Saturday, March 24, 2012

Pend Oreille River, Bonner County, Idaho

The Pend Oreille River extends from the Lake Pend Oreille all the way to the Columbia River in Canada. The information here covers the river from Lake Pend Oreille to the Idaho, Washington Boarder not far past the Albeni Falls Dam. From Albeni Falls Dam to Lake Pend Oreille it's more of a reservoir in the summer and turns to a river during fall, winter, and spring when the dam is opened up. During the summer the flow on this river is very slow or non existent. But in late September they start to draw Lake Pend Oreille down so the flow on the river increases significantly. During the summer, primary activities include water skiing and sailing. Other times of the year the primary activity is fishing. There are 10 boat launches on the river/reservoir; nine are county owned and 1 is owned by a resort (see details below). I have included Cocolalla Creek sportsman access site even though technically it's not on the river but does give one access to the river and Cocolalla Creek marsh area, which is a beautiful area to kayak and fish from. There is no boat launch at the Cocolalla site; one must launch from the bank (see details below). Fishing: Large and Small Mouth Bass, limit of 6; two may be Large Mount Bass. No Large Mouth Bass under 16 inches. No size limit on Small Mouth Bass. Trout: Rainbow, Brown, Cutthroat, Lake, & Kokanee. Aggregate limit - 6, with no size limit. Bull Trout closed to harvest. Call the Idaho Fish & Game for changes in these rules, etc. at 208-769-1414. Directions: To access the river/reservoir from the north side of the river use HWY 2. On the south side of the river see a map as there are several roads to access the river/reservoir with. Maps: View Google Map below...

Pictures and info about boat launches, access points, etc. below map!

Pend Oreille River in Idaho Boat Launches & Camping

1. Dover Launch, Marina, & Park - Paved fee launch, docks, marina, sandy beach with swim platform/dock, park, dog park, walking trails, beautiful marsh, restrooms, running water, store. This access/launch is placed in the Lake Pend Oreille section because some consider this is the furthest west point to access Lake Pend Oreille even though its official on the Pend Oreille River. Dover City and Dover Resort are a collaborative group that has developed a stunning park with beautiful wood bridges over the marsh channels, beautiful park that is open to people as well as dogs. The resort maintains the launch and marina. The fee to launch is $19 a bit high when you can launch just down stream on the Pend Oreille River for free or in Sandpoint Idaho for a small fee. Sailors beware there are some power lines that cross the river near the launch and marina. The city maintains the beach and dock, Directions: On Highway 2. in Dover turn south at the Dover Bay turnoff, go west past the Discovery Center on Railroad Avenue to Dover Bay Way and turn left. Follow to Lakeshore Drive and turn right. Dover City Beach and Park is at end of this road next to City Hall. On your way to the launch/park you will pass through an upscale housing development.

2. Laclede Ferry Boat Launch - 2 Docks, 2 Paved Launches, and gravel launches. No restroom or running water. Directions: From HWY 2 at Laclede Idaho, turn south onto Riley Creek Rd. Where the road takes a sharp turn right (west), go straight onto Laclede Ferry Rd. Go straight to boat launch.

3. Riley Creek State Park Landing - Docks, paved launch, beaches, restrooms, swim area, playground, RV and tent campsites, large parking lot, open play fields, running water, benches and picnic area. Directions: From HWY 2 at Laclede Idaho turn south onto Riley Creek Rd. Follow sign to Riley Creek State Park.

4. Priest River/Mud Hole Boat Launch and Park (State Park) - Paved launch, docks (not pictured... may or may not have dock at the launch depending on time of year, etc.) , beach, swim area, restroom, parking lot, playground, benches and picnic tables. Directions: In Priest River Idaho turn South onto Wisconsin Street. Before crossing the bridge watch for a brown sign with the symbols of a boat launch, swimming, teeter-totter, and picnic. Turn east on Railroad Avenue and follow this gravel road to the launch site.

5. City Boat Launch and Park - City of Priest River paved launch, docks/fishing dock, beach, swim area, restroom, parking lot, playground, benches and picnic tables. Once in city limits turn south onto Wisconsin street and then turn left/east on Railroad Ave. to launch/park. Its on the east side of the river bridge.

6. Albeni Dam Landing - Kayak only launch, restrooms, running water, benches and picnic tables, grass field, Dam info center. Directions: Watch for the signs directing to the Dam from HWY 2 just a few miles west of Priest River Idaho or Old Town Idaho. There is a large parking lot at the visitor center. On the east of this parking lot is a road that travels down the hill (or to the HWY) that will take you to the dam launch. At times, this launch has a pole in the center of it to prevent launching. Call the Dam for times the launch is open. Across from this launch is Albeni Cover State Park, which has a launch open from May - Oct (variable depending on river draw down).

7. Old Town / Rotary Club Boat Launch - Paved launch, dock, restrooms, running water, covered pavilion, paved bike trail, large parking lot. Directions: On the east side of the river next to the bridge between Old Town Idaho and Newport WA. This launch has a restroom and fishing dock.

8. Albeni Cove State Park and Boat Launch - Paved launch, docks, sandy beaches, swim area, restrooms, running water, RV and tent campsites, benches and picnic tables, hiking trailers. Directions: Albeni Cove State Park is right across the river from Albeni Falls Dam. This popular park has tent and RV camp sites, swim area and beaches, and a boat launch. From HWY 2 at the Idaho/Washington boarder, turn onto HWY 41. On HWY 41 follow the sign to Albeni Cover.

9. Willow Bay Resort Landing - Paved launch, dock, marina with seasonal moorage available, beach, restrooms, restaurant, store, boat fuel. Directions: From either Sandpoint ID. or Coeur d'Alene ID on HWY 95... Take Dufort Road heading west; watch for the sign.

10. Pend Oreille River Gravel Landing - Primitive gravel launch, steep banks, limited parking. Directions: From either Sandpoint ID. or Coeur d'Alene ID on HWY 95... Take Dufort Road to this launch; watch for sportsman access sign.

Just up the road from this launch on Lake
Shore Drive is a muddy launch into
Morton Slough/Marsh for non motorized
craft about a 100 feet before crossing
 the rail-road tracks
11. Morton Slough Access Landing - Paved launch, dock, restroom, large parking lot. Directions: From either Sandpoint ID. or Coeur d'Alene ID on HWY 95: Take Dufort Rd. to this launch; watch for the Morton Slough Access Area sign.

12. Cocolalla Creek Access Area - launch from river bank, no services. Directions: From either Sandpoint ID. or Coeur d'Alene ID on HWY 95: Take Dufort Rd. to this site. This site is just before Morton Slough Access Area sign, before crossing the bridge.

13. Springy Point Landing - launch, dock, beach, restrooms, camping, running water. Directions: Just before crossing the bridge to Sandpoint or just after crossing the bridge from Sandpoint turn west onto Riverview Rd. About 3 miles down the road watch for the Springy Point Recreational Area sign.

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