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norseman

Selkirk Expedition

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norseman

This spring as the snow allows it I'll be heading off to the Selkirk's to take a look around at some of the more remote river and creek basins in that area. It's about an hour drive from my house, and I'll be taking saddle stock over to access this country. I have hunted in this country before for deer and elk, and it is a very very wet climate for being so far inland. In fact farther south, the largest inland tree in the US:

http://tree-species.blogspot.com/2009/08/giant-cedar-near-elk-river-idaho.html

Base+of+Giant+Cedar.JPG

Large Cedar are found in the valley bottoms of Pend Oreille and Boundary counties.

The area I'm concentrating on is around the Salmo Priest Wilderness.

http://www.mapquest.com/#f7709db94c7584f6140771e0

The trail system drops all the way over into north Idaho and the Priest river drainage. This country is very remote, and doesn't get nearly as much traffic as places farther east like Glacier NP.

If any Sasquatch inhabit this area of Washington (yes there are some reports) this is a very good place to look I think. There is plenty of elbow room, plenty of ungulates running around including white tail deer, mule deer, elk, moose, bighorn sheep, mountain goat and a few woodland caribou. Plenty of plants, both aquatic and non, including huckleberries. And plenty of lakes, rivers and creeks.

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Cervelo

Wow looks like an awesome trip! Biggie or not sounds like a great adventure. Please consider posting your trip with plenty of pictures!

Good Luck

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bipedalist

Some of the Idaho reports are fascinating accounts of BF, the country looks very good for some remote opportunities for a visual.

Hope the snow melt lets you get in sooner than later, have fun.

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norseman

Thanks everyone!

I'm hoping to get in there by late May-early June.

(fingers crossed)

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norseman

I'll take pics for you guys.

This country looks almost like the Cascade mountains, as it is the western front of the Rockies and is much wetter than the rain shadow lands between the two ranges. I think it might be good habitat for them. And unlike the Gifford Pinchot NF that has paved roads everywhere, this country is much more remote and sees much less traffic.

The down side is that there are no Pacific salmon runs up here, Grand Coulee killed them. Although we have some Kokanee salmon runs which are land locked sockeye that use the giant inland lakes as a surrogate for the ocean.

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Guest vilnoori

Why doesn't your gov't set up some fish ladders or side tributaries around your dam, get a few hatcheries going above it, and get on with it? Not really that hard to do to fix the problem if you guys get agitating. This year we had a record run of salmon on the Fraser. It was something amazing.

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norseman

Why doesn't your gov't set up some fish ladders or side tributaries around your dam, get a few hatcheries going above it, and get on with it? Not really that hard to do to fix the problem if you guys get agitating. This year we had a record run of salmon on the Fraser. It was something amazing.

Grand Coulee dam is the mother of all dams.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Coulee_Dam

Grand Coulee Dam is a gravity dam on the Columbia River in the U.S. state of Washington with the primary purposes of hydroelectric power production and irrigation. It was constructed between 1933 and 1942 with the 'Third Powerplant' built by 1974. It is the largest electric power-producing facility in the United States[4] and one of the largest concrete structures in the world.[1]

SNIP

The dam had severe negative consequences for the local Native American tribes whose traditional way of life revolved around salmon as well as for the original shrub steppe habitat of the area. Without a fish ladder, Grand Coulee Dam permanently blocks fish migration, removing over 1,100 mi (1,770 km) of natural spawning habitat.[79] By largely eliminating anadromous fish above the Okanogan River, the Grand Coulee Dam also set the stage for the subsequent decision not to provide for fish passage at Chief Joseph Dam (built in 1953).[80] Chinook, Steelhead, Sockeye and Coho salmon (as well as other important species including Lamprey) are now unable to spawn in the reaches of the Upper Columbia Basin. The extinction of the spawning grounds upstream from the dam has prevented the Spokane and other tribes from holding the first salmon ceremony.[81]

Grand Coulee Dam flooded over 21,000 acres (85 km²) of prime bottom land where Native Americans had been living and hunting for thousands of years, forcing the relocation of settlements and graveyards.[82] Kettle Falls, once a primary Native American fishing grounds, was inundated. The average catch of over 600,000 salmon a year was eliminated. In one study, the Army Corps of Engineers estimated the annual loss was over a million fish.[83] In June 1941, Native Americans throughout the Northwest met at the Falls for a Ceremony of Tears, marking the end of fishing there and a month later, the falls were inundated.[81] The town of Kettle Falls, Washington was relocated. The Columbia Basin Project has affected habitat ranges for species such as whitetail and mule deer, pygmy rabbits and burrowing owls, resulting in decreased populations. However, it has created new habitat in the form of wetlands, reservoirs, and riparian corridors.[84] The environmental impact of the dam effectively ended the traditional way of life of the native inhabitants. The government eventually compensated the Colville Indians in the 1990s with a lump settlement of approximately $53 million, plus annual payments of approximately $15 million.[85]

So as you can see it's not an easy fix. Obviously the government thinks it's much easier to pay out hundreds of millions of dollars in damages than to address the problem.

I was raised in Kettle Falls and the story I always hear is that it would be very tough for the fish to make it up around Grand Coulee with a fish ladder, but the real killer is getting the smolt back over the dam with out killing them. Either they are going to go over the very tall spillways or through the turbines. And they may get lost in the massive lake behind the dam as well, because they rely on current to flush them out.

When I was younger I was more understanding, I understood that the dam created electricity for many major urban centers in the west as well as irrigation water that made the Columbia basin spring to life, growing many many crops. But now that I'm older I guess I'm getting greedy, not only was one of the largest salmon runs in the WORLD killed off. But the falls itself, the mighty Kettle Falls that was such an important cultural center for all of the tribes in W. Montana, N. Idaho, SE BC and E. Washington is gone forever.

It would be akin to someone simply erasing Niagara falls of the map. I've seen the falls once in my life when the Army Corp of Engineers was working on the dam and brought the lake back down to it's original river. The experience was almost spiritual, I've never seen water so powerful in my life. It actually creates air currents that you can feel.

The Kettle Falls that I grew up in would have been a very different place if the dam had never been built.

Here is some more reading:

http://www.nwcouncil.org/history/KettleFalls.asp

http://www.nwcouncil.org/history/CeremonyOfTears.asp

kettle2.jpg

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Guest vilnoori

That's very interesting, norseman, thanks. But I think it would be possible to fix it by working around the dam. I'll look at the topography and think about it.

Edited by vilnoori

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norseman

That's very interesting, norseman, thanks. But I think it would be possible to fix it by working around the dam. I'll look at the topography and think about it.

It's your guys and gals river as well. :) This map shows it's massive drainage area:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Columbiarivermap.png

Edited by norseman

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Guest vilnoori

Yes, I've noticed that! Looks to me like it might be possible to make a series of ponds or small lakes joined up by waterways over behind Elmer City, along the gorge by Peter Dan Rd. There is a flat field there that would make a good location, and then some kind of big pump system fish ladder style where Miller Creek Rd. comes close to the banks of the huge lake. It would certainly be pricey, though, but not impossible if people really want it! It would be a bypass extraordinaire. I suppose one can envision... :)

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gigantor

... I'll be taking saddle stock over to access this country.

hey norseman,

I don't know, but I'm just wondering... do you think that the smell of saddled horses would scare off your target?

I do think that is the best way to access that territory.

Edited by gigantor

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norseman

hey norseman,

I don't know, but I'm just wondering... do you think that the smell of saddled horses would scare off your target?

I do think that is the best way to access that territory.

From my experience I can ride up on animals that would otherwise flee if I was on foot. They don't seem to equate the horse with a human very well. I have no idea how this would play out with a squatch, other than past experiences by others. Roger and Bob certainly were able to get very close while on horse back.

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Guest tracker

From my experience I can ride up on animals that would otherwise flee if I was on foot. They don't seem to equate the horse with a human very well. I have no idea how this would play out with a squatch, other than past experiences by others. Roger and Bob certainly were able to get very close while on horse back.

I agree, our pred scent must be masked or confused by the horses scent. I would always use a horse if i had the chance.

Hey NM how many in your group? any ladies? I support the idea that the chances of the big guys visiting your camp improves if you have some ladies with you. Men can spend all day in the bush trying to find them. Then a Bf will show up at your camp because they hear women laughing or they smell them. Girl power even works on the big guys, go figure?

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Huntster

Norseman, your trip looks absolutely great! I'm jealous!

Why doesn't your gov't set up some fish ladders or side tributaries around your dam, get a few hatcheries going above it, and get on with it? Not really that hard to do to fix the problem if you guys get agitating.

Salmon are easy to plant and get viable runs out of in just a few years. I know of several man created salmon runs in Alaska.

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