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Dredging Project Improves Boater Access at Scappoose Marine Park

Posted on June 9, 2016

Boaters now have improved access to the lower Willamette and Columbia rivers now that a dredging project at Scappose Bay Marine Park is complete.

Prior to the project, boats were grounding out in the channel at low tide. The channel was deepened around the boat ramp and short term boat moorage, improving safety for recreational boaters at the Marine Park, which provides public access to a popular fishery and water recreation area.

The marine park is a popular and heavily used boat launch facility located at the mouth of Scappoose Bay where it confluences with the Multnomah Channel and the Columbia River.

According to ODFW District Fish Biologist Tom Murtagh, this site provides immediate access to some of the best angling opportunities that Oregon has to provide for spring Chinook, steelhead, coho and sturgeon, all within a mile or two from the ramp. The facility is attractive to boat anglers, particularly for spring Chinook, because it offers three ramp options and about 100 parking spots for cars, trucks and trailers, all factors that reduce launch delays and long lines. Other recreational uses include sea kayaking and canoeing, providing immediate access to back water sloughs and channels in Scappoose Bay or on Sauvie Island just across the Multnomah Channel. Water skiing, jet skiing and paddleboarding are other uses popular in the area. The boat ramp is considered economically important too, as it attracts thousands of boaters and other outdoor enthusiasts all year long.

Dredging deepened the water around the boat ramp and temporary moorage by removing 39,491 cubic yard of fill. Cost of the project was $494,000, which was paid by several partners, including the Oregon State Marine Board, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Port of St. Helens.

“The dredging of Scappoose Bay Marine Park improves safety for recreational boaters launching, retrieving and visiting the Marine Park,” said Scott Brewen, OSMB director. The Marine Board is very conservative with approving grant funding for dredging, however, safety is a priority with the heavy use this ramp experiences.”

“We are excited to see these improvements because we know that our anglers appreciate quality boat ramps and boat moorage facilities,” said Holly Huchko, ODFW Sport Fish Restoration Coordinator. “This facility is particularly important because of its close proximity to some of our most popular fisheries.”

Source: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

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