Nisqually eats another boat

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Jon Borcherding, Jul 10, 2007.

  1. Keep in mind that this is the same river that kids float down on walmart air mattresses!
    The guy that flipped this boat has been floating the river for many years. He had been down this channel just a couple days prior to this mishap. His fiance' was with him when they flipped the boat and they both managed to get ashore but they lost a small dog that was swept downstream under a log jam. The dog is gone and they lost most of their fishing gear.

    There MANY logs, sweepers, strainers, etc on the Nisqually this year. It's real important to pay attention. The attached pic shows the boat upsidedown and dug into the gravel about 75 yds downstream from the log that flipped it. I spent 2 hrs helping this guy get his boat floated again.
    I didn't even laugh once. It's a long fall off a high horse.

  2. Wow. Hope they find the dog.
    Hey, I've lived and floated in lots of states (and Canada) that don't allow (technically. . .) any sort of man-altering-the-stream efforts, (i.e., taking a chainsaw to a sweeper). I kinda agree bc I can see how this would cause interpretation (of the law) problems. But. . . it just seems like if there's anything we can do to avoid kids from drowning, we should do it.
    Does Washington have such a law?
    Personally, I think I'm good to go on a river and feel that most boaters are safe as well. And, if I ever do get myself into trouble, I knew what I was doing was dangerous and I'll take responsibility. But it's too often I see tubers, cheap Sevylor rafts, air mattresses filled with kids and or/beers on the rivers. These people aren't aware of the dangers and don't have the capabilities to navigate around danger. For their own good (at least until they aren't allowed on such water), I'd like to see some of the known dangers removed.
    Also, there are so many stretches of river that are perfectly safe and not where the fishermen are; I just wish the tubers were confined to these waters.
    What are people's thoughts on this?
    Keep in mind that the guy that flipped this boat knows the river better than I do. He's been floating it since he was a kid. Anyone can make a mistake.
    I agree that it's stupid to float this river in a tube and it's stupid to float it without a PFD but, I don't want to see more laws, more bureaucracy, more govt. oversight, more nanny state BS.
    If we create laws to regulate every behavior that might be dangerous and we hire enough cops to enforce all those laws we will then have created a "perfect" police state. Even then there will still be those who manage to flip their boats.
    Ya pays yer money and ya takes yer chances!

  4. No, I agree. Regarding laws preventing taking a saw to a sweeper, I was just wondering if there already are such laws.
  5. Yeah, I'm curious about that too...... I'm almost afraid to ask. You know that old saw (no pun intended)...."better to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission".:confused:

  6. Interesting thoughts, and most applicable to the upper Rogue River. Many shops, gas stations, etc., and etc., rent all 'kinds' of floating 'craft' to run the upper river. And just because the insist on giving you a PDF doesn't mean the idiot will actually ware same. You could buy a 'river map' for around a dollar or two that showed the main 'fast water' and recommendations on how to approach/run same.
    All with spoken (written too?) proviso that rivers change, trees fall, and water conditions vary, so PAY ATTENTION!:eek:

    Few years back a fellow drowned and the estate sued the rafting company for negligence as the mad did not include a tree that had fallen into the river the past winter. Clown went right into it and drowned. Rafting company paid ........ I guess there are financial rewards for even the most stupid of people.:mad:

    Maps now? Not a chance!!! You're on your own down 7'ish miles of river.

    ps: given the picture that must have been a bugger to get that boat right side up!:rofl:
  7. there are definately laws against cutting out timber....removing wood from streams around here is arguably one of the most detrimental things we have done to salmon. I feel bad for the people this kind of thing happens to, but with proper precautions, these accidents can be prevented....without harming fish.
  8. Tom, we're talking about one log that crosses the entire river. It is one of about a thousand trees that went into the river durring or shortly after our wind storm last winter.
    Rotting woody debris is important to the eco system on many levels but, we don't leave logs across roads, we don't leave logs laying on powerlines and, like it or not, I can virtually garranty you that the tribal gillnetters won't be leaving this one in the river so it doesn't really matter how we feel about it. When the gillnet season gets into full swing this log will disappear. Oh, and speaking of the "most detrimental things we have done to salmon", doesn't gillnetting figure in there somewhere?
    Take a trip down the Nisqually, Tom. I think that log is the last thing the salmon are worried about.
    Believe it or not, there are a couple of wild steelhead left in this river. If they had the ability to worry I think they would be worried about getting past the gillnets strung across the river and across every tributary below Yelm.

  9. I say leave logs nature put them there and nature will take them out. inthe meantime those anglers can wade like the rest of us land lubbers.

    The gill net argument is a red herring and has nothing to do with cutting logs in a river. The Boldt decision is not going away any time soon and until the the tribes learn the error of some of their harvesting practices (like the way a gill net strung across a river indiscriminately targets all species) it will continue.
  10. The gillnet argument is a red herring and it has EVERYTHING to do with the log in question. Nature put it there and nature will take it out. The "natural americans" will have that puppy chainsawed before you can say "hydrology violation". Nature will take it's course and the salmon and steelhead will leap happily into the nets and we'll all have a little "yil me hu" down by the river.
    Seriously folks, have you ever been down this river or does your vast knowledge allow you to simply make blanket judgements for every body of water on the planet?
    And is this thread about a log? Or a chainsaw?
    NO. This thread started to let people know that there is a hazard on the river so that they can take proper precautions.
    I would be happy to debate you on other topics but perhaps it's best if we do that elsewhere.

  11. Jon

    You'll get no argument from me on the tribes and their activities. Personally, I wish the tribes were held to the same environmental laws we are all held to. They should not be able to cut logs like the rest of us.

    No I don't know that river, never fished it, and I am not trying to pretend I do know it.

    I am also not trying to sound like a jerk. I am just coming from the belief that humans have messed up the rivers in this state enough already and if nature decided to put 2 or 2,000 trees in the river then they'll work their way through the system eventually and in the long run the river (and the fish) will be better off.

    If there is a public safety issue then maybe they should close the section of river in question to all floating craft (or post notice of the hazards at the access points and let god sort out the numb nuts that don't read).

    BTW you did a very good thing by helping that couple. And even though I don't fish that river thanks for taking the time to post the notice of the hazard. I hope people will do the same on the other rivers that have these types of hazards.
  12. Jon,

    Thanks for the post and alerting folks to the hazards.

    Regarding Wooleybugger74's question, yes, there is a law. It's the Washington Hydraulic Code. However, it's commonly ignored by people, and navigation hazards that involve logs are routinely subjected to a chainsaw. There is a large log jam obstructing drift boat navigation on the Green River, and many upset anglers have suggested chainsaw therapy there too, but I guess the logs are too numerous, and it's in a well known location, and so far no one seems to want to risk getting caught.

    I think the take home message is that logs, log jams, and other obstacles to safe or convenient navigation are natural and common attributes to PNW rivers. These hazards obstruct navigation, or make navigation risky and difficult. Some appreciate these rivers for the additional challenge they represent.

    Could we do something about it and make rivers safer and more convenient for navigation? In many cases the answer is yes. However, society has to decide whether it is more important to leave rivers in a more natural condition, and thereby more environmentally productive, or modify them so that uninformed and ill-informed rookies can more safely navigate them. For the time being, WA has decided generally to leave logs and log jams in place. Exceptions are sometimes made when jams pose a significant threat to property. Those exceptions would likely be made if the jams posed a threat to life as well, providing the use for navigation was essential - like navigation channel dredging for commerce that delivers significant goods and services to society.

    Navigation on the Nisqually and similar rivers is for recreation, and the commerce tends to be limited to guided rafting and boat trips for floating and fishing, which are also recreational. Commercial fishing has enough clout to often gain exception, and navigation obstacles are usually allowed to be removed. Generally, a tree in a river hasn't gained the same status as a tree down on a road. Most roads are deemed inherently essential for commerce, even if it's so a couple folks can drive their cars to their jobs.

    So, we could do something about it. And sometimes we do. The more interesting question to me is, should we? We could reduce the habitat value in a river and make it more navigable and safe, possible safe even for people who, by their ignorance, ought not be on rivers. I think public education is more important. People ought to generally learn that the world around them isn't universally safe for whatever they might try. Rivers are one of those things. I would no more make rivers universally safe to navigate for rookies than I would suggest we ought to flatten steep and tall mountains so that anyone, with no skills whatever, might ably and safely scale them. Some things in life and in the world ought to be challenging, difficult, and dangerous. Otherwise, why would anyone have reason to respect the world around them? And exposure to challenge, difficulty, and danger makes us better human beings for having faced it and learned to deal with it.


    Salmo g.
  13. Thanks for the info and your thoughts Salmo G, always perfectly informative and insightful.

    I wonder why I cared so much in the first place? I have a Watermaster, it weighs 30 pounds and depending how much beer is in the cooler, portages are a breeze.

    Actually, I really do care. I wish we could do more to educate the public as to the hazard of rivers. Climbing a mountain, like in your example, well, that's common sense, of course it's dangerous. But the twelve year olds who have grabbed the inner tubes from the garage. . .
    People can just be stupid when it comes to water.
  14. That is the kind of attitude that got us where we are today. A jam has to start somewhere, and a big full spanner is one of the best ways...look at the EDT analyses...large wood is frequently ID'd as the most important factor limiting chinook productivity in many of our watersheds.

    Whether or not the log should be removed has nothing to do with netting...if you think netting is a problem, get active on that front rather than suggesting habitat doesn't matter...two wrongs don't make a right.
  15. Hey guys, I want you to look back over my previous posts and you'll find that I haven't advocated cutting out the log. I simply wanted to point out how ridiculously incongruent this concern over one log seems, compared with the reality that this river is being destroyed by gillnets. You don't have to be a scientist to see it if you actually float down it a few times. Even compared with other readily apparent hydrology violations, this log is a funny place to focus your concern.

    Can I remind you one more time that I never advocated cutting the log?? I would just as soon see it stay. Keeps most of the driftboats out of the river. You're right, Tom, there's a heck of a jam starting up against these logs. Suits me just fine. Until someone cuts a hole, I'll have more river and less people. But when the hole gets cut, and it will, I won't get too worried about it because there's not much I can do to stop it. If I could wave a magic wand over just one thing on the mighty Nisqaully it would make the nets go away.

    I guess at the end of the day it all comes down to your principles. If any of you guys wanna float down there and chain yourself to the log, I'll be happy to show you where it's located and I can even call the eyewitness news crew.:clown:

  16. Jon,

    Maybe we can get some hollywood super-star (Tomcat, Bono, Leo DiCaprio, Tim and Sandra) down there to stage a protest.Once the word is out college kids will show up and actually chain themselves to the log (isn't Evergreen State College pretty close?). We'll call the TV crews, stage a fund raiser and have a concert to raise awareness. We can get a who branding initaive going brining in huge Corporate partners. Soon soccer moms across America will be buying faux wood I-phones and puting wood colored ribbon stickers on their Escalades.

    All in the effort to save the log.

    I smell a nobel prize.

    thanks for reminding me we are all on the same side and making me laugh.:p
  17. It's always scary to see people sink a boat. Society is always making decisions to protect something. IMHO the safety of human lives is close to the top of the priority list.

    Nets or no nets (an over simplified excuse for a declining fishery) not having a dam on a river has a tendency to let mother nature to flush it self of silt and woody debris with some regularity.

    The present river condition is not natural now, so my vote is for public safety.

    If someone were to trim the navagation hazard, it falls in the water and will find a new home further down stream. It doesn't evaporate.
  19. I'd like to address a couple of points here. The habitat on the N. is shockingly pristine. Yes, there are dams but, otherwise you might be surprised to see how well this river is doing. The portion of this river below Yelm is stunningly beautiful and unmolested due to the fact that virtually all of the land is owned either by the military on the N. side or the Nisqually tribe on the S. side. From Yelm, downstream to Riverbend, you will not see one house, not one road, not a single clearcut or logging operation. There is a hatchery. It is run by the tribe and produces fish for their terminal gillnet fishery. The net fishery is absolutely disgusting. It is an indiscriminate form of harvest that is destroying the river. Nets are left in the river after they are supposed to be removed. Nets are lost and wash out into the south sound. Nets are abandoned and remain in the river. I floated the river late last fall and counted 37 abandoned nets or remnants of nets. Often, durring the summer, nets are strung across the entire river. Nets are strung in front of every tributary.
    Another net season is beginning. Most of the tributaries already have nets in front of them. The best netting holes have been staked out already. Soon the net camps will appear with the accompanying piles of garbage, discarded clothing and beer cans. Maybe this is the year that the netters finally kill the last remaining wild fish in the river? When the last wild fish is netted out of this river, it's passing will go unnoticed. The log might still be there (I doubt it). The river will look the same. You can buy your salmon cheap from the roadside stands near the casino. The tribes and the WDFW and the Salmon Enhancement Groups and Billy Frank can all pat themselves on the back and talk about what a great job they're doing on the habitat. They can have more symposiums on the interconnectedness of all things and the groovy holistic nature of the ecosystem. We can exchange banter and engage in witty debate about the latest studies, statistics, and data. One poster will claim that I don't care about habitat, another will say that it's not wise to clear the river for the lowest common denominator of fool, yet another will suggest that I am a racist and I'm attacking the rights of the tribes. But none of it matters because the last wild fish will be dead.
    It's kind of difficult to get involved in organized habitat enhancement efforts because all the involved groups seem to be ignoring the obvious. The netting has to stop or the wild fish will all die.

  20. hey jonb, to point out the simple fact that the native americans are destroying our anadramous fish runs is not racist, only a point of fact. and guess what? when they have finished with the fishes, they have now shifted their attention to crab right here in sequim bay. drive on out and take a look at the refer trucks parked in the launch area at john wayne marina. then take a look at the people hauling thousands of pounds of crab in each and every day, 7 days a week. if these guys are native american, i am the easter bunny. this is criminal, in my estimation, and as usual, no one is paying any attention or doing a damn thing to enforce the boldt 50%, nothing, nada!!!!! i don't see WDFW or any sort of indian enforcement anywhere in sight. and believe you me, these are thousands of pounds going out of here daily.

    these guys have now become this centuries buffalo hunters, kill everything that moves, thats the moto. so don't get distracted by their claims of stewardship of resources. the only thing that matters is using boldt to make fast money, first anadramous fishes and now crab.

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