Final Updates: 2012 RiverFest and Symposium

A few final announcements before the big festival day tomorrow:

1.  Reserve or Regret.

Reserve your spot for the Community Float and Dam Tour now.  With only a few spots left will you be the one standing by without a seat, or riding along for the fun? 

2.  Warm-Up to Race.

The Middle White Salmon kayak and raft races are going to be FAST and FUN.  Register at the BZ Launch Site between 11am-12pm.  Stick around for awards, symposium, BBQ and music (included in registration fee).

3.  Get Dirty with Restoration 

Join Underwood Conservation District on Sunday morning at 10 am for some restoration action.  Help lend a hand to begin planting for a healthier White Salmon River habitat.

Again, a big thanks to all our sponsors for making the event possible!  The raffle prizes are INCREDIBLE.

Wine and dine or paddle your heart out, all for American Whitewater and Friends of the White Salmon River.

Finally, put your dancin' shoes on for the Shed Shakers concert to wrap up the evening!

See you tomorrow!

2012 White Salmon Riverfest and Symposium: Big #7

The year to celebrate the White Salmon River is 2012.  

This year's River Fest and Symposium - Saturday, June 9th - is going to start off the summer with a full day of activities for community members, local paddlers and guides all to honor our beloved backyard river. 

This year, we are stepping up the festivities a couple of notches.  With the White Salmon experiencing so much change around the removal Condit Dam, we want to provide an opportunity for locals to connect to the transforming river.

We are excited to add:

  • A trip to the Condit Dam site and Northwestern Lake Take-out with PacifiCorp's Project Manager, Russ Howison
  • A new kayak and raft race down the Middle White Salmon with a funky twist
  • A tasty backyard BBQ Dinner 
  • Live music from the Shed Shakers


Of course, the River Fest will have all the classic activities that make this event such a success.

Get Out on the Water 

Through the popular Community Raft Float, locals can experience the rush of the river's whitewater at a significantly reduced rate.  Kayakers and rafters will have the opportunity to race down the Middle White Salmon.  However, winners will not solely be decided on fastest time! 




Learn about Restoration Efforts

Symposium speakers will enlighten us on the White Salmon's new stretch of river and the changes associated with the return of migrating salmon and the Native American tribes who have fished the river for generations.
PacifiCorp will also provide an updated schedule and review of restoration efforts occurring in the river canyon.  Finally, learn what local organizations are doing to help protect and conserve the Wild and Scenic qualities of the White Salmon River.

 Take home Awesome Prizes

With so many raffle items donated each year from your favorite local restaurants, shops, gear stores, outfitters, wineries, breweries and more, chances are high that you'll go home with something.  Our donations come from local Columbia River Gorge businesses and river equipment manufacturers, helping to support our local economy and foster a stronger river recreation community on the White Salmon River.


Support a Restored River

This year's event will be donating all proceeds to American Whitewater and Friends of the White Salmon River.  These two non-profit organizations have helped secure and maintain access for recreation, worked to get Wild and Scenic designation and put in countless hours for the good of the river.  
Come show your support for the river you love. 

Mark your calenders for this year's event!

Interested in Volunteering?  
Contact to find out how you can help!

A Great Success: 2011 River Fest Wrap-Up

The 2011 White Salmon River Fest and Symposium was a HUGE success.  In the 6th year for the event, more local community members came by for the festivities (including nearly 80 locals on the Community Raft Float!).  

We enjoyed the beautiful day watching crazy kayakers huck themselves into chaos, savor a delicious BBQ, learn about Condit Dam and our own White Salmon River, listen to rockin' music into the night, and even watch Sheer Madness Production's event coverage.  

Thanks again to all of our awesome sponsors who make this event possible, mostly Wet Planet Whitewater for their continued investment in the White Salmon River community.  Additionally, local businesses donated a TON of great gear and schwag for our famous raffle, bringing in even more people to the event.  Your continued support make this happen every year!

BZ Falls: Huck Your Meat Competition

Judges prepare for Brendan's entry into BZ Falls.

Our volunteers were great at scoring the event, providing safety, and just hanging out for the fun!

Pre-event talk from organizer Heather Herbeck.

Orion scored big for style, tossing paddle and booking with arms in the air.  

Brendan showed some serious potential with his back loop exit attempt.

Mike just went for the plug, and fought well.

Preston was the only competitor to make it out of BZ Falls in his kayak!

The Winner:  Trevor impressed the judges with his 60 + second beat-down.

Raffle and BBQ

Big Winner at the Raffle!  He got to take home a brand new Jackson Star Playboat!

A big, delicious BBQ meal thanks to Wet Planet volunteers Alexa and Turner!


Megan Hooker, with American Whitewater, provided context for the removal of Condit Dam with an overview of hydropower removal projects throughout the country.  

Pat Arnold, with Friends of the White Salmon, and Dana Sheffler, with Mt Adams Parks and Recreation District brought together the crowd by inspiring us to build a stronger community and create a home right here on the White Salmon River.

Jeanette Burkhardt, with Yakima Nations Fisheries, provided the crowd with a cultural and historical perspective for hydropower, explaining the history of Native American fisheries on the White Salmon River and throughout the Columbia River Gorge.

Live Music by Richard Tillinghast and Band

After the presentations finished and the final raffle was drawn, the band took the stage to take the festivities into the evening.  Who knew that the back porch of Wet Planet could be the perfect venue for music!

Details for 2011 Event

Learn more about the even't details by following the This Year's Blog link on the menu bar.

You'll find descriptions of this year's kayaking events, as well as directions for signing up for the Community Raft Float, BBQ, and more.

Symposium Presenters Finalized: White Salmon River Fest 2011

With the removal of Condit Dam less than 4 months away, the White Salmon community has been buzzing with questions.

What will the river beneath Northwestern Lake look like?
How far will the salmon make it up the river?
What access point changes are taking place for kayakers, rafters, and fisherman?

This year's White Salmon River Fest and Symposium will help to clarify many of these burning questions.

While planning the festivities, we decided that symposium presentations should encompass as many different aspects of the landmark removal of Condit Dam as possible.  Just take a look at PacifiCorp's management plans and you'll understand how complicated this event really is.  With only 2 hours to convey all this juicy information we have narrowed it down to three speakers:

Amy Kobers from American Rivers will help us to understand hydropower removal on a broader scale.  While dams are beginning to come out of rivers all over the country, the Pacific Northwest is currently the hotbed for river restoration.  Learn why power companies are choosing to decomission hydropower projects and what this means for rivers throughout our nation.  

Learn more about Amy's work at American Rivers.  

Jeanette Burkhardt from Yakima Nations Fisheries will speak about past and present cultural significance of salmon on the White Salmon River.  One of the primary reasons for dam removal, fish passage up the river will not only change the biological characteristics of the river, but also social.  Once a popular fishing location for the Yakima Nations, the river has not seen naturally migrating fish since 1913.  Learn what this means for the current river enthusiasts and community members alike.

The final presenter will be announced in a few days once we have worked out the details.

We look forward to seeing all the community members come together for this exciting event!

6th Annual Riverfest is Underway!

For all you White Salmon enthusiasts, get ready for another great River Fest and Symposium. This year's event will be held July 10th, with events based out of Wet Planet Whitewater in Husum, WA.

2011 will be a year to remember in the history of the White Salmon River.

Over the years, this event has grown to represent this spectacular river and its thriving community members who call the White Salmon watershed their home. Once again, we invite the entire community--from neighborhood residents to river professionals to local businesses--to come together for a day of river recreation, education, and celebration.

Experience the river’s recreation potential on a Community Raft Float or Kayak Event.

Learn about the river’s free-flowing future and post-dam restoration efforts.
Enjoy music, BBQ, a raffle, and river movies with fellow river enthusiasts.

A particularly historic year for the White Salmon River, 2011 will see a major transition as PacifiCorp has slated October for the removal of Condit Dam. This year’s River Fest will be an opportunity for the community to come together to learn about this monumental river restoration event. Symposium topics will focus heavily on the dam’s deconstruction, helping everyone to better understand their favorite river during this transitional period.

Schedule of Events:

2:30pm -  Community Raft Float
2:30pm -  Kayak Competitions
5:00-6:00pm -  BBQ and Raffle
6:00 - 8:00pm -  Symposium
8:00 - 10:00pm (or later) -  Music from Richard and Tova, More food, and River Movies on the Big Screen

5th Annual White Salmon River Fest & Symposium


ATTENTION! LOCATION HAS BEEN CHANGED! Symposium is now taking place at:


(15 Guler Rd, Trout Lake WA)

Friday JUNE 4th
  • Educational Symposium and Interpretive Skill Training

Saturday JUNE 5th
  • Kayak Races and River Events  (daytime)



Click here for complete event schedule