Sunday, March 31, 2013

Spokane River, Washington and Idaho

Spokane, Stevens, Lincoln, WA. Counties,  and Kootenai County Idaho

The Spokane River flows 111 miles from Lake Coeur d’Alene in Idaho, to the Columbia River/Lake Roosevelt. The entire river basin is about 2,400 square miles in size. The lower 29 mile portion of the Spokane River is known as the "Spokane Arm" of Lake Roosevelt. The Spokane River has three major tributaries. From east to west they are Hangman Creek (also known as Latah Creek in the Spokane area); the Little Spokane River; and Chamokane (the Spokane Tribe call it Tshimikain) which is located in the lower part of the basin. The Spokane River runs through three Washington counties (Spokane, Stevens, and Lincoln) and one Idaho county - Kootenai. The river has 67 areas which are accessible for anything from kayaks to powerboats. On the wild portions of the river there is only one paved boat launch; it is located on the Idaho side of the river at Corbin Park. There are plans to re-open, improve, and create more launches to at least allow drift boats to be launched on the more wild portions of the river. Boats with motors are only allowed on certain sections of the river. See the red-highlighted paragraph below to see where motorized crafts are allowed.

At one time the Spokane River was known as the river where True June Hogs spawned. Chinook salmon weighed as much as 80+ pounds. Due to the Seven Dams built on the river (particularly the 3 lower dams), the river salmon runs were negatively affected; only one was built with a fish ladder and when the Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River was built, the natural salmon and Steelhead runs ended. Salmon and Steelhead never migrated past the Spokane Falls because the fish couldn't get past the large water falls. In 1990-91 a hatchery was built to help restore the loss of salmon and Steelhead, as mitigation to the Spokane Indian Tribes (public tours are available). For the Spokane Indian Tribes the river has been and is part of their history. For everyone that lives in the Spokane Basin today the river supplies electricity and recreational opportunities, and aesthetic beauty. The river flows over the Spokane Falls, around and through the Gorge created by the river, and through the calmer Lake Spokane and Post Falls Reservoir into Lake Coeur d'Alene.

This is the only website that covers the entire length of the Spokane River - from Lake Coeur d'Alene all the way to Lake Roosevelt/Columbia River. A considerable amount of time has been spent compiling info which was either scattered in various locations or no where to be found. Currently there are 67 access sites along the Spokane River.

Some of the river info supplied on this website has never been available to the public before. We hope you will find this website informative, helpful, and fun. Enjoy!

Like all websites supplying useful information to the public there are those that would use this information foolishly without regard to safety. So with this sad fact we supply the following disclaimer (as we have at the beginning of the Lakes & Rivers Guide home page): DISCLAIMER - The boating size scale and all information on this the Boating the Inland Northwest website is to be used at your own risk! All information contained here is a guide with no guarantees on accuracy. ABSOLUTELY NO information and/or pictures are to be copied or used for commercial or private use without express written permission from a Boating the Inland Northwest official representative. Downloadable maps (coming soon) may be used for private use but not for commercial use without express written permission from a Boating the Inland Northwest official representative. All of our down-load-able maps associated with Boating the Inland Northwest and its website are to be used at your own risk! All information contained in these maps are part of a guide which holds no guarantee on accuracy.

Click here for Spokane River information and water levels - http://www.spokaneriver.org/
Click here for Spokane River Map (by Avista) - Lake Coeur d'Alene to Little Spokane R. - http://www.avistautilities.com/environment/ourpart/recreation
Avista Spokane River dam & Avista recreational info - http://www.avistautilities.com/environment/ourpart/recreation

ATTENTION - MOTORIZED CRAFTS ARE ONLY ALLOWED ON THE THE FOLLOWING SECTIONS OF THE SPOKANE RIVER:
1. FROM LAKE COEUR D'ALENE TO IDAHO WASHINGTON STATE LINE (POST FALLS RESERVOIR)
2. BETWEEN PLANTE'S FERRY PARK & PARK ROAD (Park Road is about a mile up river from Upriver Dam and slightly up river from Boulder Beach)
3. FROM PLESE FLATS DAY USE AREA IN RIVERSIDE STATE PARK TO LAKE SPOKANE/LONG LAKE DAM.
4. FROM LITTLE FALLS DAM ALL THE WAY INTO THE COLUMBIA RIVER/LAKE ROOSEVELT.
ATTENTION - Within these motorized areas marine regulatory markers, rules of the river and dam regulations, etc. must be followed at all times.
All Persons regardless of Age SHALL wear a Personal Floatation Device (PFD) while on moving water! Moving water includes: The Little Spokane River, Spokane River from the Washington/Idaho State Line to the Centennial Trail Bridge at Plants Ferry Park, and the City of West Spokane west to the Nine Miles Public Launch. Per Spokane County Ordinance 6.03.020. If you do not know where these sections of the river are (SEE BELOW) then just wear a PFD while on any part of the river, which is a good safe practice regardless. 
  TABLE OF CONTENTS - Spokane River Sections
POST FALLS RESERVOIR...   UPRIVER...   UPPER RIVER...   RIVER GORGE...
 LAKE SPOKANE...   LITTLE FALLS RESERVOIR... 
LOWER SPOKANE RIVER - Lake Roosevelt and Spokane Indian Reservations...

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