May 11, 2004
Contact: Cindy McMinn, (509) 457-9312
Popular boat ramp re-opens on Yakima River
OLYMPIA – The boat launch at Teanaway Junction on the Yakima River has re-opened after the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) installed a new, temporary ramp and moved three logs that impeded access to the site.
WDFW opened the new ramp last week after closing the launch March 31 because of safety concerns about the old boat ramp and the encroaching logs.
The launch site, located three miles east of Cle Elum at the junction of U.S. Highway 97 and state Route 10, is a popular access point for anglers and other boaters on the Yakima River.
“Our goal was to correct the safety problem and allow people to get back in the water as soon as possible,” said John Easterbrook, regional WDFW fish manager.
Rather than trying to fix the old launch, WDFW installed a temporary ramp on a deep side channel near the parking lot, Easterbrook said. The logs were moved upstream and cabled to the riverbank to protect against erosion and to provide rearing habitat for salmon and trout.
While these measures addressed the safety concerns at the site, Easterbrook said the new ramp is slightly steeper than the old one and should be used only by vehicles with four-wheel drive. Other precautions posted at the site advise drivers launching boats to shift into low gear, apply power slowly and smoothly and take care their wheels don’t drop over the edge of the ramp.
“We hope to improve on the temporary ramp in the future,” Easterbrook said. “For now, though, we just wanted to get something in place for fishing season. We actually had people lining up to use the new ramp before we were finished installing it.”