Logjam prompts county to close Lewisville Park boat ramp

By Allen Thomas, Columbian outdoors reporter

Published:

 
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Clark County has closed the boat ramp at Lewisville Regional Park as a safety measure due to a logjam downstream on the East Fork of the Lewis River.

The ramp was closed Sunday.

Jeff Mize, a spokesman for the county public works department, said there is a small island just upstream from the Daybreak Bridge where the channel on the north side is completely blocked by a logjam and the channel on the south side is about 95 percent blocked.

On Sunday, a drift boat was pinned against the logs in the south channel and flipped the occupants into the stream, he said. No one was hurt.

"The north channel is going to need heavy equipment to unblock and will be closed for some time,'' Mize said. "We're working with the Department of Fish and Wildlife to see if we can open the south channel.''

Mize said the county will get the south channel opened as soon as it can.

"This is a matter of public safety,'' said Bill Bjerke, parks maintenance supervisor. "We understand a lot of boaters use the Lewisville launch, but we will always err on the side of caution.''

The ramp at Daybreak Regional Park remains open.

The float from Lewisville Park to Daybreak Park is a favorite of winter steelhead anglers in Southwest Washington. Streamflow on Monday was 1,520 cubic feet per second and dropping.

The ideal flow for drifting Lewisville to Daybreak is between 1,100 and 1,400 cubic feet per second.

This is a popular time to float the East Fork of the Lewis River as the peak of the hatchery winter steelhead run often is between Christmas and New Year's.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife released 58,000 winter steelhead smolts in the spring of 2011 in the East Fork of the Lewis. The survivors of that release will return from the ocean as adults this winter.