thoughts on the Unlimited, new Karma from Jackson Kayak

So I just finished a ten day self support of the Grandest of canyons floating the Colorado River.   I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity to paddle the new Karma Unlimited due to the generosity of 4Corners Riversports, thanks guys !!  I was able to hop right in this design and paddle it effectively, even though my experience with longer boats is minimal, the similarities in performance from the Jackson play boats and creek boats that I am regularly paddling made it an easy ‘new feeling’.   Obviously the boat performs differently when fully loaded with equipment for 10 days, but its easy to get your practice in when you are covering two hundred and twenty-five miles in that time.   Even fully loaded the Unlimited was quite predictable.  VERY quick to get up to maximum hull speed – just a few strokes and you are traveling fast, this boat would carry that momentum for quite some time (fully loaded) and it was surprising how well it would hold its angle and plain in a straight line even without the drop skeg that the Karma RG offers. In fact, one of the biggest issues with the whitewater in the Grand Canyon are the boils and whirlpools that are extremely strong and unpredictable, popping up here and there with no warning or pattern at all.  With the 11feet 10inches of plaining hull and just a bit of extra width I feel I was able to manage these random hydraulics much easier than my team mates in their displaced hull kayaks.  The boat was not quick to slide sideways in that big water as heavy as it was, but the rapids on the Grand do not require quick adjustments if you are on your initial line. . . well, sometimes we (meaning I) get off line ( _ _it happens) I was pleased with the forgiving nature of this boat when I did.  Easy to roll, no problem full of all my gear, and I believe the extra weight gave me some advantage when attempting to punch that surprise hole or two. Let me specify how comfortable this boat was, when you are spending this much time in a craft every day for continuous days this is a no joke subject.  I could not brag more on the outfitting adjustability, especially on the fly (I could make adjustments on the water).  Dry, The boat is un-drilled 1st of all, and I have a dry suite and a great skirt that fit the boat properly, but lets face it, this is a wet sport and paddling big white water always makes for an especially swamped boat that needs to be regularly drained and or sponged. Although I did have a few sponge fills a day it was nothing to the amount of water I watched my buddies pulling out of their kayaks.  I have not one complaint about how the boat felt as I became one with it for hours of river miles.   Easy packing, as I mentioned above I did not have the added benefits of the RG (drop skeg and hatch).  I have no doubt that I would have enjoyed those added features on a trip like this one, however I was able to do what I needed without them. I took the foam pillar out of the stern, that was pretty much it.  The design of the bow bulk head is such that it is easy to slide off and on for packing behind and still have a nice rigid and safe place to put your feet while paddling.  I had to pack and unpack all my dry bags every day, (a major part of efficiency on this trip) and was generally pleased with what an easy time I had doing so.

thoughts on the Unlimited, new Karma from Jackson Kayak

So I just finished a ten day self support of the Grandest of canyons floating the Colorado River.   I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity to paddle the new Karma Unlimited due to the generosity of 4Corners Riversports, thanks guys !!  I was able to hop right in this design and paddle it effectively, even though my experience with longer boats is minimal, the similarities in performance from the Jackson play boats and creek boats that I am regularly paddling made it an easy ‘new feeling’.   Obviously the boat performs differently when fully loaded with equipment for 10 days, but its easy to get your practice in when you are covering two hundred and twenty-five miles in that time.   Even fully loaded the Unlimited was quite predictable.  VERY quick to get up to maximum hull speed – just a few strokes and you are traveling fast, this boat would carry that momentum for quite some time (fully loaded) and it was surprising how well it would hold its angle and plain in a straight line even without the drop skeg that the Karma RG offers. In fact, one of the biggest issues with the whitewater in the Grand Canyon are the boils and whirlpools that are extremely strong and unpredictable, popping up here and there with no warning or pattern at all.  With the 11feet 10inches of plaining hull and just a bit of extra width I feel I was able to manage these random hydraulics much easier than my team mates in their displaced hull kayaks.  The boat was not quick to slide sideways in that big water as heavy as it was, but the rapids on the Grand do not require quick adjustments if you are on your initial line. . . well, sometimes we (meaning I) get off line ( _ _it happens) I was pleased with the forgiving nature of this boat when I did.  Easy to roll, no problem full of all my gear, and I believe the extra weight gave me some advantage when attempting to punch that surprise hole or two. Let me specify how comfortable this boat was, when you are spending this much time in a craft every day for continuous days this is a no joke subject.  I could not brag more on the outfitting adjustability, especially on the fly (I could make adjustments on the water).  Dry, The boat is un-drilled 1st of all, and I have a dry suite and a great skirt that fit the boat properly, but lets face it, this is a wet sport and paddling big white water always makes for an especially swamped boat that needs to be regularly drained and or sponged. Although I did have a few sponge fills a day it was nothing to the amount of water I watched my buddies pulling out of their kayaks.  I have not one complaint about how the boat felt as I became one with it for hours of river miles.   Easy packing, as I mentioned above I did not have the added benefits of the RG (drop skeg and hatch).  I have no doubt that I would have enjoyed those added features on a trip like this one, however I was able to do what I needed without them. I took the foam pillar out of the stern, that was pretty much it.  The design of the bow bulk head is such that it is easy to slide off and on for packing behind and still have a nice rigid and safe place to put your feet while paddling.  I had to pack and unpack all my dry bags every day, (a major part of efficiency on this trip) and was generally pleased with what an easy time I had doing so.

thoughts on the Unlimited, new Karma from Jackson Kayak

So I just finished a ten day self support of the Grandest of canyons floating the Colorado River.   I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity to paddle the new Karma Unlimited due to the generosity of 4Corners Riversports, thanks guys !!  I was able to hop right in this design and paddle it effectively, even though my experience with longer boats is minimal, the similarities in performance from the Jackson play boats and creek boats that I am regularly paddling made it an easy ‘new feeling’.   Obviously the boat performs differently when fully loaded with equipment for 10 days, but its easy to get your practice in when you are covering two hundred and twenty-five miles in that time.   Even fully loaded the Unlimited was quite predictable.  VERY quick to get up to maximum hull speed – just a few strokes and you are traveling fast, this boat would carry that momentum for quite some time (fully loaded) and it was surprising how well it would hold its angle and plain in a straight line even without the drop skeg that the Karma RG offers. In fact, one of the biggest issues with the whitewater in the Grand Canyon are the boils and whirlpools that are extremely strong and unpredictable, popping up here and there with no warning or pattern at all.  With the 11feet 10inches of plaining hull and just a bit of extra width I feel I was able to manage these random hydraulics much easier than my team mates in their displaced hull kayaks.  The boat was not quick to slide sideways in that big water as heavy as it was, but the rapids on the Grand do not require quick adjustments if you are on your initial line. . . well, sometimes we (meaning I) get off line ( _ _it happens) I was pleased with the forgiving nature of this boat when I did.  Easy to roll, no problem full of all my gear, and I believe the extra weight gave me some advantage when attempting to punch that surprise hole or two. Let me specify how comfortable this boat was, when you are spending this much time in a craft every day for continuous days this is a no joke subject.  I could not brag more on the outfitting adjustability, especially on the fly (I could make adjustments on the water).  Dry, The boat is un-drilled 1st of all, and I have a dry suite and a great skirt that fit the boat properly, but lets face it, this is a wet sport and paddling big white water always makes for an especially swamped boat that needs to be regularly drained and or sponged. Although I did have a few sponge fills a day it was nothing to the amount of water I watched my buddies pulling out of their kayaks.  I have not one complaint about how the boat felt as I became one with it for hours of river miles.   Easy packing, as I mentioned above I did not have the added benefits of the RG (drop skeg and hatch).  I have no doubt that I would have enjoyed those added features on a trip like this one, however I was able to do what I needed without them. I took the foam pillar out of the stern, that was pretty much it.  The design of the bow bulk head is such that it is easy to slide off and on for packing behind and still have a nice rigid and safe place to put your feet while paddling.  I had to pack and unpack all my dry bags every day, (a major part of efficiency on this trip) and was generally pleased with what an easy time I had doing so.

thoughts on the Unlimited, new Karma from Jackson Kayak

So I just finished a ten day self support of the Grandest of canyons floating the Colorado River.   I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity to paddle the new Karma Unlimited due to the generosity of 4Corners Riversports, thanks guys !!  I was able to hop right in this design and paddle it effectively, even though my experience with longer boats is minimal, the similarities in performance from the Jackson play boats and creek boats that I am regularly paddling made it an easy ‘new feeling’.   Obviously the boat performs differently when fully loaded with equipment for 10 days, but its easy to get your practice in when you are covering two hundred and twenty-five miles in that time.   Even fully loaded the Unlimited was quite predictable.  VERY quick to get up to maximum hull speed – just a few strokes and you are traveling fast, this boat would carry that momentum for quite some time (fully loaded) and it was surprising how well it would hold its angle and plain in a straight line even without the drop skeg that the Karma RG offers. In fact, one of the biggest issues with the whitewater in the Grand Canyon are the boils and whirlpools that are extremely strong and unpredictable, popping up here and there with no warning or pattern at all.  With the 11feet 10inches of plaining hull and just a bit of extra width I feel I was able to manage these random hydraulics much easier than my team mates in their displaced hull kayaks.  The boat was not quick to slide sideways in that big water as heavy as it was, but the rapids on the Grand do not require quick adjustments if you are on your initial line. . . well, sometimes we (meaning I) get off line ( _ _it happens) I was pleased with the forgiving nature of this boat when I did.  Easy to roll, no problem full of all my gear, and I believe the extra weight gave me some advantage when attempting to punch that surprise hole or two. Let me specify how comfortable this boat was, when you are spending this much time in a craft every day for continuous days this is a no joke subject.  I could not brag more on the outfitting adjustability, especially on the fly (I could make adjustments on the water).  Dry, The boat is un-drilled 1st of all, and I have a dry suite and a great skirt that fit the boat properly, but lets face it, this is a wet sport and paddling big white water always makes for an especially swamped boat that needs to be regularly drained and or sponged. Although I did have a few sponge fills a day it was nothing to the amount of water I watched my buddies pulling out of their kayaks.  I have not one complaint about how the boat felt as I became one with it for hours of river miles.   Easy packing, as I mentioned above I did not have the added benefits of the RG (drop skeg and hatch).  I have no doubt that I would have enjoyed those added features on a trip like this one, however I was able to do what I needed without them. I took the foam pillar out of the stern, that was pretty much it.  The design of the bow bulk head is such that it is easy to slide off and on for packing behind and still have a nice rigid and safe place to put your feet while paddling.  I had to pack and unpack all my dry bags every day, (a major part of efficiency on this trip) and was generally pleased with what an easy time I had doing so.

thoughts on the Unlimited, new Karma from Jackson Kayak

So I just finished a ten day self support of the Grandest of canyons floating the Colorado River.   I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity to paddle the new Karma Unlimited due to the generosity of 4Corners Riversports, thanks guys !!  I was able to hop right in this design and paddle it effectively, even though my experience with longer boats is minimal, the similarities in performance from the Jackson play boats and creek boats that I am regularly paddling made it an easy ‘new feeling’.   Obviously the boat performs differently when fully loaded with equipment for 10 days, but its easy to get your practice in when you are covering two hundred and twenty-five miles in that time.   Even fully loaded the Unlimited was quite predictable.  VERY quick to get up to maximum hull speed – just a few strokes and you are traveling fast, this boat would carry that momentum for quite some time (fully loaded) and it was surprising how well it would hold its angle and plain in a straight line even without the drop skeg that the Karma RG offers. In fact, one of the biggest issues with the whitewater in the Grand Canyon are the boils and whirlpools that are extremely strong and unpredictable, popping up here and there with no warning or pattern at all.  With the 11feet 10inches of plaining hull and just a bit of extra width I feel I was able to manage these random hydraulics much easier than my team mates in their displaced hull kayaks.  The boat was not quick to slide sideways in that big water as heavy as it was, but the rapids on the Grand do not require quick adjustments if you are on your initial line. . . well, sometimes we (meaning I) get off line ( _ _it happens) I was pleased with the forgiving nature of this boat when I did.  Easy to roll, no problem full of all my gear, and I believe the extra weight gave me some advantage when attempting to punch that surprise hole or two. Let me specify how comfortable this boat was, when you are spending this much time in a craft every day for continuous days this is a no joke subject.  I could not brag more on the outfitting adjustability, especially on the fly (I could make adjustments on the water).  Dry, The boat is un-drilled 1st of all, and I have a dry suite and a great skirt that fit the boat properly, but lets face it, this is a wet sport and paddling big white water always makes for an especially swamped boat that needs to be regularly drained and or sponged. Although I did have a few sponge fills a day it was nothing to the amount of water I watched my buddies pulling out of their kayaks.  I have not one complaint about how the boat felt as I became one with it for hours of river miles.   Easy packing, as I mentioned above I did not have the added benefits of the RG (drop skeg and hatch).  I have no doubt that I would have enjoyed those added features on a trip like this one, however I was able to do what I needed without them. I took the foam pillar out of the stern, that was pretty much it.  The design of the bow bulk head is such that it is easy to slide off and on for packing behind and still have a nice rigid and safe place to put your feet while paddling.  I had to pack and unpack all my dry bags every day, (a major part of efficiency on this trip) and was generally pleased with what an easy time I had doing so.

thoughts on the Unlimited, new Karma from Jackson Kayak

So I just finished a ten day self support of the Grandest of canyons floating the Colorado River.   I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity to paddle the new Karma Unlimited due to the generosity of 4Corners Riversports, thanks guys !!  I was able to hop right in this design and paddle it effectively, even though my experience with longer boats is minimal, the similarities in performance from the Jackson play boats and creek boats that I am regularly paddling made it an easy ‘new feeling’.   Obviously the boat performs differently when fully loaded with equipment for 10 days, but its easy to get your practice in when you are covering two hundred and twenty-five miles in that time.   Even fully loaded the Unlimited was quite predictable.  VERY quick to get up to maximum hull speed – just a few strokes and you are traveling fast, this boat would carry that momentum for quite some time (fully loaded) and it was surprising how well it would hold its angle and plain in a straight line even without the drop skeg that the Karma RG offers. In fact, one of the biggest issues with the whitewater in the Grand Canyon are the boils and whirlpools that are extremely strong and unpredictable, popping up here and there with no warning or pattern at all.  With the 11feet 10inches of plaining hull and just a bit of extra width I feel I was able to manage these random hydraulics much easier than my team mates in their displaced hull kayaks.  The boat was not quick to slide sideways in that big water as heavy as it was, but the rapids on the Grand do not require quick adjustments if you are on your initial line. . . well, sometimes we (meaning I) get off line ( _ _it happens) I was pleased with the forgiving nature of this boat when I did.  Easy to roll, no problem full of all my gear, and I believe the extra weight gave me some advantage when attempting to punch that surprise hole or two. Let me specify how comfortable this boat was, when you are spending this much time in a craft every day for continuous days this is a no joke subject.  I could not brag more on the outfitting adjustability, especially on the fly (I could make adjustments on the water).  Dry, The boat is un-drilled 1st of all, and I have a dry suite and a great skirt that fit the boat properly, but lets face it, this is a wet sport and paddling big white water always makes for an especially swamped boat that needs to be regularly drained and or sponged. Although I did have a few sponge fills a day it was nothing to the amount of water I watched my buddies pulling out of their kayaks.  I have not one complaint about how the boat felt as I became one with it for hours of river miles.   Easy packing, as I mentioned above I did not have the added benefits of the RG (drop skeg and hatch).  I have no doubt that I would have enjoyed those added features on a trip like this one, however I was able to do what I needed without them. I took the foam pillar out of the stern, that was pretty much it.  The design of the bow bulk head is such that it is easy to slide off and on for packing behind and still have a nice rigid and safe place to put your feet while paddling.  I had to pack and unpack all my dry bags every day, (a major part of efficiency on this trip) and was generally pleased with what an easy time I had doing so.

thoughts on the Unlimited, new Karma from Jackson Kayak

So I just finished a ten day self support of the Grandest of canyons floating the Colorado River.   I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity to paddle the new Karma Unlimited due to the generosity of 4Corners Riversports, thanks guys !!  I was able to hop right in this design and paddle it effectively, even though my experience with longer boats is minimal, the similarities in performance from the Jackson play boats and creek boats that I am regularly paddling made it an easy ‘new feeling’.   Obviously the boat performs differently when fully loaded with equipment for 10 days, but its easy to get your practice in when you are covering two hundred and twenty-five miles in that time.   Even fully loaded the Unlimited was quite predictable.  VERY quick to get up to maximum hull speed – just a few strokes and you are traveling fast, this boat would carry that momentum for quite some time (fully loaded) and it was surprising how well it would hold its angle and plain in a straight line even without the drop skeg that the Karma RG offers. In fact, one of the biggest issues with the whitewater in the Grand Canyon are the boils and whirlpools that are extremely strong and unpredictable, popping up here and there with no warning or pattern at all.  With the 11feet 10inches of plaining hull and just a bit of extra width I feel I was able to manage these random hydraulics much easier than my team mates in their displaced hull kayaks.  The boat was not quick to slide sideways in that big water as heavy as it was, but the rapids on the Grand do not require quick adjustments if you are on your initial line. . . well, sometimes we (meaning I) get off line ( _ _it happens) I was pleased with the forgiving nature of this boat when I did.  Easy to roll, no problem full of all my gear, and I believe the extra weight gave me some advantage when attempting to punch that surprise hole or two. Let me specify how comfortable this boat was, when you are spending this much time in a craft every day for continuous days this is a no joke subject.  I could not brag more on the outfitting adjustability, especially on the fly (I could make adjustments on the water).  Dry, The boat is un-drilled 1st of all, and I have a dry suite and a great skirt that fit the boat properly, but lets face it, this is a wet sport and paddling big white water always makes for an especially swamped boat that needs to be regularly drained and or sponged. Although I did have a few sponge fills a day it was nothing to the amount of water I watched my buddies pulling out of their kayaks.  I have not one complaint about how the boat felt as I became one with it for hours of river miles.   Easy packing, as I mentioned above I did not have the added benefits of the RG (drop skeg and hatch).  I have no doubt that I would have enjoyed those added features on a trip like this one, however I was able to do what I needed without them. I took the foam pillar out of the stern, that was pretty much it.  The design of the bow bulk head is such that it is easy to slide off and on for packing behind and still have a nice rigid and safe place to put your feet while paddling.  I had to pack and unpack all my dry bags every day, (a major part of efficiency on this trip) and was generally pleased with what an easy time I had doing so.

World Kayak Regions 2013-11-16 16:43:18

The article below was posted on March 21st by Kevin Colburn on the American Whitewater website. Sullivan Creek has been a favorite of Spokane Kayakers for many years. It’s great to see the collaborative effort to improve fish habitat and the bonus of revealing new rapids. Hopefully most were able to get up north for a run down Sullivan this fall.

“Yesterday, Federal approval was granted for the removal of Millpond Dam on Northeast Washington’s Sullivan Creek. Millpond Dam is a 134-foot-long, 55-foot-high concrete dam with an 850-foot-long, 10-foot-high earthen dike that currently creates a 63-acre reservoir. Millpond Dam has blocked Sullivan Creek since 1909, and removal should be completed within the next 5 years.
Dam removal settlement talks began in 2008 when American Whitewater, the US Forest Service, and the State of Washington successfully challenged a federal decision to give up jurisdiction over the dam, which had not generated power since 1956. As the settlement parties struggled with how to protect local ratepayers of the small Public Utility District that owns the dam from bearing the costs of removal, a compelling idea surfaced. Sullivan Creek flows into a reservoir on the Pend d’oreille River that is formed by Seattle City and Light’s (SCL) enormous Boundary Dam, which happened to be undergoing relicensing. Settlement talks expanded to include SCL, who ultimately agreed to fund the removal of Millpond Dam as mitigation for their project’s ongoing operation. Settlement was reached in March of 2010.
The removal of Millpond Dam is expected to benefit native redband and cutthroat trout, as well as mountain whitefish, by improving stream temperatures, restoring sediment to the areas downstream of the dam, and likely restoring fish passage. In addition, the dam removal will expose whitewater rapids not seen for over a century. American Whitewater produced images predicting what the restored area might look like as a means of stimulating conversation among local stakeholders.
In addition to the removal of Millpond Dam, the Settlement Agreement and new federal order require the construction of a cold-water release pipe and a new release schedule for Sullivan Dam, which will remain in place at the outlet of Sullivan Lake. These measures will improve downstream fish habitat, and will provide significant paddling opportunities in September and October in the Class IV/V canyon section of Sullivan Creek. Details can be found on the gage description secion of the AW Sullivan Creek webpage. Lastly, significant wood and rock habitat structures will be added to sections of Sullivan Creek up and downstream of the canyon, and the design of these structures will consider AW’s recreational considerations.
This project is one of the most exciting and creative projects we have had the privilege of working on. The people involved – utility representatives, state and federal agency personnel, NGO staffers, and members of the public – each brought ideas and energy to the process and considered proposals with open minds. The result is good for the river, local citizens, paddlers, and the dam owners.
Now the fun part starts! American Whitewater will continue our active role in implementing the removal of Millpond Dam and the other elements of the Settlement Agreement.”
posted March 21, 2013
by Kevin Colburn

http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Article/view/articleid/31650/display/full/

World Kayak Regions 2013-11-16 16:43:18

The article below was posted on March 21st by Kevin Colburn on the American Whitewater website. Sullivan Creek has been a favorite of Spokane Kayakers for many years. It’s great to see the collaborative effort to improve fish habitat and the bonus of revealing new rapids. Hopefully most were able to get up north for a run down Sullivan this fall.

“Yesterday, Federal approval was granted for the removal of Millpond Dam on Northeast Washington’s Sullivan Creek. Millpond Dam is a 134-foot-long, 55-foot-high concrete dam with an 850-foot-long, 10-foot-high earthen dike that currently creates a 63-acre reservoir. Millpond Dam has blocked Sullivan Creek since 1909, and removal should be completed within the next 5 years.
Dam removal settlement talks began in 2008 when American Whitewater, the US Forest Service, and the State of Washington successfully challenged a federal decision to give up jurisdiction over the dam, which had not generated power since 1956. As the settlement parties struggled with how to protect local ratepayers of the small Public Utility District that owns the dam from bearing the costs of removal, a compelling idea surfaced. Sullivan Creek flows into a reservoir on the Pend d’oreille River that is formed by Seattle City and Light’s (SCL) enormous Boundary Dam, which happened to be undergoing relicensing. Settlement talks expanded to include SCL, who ultimately agreed to fund the removal of Millpond Dam as mitigation for their project’s ongoing operation. Settlement was reached in March of 2010.
The removal of Millpond Dam is expected to benefit native redband and cutthroat trout, as well as mountain whitefish, by improving stream temperatures, restoring sediment to the areas downstream of the dam, and likely restoring fish passage. In addition, the dam removal will expose whitewater rapids not seen for over a century. American Whitewater produced images predicting what the restored area might look like as a means of stimulating conversation among local stakeholders.
In addition to the removal of Millpond Dam, the Settlement Agreement and new federal order require the construction of a cold-water release pipe and a new release schedule for Sullivan Dam, which will remain in place at the outlet of Sullivan Lake. These measures will improve downstream fish habitat, and will provide significant paddling opportunities in September and October in the Class IV/V canyon section of Sullivan Creek. Details can be found on the gage description secion of the AW Sullivan Creek webpage. Lastly, significant wood and rock habitat structures will be added to sections of Sullivan Creek up and downstream of the canyon, and the design of these structures will consider AW’s recreational considerations.
This project is one of the most exciting and creative projects we have had the privilege of working on. The people involved – utility representatives, state and federal agency personnel, NGO staffers, and members of the public – each brought ideas and energy to the process and considered proposals with open minds. The result is good for the river, local citizens, paddlers, and the dam owners.
Now the fun part starts! American Whitewater will continue our active role in implementing the removal of Millpond Dam and the other elements of the Settlement Agreement.”
posted March 21, 2013
by Kevin Colburn

http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Article/view/articleid/31650/display/full/

World Kayak Regions 2013-11-16 16:43:18

The article below was posted on March 21st by Kevin Colburn on the American Whitewater website. Sullivan Creek has been a favorite of Spokane Kayakers for many years. It’s great to see the collaborative effort to improve fish habitat and the bonus of revealing new rapids. Hopefully most were able to get up north for a run down Sullivan this fall.

“Yesterday, Federal approval was granted for the removal of Millpond Dam on Northeast Washington’s Sullivan Creek. Millpond Dam is a 134-foot-long, 55-foot-high concrete dam with an 850-foot-long, 10-foot-high earthen dike that currently creates a 63-acre reservoir. Millpond Dam has blocked Sullivan Creek since 1909, and removal should be completed within the next 5 years.
Dam removal settlement talks began in 2008 when American Whitewater, the US Forest Service, and the State of Washington successfully challenged a federal decision to give up jurisdiction over the dam, which had not generated power since 1956. As the settlement parties struggled with how to protect local ratepayers of the small Public Utility District that owns the dam from bearing the costs of removal, a compelling idea surfaced. Sullivan Creek flows into a reservoir on the Pend d’oreille River that is formed by Seattle City and Light’s (SCL) enormous Boundary Dam, which happened to be undergoing relicensing. Settlement talks expanded to include SCL, who ultimately agreed to fund the removal of Millpond Dam as mitigation for their project’s ongoing operation. Settlement was reached in March of 2010.
The removal of Millpond Dam is expected to benefit native redband and cutthroat trout, as well as mountain whitefish, by improving stream temperatures, restoring sediment to the areas downstream of the dam, and likely restoring fish passage. In addition, the dam removal will expose whitewater rapids not seen for over a century. American Whitewater produced images predicting what the restored area might look like as a means of stimulating conversation among local stakeholders.
In addition to the removal of Millpond Dam, the Settlement Agreement and new federal order require the construction of a cold-water release pipe and a new release schedule for Sullivan Dam, which will remain in place at the outlet of Sullivan Lake. These measures will improve downstream fish habitat, and will provide significant paddling opportunities in September and October in the Class IV/V canyon section of Sullivan Creek. Details can be found on the gage description secion of the AW Sullivan Creek webpage. Lastly, significant wood and rock habitat structures will be added to sections of Sullivan Creek up and downstream of the canyon, and the design of these structures will consider AW’s recreational considerations.
This project is one of the most exciting and creative projects we have had the privilege of working on. The people involved – utility representatives, state and federal agency personnel, NGO staffers, and members of the public – each brought ideas and energy to the process and considered proposals with open minds. The result is good for the river, local citizens, paddlers, and the dam owners.
Now the fun part starts! American Whitewater will continue our active role in implementing the removal of Millpond Dam and the other elements of the Settlement Agreement.”
posted March 21, 2013
by Kevin Colburn

http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Article/view/articleid/31650/display/full/

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