underway at Marina
The other older cable that anchors the marina has broken. Last year one broke and was replaced. The Corps anticipated the second one failing from age and actually procured the materials last year. They were unable to replace it last year but are already working with the materials to fix this latest failure. Weather permitting they hope to have it fixed soon enough to avoid any delay in the marina operation.
Speaking of last years cable. Hear say indicates there will be an adjustment in this year's marina moorage charge for the time lost because of the cable break last year. You may want to call and ask them not to forget that....
Some moron vandalized the solar panel at the pump out station in front of the marina. A large rock was thrown up on to the panel damaging it. Obviously the rock had to be intentionally brought from shore? Money to be used improving facilities elsewhere now has to go into fixing this senseless act. The Corps is considering implementing a crime stoppers / neighbor watch type system. Rewards will be offered for information / evidence on such activity that leads to a prosecution.
Grants discussed previously on this site will be awarded (or not) in May. (See December below.)
As you know there is a lot of snow in the mountains. Like 110% of normal. Check out snow pack at this site. Operating curves indicate the water level will have to drop about 20 feet by the end of March to 1500 to make room for snow melt. Check out the water level at the Corps site.
Life Jacket Loan Program and Trailhead Kiosks
The Corps is working on and hopes to have the life jacket loan kiosks on the lake this season. Jackets will be located at the main ramps for temporary use. This helps the folks that forgot them at home and did not realize it until they get to the lake. Life jackets save lives and making them available to the public at the ramps makes sense. Safety is always number one.
Trail head informational kiosks are also being implemented this season.
Dent Acres will be open March 10.
Numerous Grants Requested to Improve Dworshak Facilities
Clearwater County Sheriff's Marine Division, the Corps of Engineers and
Dworshak State Park have proposed projects and are applying for grant
money. These grants are federal and sometimes state money that can be
obtained by competing with other requests around the state. The awards
are based on value to the public in regards to safety and enhanced recreation.
They are generally match grants which means entities have to have anywhere
from 25 to 50% of the cost of a project already available.
The DRA was asked to review the all of the proposals except the diving equipment request and provide letters of support to be included in the grant proposal if they supported the project. The DRA board provided letters of recommendation for all of the projects they were asked to review.
The Clearwater County Waterways Committee has reviewed all the projects and has provided letters of recommendation for the projects to be used by the grant requester as they apply to the state grants committee. The Sheriff's Marine Division grant requests must also be approved by the county commissioners. The projects are listed below. More information is available from the listed requester.
Corps of Engineers - Paul Pence
ramp dock at Dent with docking fingers
Dworhsak State Park - Kristi Stephens Park Manager
attenuation system for the big Eddy Marina (wave break)
Sheriff's Marine Division - Mike Gladhart
of patrol / tow vehicle pickup truck
Boater Education and Operator Regulations Being Considered
Randy Herman, Idaho state boat safety coordinator, briefed the Waterways Committee on possible boating regulation changes in Idaho's future. The changes are in the very early stages of discussion and estimates are that there would not be any actual changes until 2009, if at all. The state is working with various user groups and agencies in discussing mandatory boater education and possibly some sort of certification to operate a water craft in the state. Minimum operator age requirements are also being discussed.
Early discussions started with personal water craft (PWC) or what some refer to as jet skis. Idaho is one of only two states that do not have a minimum age requirement to operate a PWC. Injury and death statistics show that a large percentage of injuries and deaths involving a PWC include a young operator. Minimum age requirements / adult supervision / education requirements are some of the possibilities being discussed.
you want more information on these discussions I suggest contacting the
Clearwater County Sheriff's Office.
Corps Cleaning Contract Enhancements
The destination and safe harbor docks on the lake have been added to the responsibilities of the reservoir facilities cleaning contract. The docks should now be cleaned on a regular basis along with restrooms and campsites etc... I hope they have a lot of de-gooser!
Fire Back on the Landscape
In mid October the Corps capitalized on a narrow window of good burning weather and completed the prescribed underburns in the Little Bay Stewardship Project.
Most of the burning took place across the reservoir from Three Meadows group camp. They thought they were going to have to wait until next year to do this as it was still too dry in late September to purposely ignite anything at the bottom of a steep slope.
As it turned out the biggest challenge was not the weather, but rather smoke management. The North Idaho air shed denied the first requests to burn, but later gave the go ahead to C-PTPA fire warden Howard weeks for the burn.
A lot of smoke was produced and it lingered on the lake for a few days, but they got an excellent burn on the overgrown underbrush and left over slash from the forest thinning operation.
fire was spread using a Helo-torche, a system that is suspended from a
helicopter and drops burning fuel on the forest below. Ray Reel was the
Docks Invaded by Spiders
Spiders have invaded the lonely destination docks, maybe its a Halloween thing. The very warm and dry fall weather seems to have allowed the spiders to float on their webs more than usual and they have established quite a colony on the destination docks. A few frosty nights should slow them down considerably!
Dworshak Master Plan
The Dworshak Master Plan public working group meetings have concluded. The final document from contractor to be delivered this month.
on South End of the Dam
are already coming in about larger fish being caught on the lake.
Check out the attached excerpt
from the Intercom which is the Corps of Engineers internal agency
quarterly news letter. It has and excellent short write up on the nutrient
project as well as other Dworshak projects. It is a very large file and
will take some time to open..
Clearwater Valley Hospital and Clinic Benefit Cruise (7/28/07)
Saturday, Hal and Deb Joseph, Hal's nephew Hunter from New Jersey, Deb's father and some friends enjoyed the day on the houseboat MaryLou swimming, dining, skiiing and tubing. Hal and Deb were the successful bidders at the benefit auction for a day cruise on the lake. The auction was the annual Clearwater Hospital fund raiser. Congrats and thanks to the Joseph's for their donation. A good time was had by all, check out the pictures!
Dworshak Master Plan Groups Working on Consensus (7/16/07)
This past Monday, night the 4 groups that have been working individually on the future of Dworshak Management met to try and bring all of their previous work together. A professional facilitator is coordinating the previous work of the Water Access, Land Access, Land Management and Land Based Recreation groups. Management guidelines were developed over the last few years on twelve areas on the reservoir by each group individually. The groups are made up of local individuals concerned about the future of Dworshak.
goal is to bring the groups ideas together by joint problem solving and
consensus. These recommendations on the future management of Dworshak
Reservoir will be used by the Corps of Engineers in the development of
a Master Plan which will guide future implementation of projects and improvements
or lack of development on the reservoir. More information is available
Master Plan website.
Corps places temporary fire restrictions on recreation lands around Dworshak Reservoir (7/6/07)
Recreationists planning to visit Dworshak Dam and Reservoir should be
aware of fire conditions and the temporary fire restrictions. Forest fuels
have reached very dry conditions. To reduce the risk of wildfires, campfires
(using established fire rings only) must be completely extinguished between
10 a.m. and 6 p.m. This limitation will be in effect immediately until
fuel conditions change.
Is the reservoir a different green?
The nutrient supplement program is causing a different balance of microscopic organisms. Kokanee feed exclusively on zooplankton - tiny animals in the water. Zooplankton feed on phytoplankton, tiny plants or algae found in the water. Phytoplankton growth is dependent on both nitrogen and phosphorus.
Not all kinds of algae are dependent on water-borne nitrogen. One type, blue-green algae, is able to pull nitrogen directly from the air. But it does more harm than good. It changes the clarity and color of the water, leaves a visible film on boats and tastes bad to zooplankton. When nitrogen levels in the water drop, the good phytoplankton stop growing. The supplement program is trying to fix that.
In previous years the blue green algae (bad stuff) was dominant. Now the good guys are taking over and the water is changing it's shade of green. In a few years the Kokanee should get bigger and already (in my opinion) there is appears to be less green fuzz growing on boats and swim docks.
about the nutrient supplement program here:
Tuesday Eve 6/19/07
Barge is loaded with blocks and a buoy and ready to go and the pools full. Lets wish the Corps luck in their marina repair attempt.
-- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials are moving ahead with plans
to reattach one of Dworshak Marinas six anchor cables after their initial
efforts were unsuccessful Corps a spokesman announced today. C
regarding the marina anchor problems or other lake recreation facilities
can be directed to Corps of Engineers, Natural Resources Manager, Paul
Pence, at 208-476-1258 Information regarding boat slip rentals, Big Eddy
Marina, Freeman Creek, or Three Meadows group camp issues can be directed
to Dworshak State Park at 208-476-5994.
are all really down about this failure and are working hard to get the
marina back in business for the recreation season.
OUTFLOWS REDUCED TO SAVE FOR LOW-FLOW SUMMER
Update on Marina Repair
May 23 - Update on the marina repair. The Corps has ordered all the material for the anchors, (both sides) at a total of $15,000. Some of the material will arrive this week, but most is not scheduled to arrive until after the Memorial Day weekend. The anchor blocks were moved and drilled waiting for the stainless steel supplies this past weekend. Tripco was hired with their huge rock loader to lift them.
The Corps and State Park would like to thank you marina moorage folks for your patience during in this effort.
There are water safety messages on the local radio. Expect to see a lot of protection / enforcement folks on the water this weekend as well as Corps Rangers talking a water safety message. Please recall 1 year ago the carbon monoxide deaths. Please be careful while recreating this holiday weekend. Heck, be safe all the time not just on the holidays!
electrical service upgrade has been completed at Dent. All campsites at
Dent Campground are now equipped with 20/30/50 amp service. Brownouts
and tripped breakers on hot days should be a thing of the past. It's not
good to come home after fishing and find your camper 120 degrees and stuff
melting out of the freezer.
DRA / CORPS NOTES: (5/15/07)
Plan Working Groups
Update 5/16: The working groups have come back to life. The final consolidation of all four working groups; Land Access, Water Access, Land Management, and Land-based Recreation Facilities, will be taking place in the very near future. A Mr. Don Nelson has been awarded the facilitation contract for the working group come together. Mr. Nelson is the same person that facilitated the Elk Collaborative for Senator Crapo. He did an excellent thorough job on that project, and is expected to do the same on this project.
Marina Cable Repairs
The Big Eddy marina had one of the anchor tensioning cables break last week. The Corps and State have done risk analysis on the continued operation of the marina and come up with a plan to fix the problem. They have asked folks to delay mooring their boats until they can remedy the situation. If your boat is there they want you to know there is an anchor malfunction and a large wind could possibly damage the marina and your boat.
The anchor cable broke due to age, repeated stress and type of material. The cable is now a galvanized cable and does not work well in water.. The plan is to replace the entire anchor system with stainless steel which is stronger and wears much better.
Outfitting new anchors and cable and setting them in place is more feasible and economical than getting deep divers to attempt to fix the current system. The state is partnering with the COE to help where they can with the cost of the repairs. They have the contract out for the materials of approximately 20K for both outboard anchor cable systems on the marina. Only one is broken at this time but it is assumed the second one has sustained the same repeated stress so it will be replaced this coming fall.
The anchors that are in place now are the same concrete blocks as the Merry's Bay blocks you see on the shoreline. Those blocks will be used for the new anchors.
Cars, Trucks, Boats and Trailers
Just to clear some things up we asked the Corps about regulations in and around the boat ramps when it comes to parking. Obviously you can't park on the ramp. You will receive a warning and possibly a citation if you do not to mention you will inconvenience all other boaters and possible have some one back a trailer into your vehicle.. Boats cannot be left at the docks at the end of the ramps unattended except for returning your vehicle to the parking lot. If you have to go to town the boat must be on your trailer or pulled up to a beach away from the ramp. If you are going to town and don't want to pull your empty trailer you can leave the trailer unattended in the lot. Trailers left there for over 24 hours will be cited.
I would also consider the ease of someone making off with your trailer if you leave it unattended for any length of time. Leaving a trailer unattached to a vehicle in the lot for any length of time is the exception.
The eagle nest is no longer active in Merry's Bay. Posted restrictions for hiking and boating in the area have been lifted. The biologist is unsure why the nest is vacated. Biologists indicate one possibility is predation but there is no clear explanation.
Merry's Bay Buoys
The Corps and State hosted a meeting May 8 to discuss the current and future of large boat moorage on the reservoir. The current buoys have encountered some problems getting tangled in the trees that are left on the bottom and they discovered that at full pool that the specs on the system may be exceeded in sustained winds of 70 mph. They added 100 feet of cable to each anchorage to boost the specs while the pool is high and will have to remove the cable as the pool drops. This is a maintenance cost that was not anticipated.
The future of large boat moorage as well as additional boat moorage in general was discussed. Mitch Silvers from Senator Crapo's office and Chris Kuykendall, Clearwater County Economic Development Specialist discussed the progress and continued planning on development of a large commercial marina on the reservoir. There are private industry folks interested but an infrastructure of power, water, sewer etc... would be necessary to move forward. Authorities and funds to do that are being pursued by Senator Crapo's office and Chris is working with them and others in that effort. Mitch encouraged folks to express their interest in the continued development of the facilities at Dworshak by contacting Senator Crapo's office by e-mail, regular mail or phone. It does help if they see the community is behind the development efforts.
Boat Registration Fees
The boat registration fee will increase next year. Starting in December it will increase by $7 bringing it up to a total of $20 for the base. Additional charges for length are then added to that base fee.
The Idaho legislature is also considering a flat fee for paddle craft, currently all the non-motorized canoes, drift boats and rafts that use all of the infra structure facilities are not paying a fee. The governor is supporting this change in boat registration fees.
a recent county Water Ways committee meeting the marine sheriff department
informed us that they were surveyed by Corps of Engineers about a proposal
to implement a nationwide policy of making life jackets mandatory for
everyone on all waters under the jurisdiction of the Corps. The Corps
national leadership has challenged the entire agency across the nation
GPS control units will be placed on barges to take readings and distribute the fertilizer according to the prescription. It may take two to three years to show results. But in the mean time check out the big fish....
Arthur Downhour landed the largest rainbow trout known out of Dworshak Reservoir on April 16, 2007. This fish weighed 10.58 lbs, measured 26 inches in length and had a girth of 20 1/8 inches.
CORPS NOTES: (4/1/07)
eagles have landed at Dworshak Dam and Reservoir, and they are under the
influence of spring. A pair of nesting bald eagles has been observed in
Merrys Bay. To help them be good parents, and to give them privacy,
the Merrys Bay Trail is closed and signs have been posted at the
Merrys Bay trailhead and the Bruces Eddy trailhead.
CORPS NOTES: (3/10/07)
-Dent boat ramp will open for the season March 10th
View, Merry's Bay,Canyon Creek and Grandad rec areas open April 1st;
-Water temp is 42.
annual first gathering of spring house boaters is planned for St. Patricks
Day weekend at the
DRA NOTES: (1/5/07)
Waterways committee voted Thursday to send a letter of recommendation
for all three of the grants discussed below to the Grant review board
DRA was asked for letters of support for all three projects. After discussions
with the boating community / DRA members, the DRA board did send letters
of recommendation for each project. The letters are available for review
in WORD format below.
The Corps of Engineers
continue to pursuit the life jacket kiosks. Loaner life jackets would
be available free at ramps if they can come up with funds, labor and donations
of jackets. Contact the Corps of Engineers
for more information.
DRA NOTES: (1/12)
Corps Uses Logging and Fire to Enhance Habitat (11/30)
DRA NOTES: (11/11)
CORPS of ENGINEERS NOTES: (8/18)
DRA NOTES: (7/25)
DRA NOTES: (6/22)
DRA NOTES: (6/4)
CORPS of ENGINEERS NOTES: (5/24)
More pictures of the anchors and equipment are on the photo gallery page.
VISITOR CENTER VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: (3/18/05) Work has begun on the construction of two full service campsites on the Visitor's Center Road. Individuals volunteering to work at the Visitor's Center during the recreation season will use these sites. Those interested in volunteering please contact Deb Norton at 476-1279.
WATER and the WEATHER: (3/8/05).... here is a quote from the folks that watch over the water...
"we have a pretty high likelihood of refilling Dworshak despite the
current low water supply forecast. We have near a 90% chance (based on
the current Water Supply Forecast (WSF) of 1.42 Million Acre Feet (MAF)
of hitting full by 30 June. I also looked at the latest Extended Streamflow
Prediction (ESP) forecast (that was the 44 years of weather and current
conditions) and we filled to within 2 feet of full in all 44 scenarios
and to within 1 foot of full in 38 of the 44 years. The ESP volumes we
looked at ranged from 1.1 - 2.0 MAF."
CORPS of ENGINEERS NOTES: (2/05)
MOORAGE: (2/05) Contract proposals for the large boat buoys have been submitted to the Corps from contractors, they plan to award a contract for buoy installation hopefully Friday 2/18 pending some final paperwork. If things go well, buoys may be in place by April.
MOORAGE: (12/04)Additional moorage in the form of buoys is scheduled to be placed in Merry's Bay this spring for larger boats. There is currently temporary moorage for six boats. Plans are to increase the available large boat moorage but they won't know for sure how far the funds will go until the bids come in. If all goes well there may be up to a total of twelve. If your interested in mooring a large cruiser or houseboat, please contact Dworshak State Park for more information, they manage the buoy moorage and marina