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Middle Provo off Limits to Kayakers!

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Middle Provo off Limits to Kayakers!

Post by Ewetah on Mon 20 Aug 2012, 2:46 pm

Just got off the phone this morning with Mark at the Mitigation Commission that has helped guide the restoration project on the Middle Provo River from Jordanelle to Deer Creek. Based on information they post on the web site http://www.mitigationcommission.gov/prrp/prrp_cmplan.html it is illegal to boat on this section of the river. This would include any type of water craft! The rule is not enforced by the Wasatch County Sheriff rather a Law Enforcement Officer with the Bureau of Reclamation. FYI there is only one BOR Law Enforcement Officer for the entire state.

It is probably a good for everyoneto know the situation on this section of the Provo before you try to run it. Would there be any possibility of getting this rule of the federal govenment repealed to allow kayakers? This is a navigable waterway and in my opinion it should be open for our use. Maybe the Utah stream access coalition could take a look at the issue.

Your thoughts and input would be appreciated.

Ewetah

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Re: Middle Provo off Limits to Kayakers!

Post by yossarian on Mon 20 Aug 2012, 5:10 pm

I read the information on the link you provided and I see that "boating" is one of the activities that's not allowed. However, I would like to see a more precise definition of what "boating" means to them. It may be that it only includes motorized craft.

yossarian

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Any Boat

Post by Ewetah on Mon 20 Aug 2012, 7:42 pm

Mark told me that it included any kayak, canoe, tube, raft etc.

I also have sent an e-mail to The Utah Stream Access Coalition regarding the issue. I would like to believe that being a navigable waterway we have a right to use it. I think it may be a very difficult issue for the Bureau of Reclamation to enforce and I was not able to find out what specific regulation prohibited kayaking and what the penalty for violation was.

Ewetah

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Re: Middle Provo off Limits to Kayakers!

Post by yossarian on Mon 20 Aug 2012, 8:13 pm

I agree with you; the prospect of enforcing this seems difficult, and i also question whether Mark's interpretation is even a legitimate one. I would be curious to know what legal authority Mark is citing for the prohibition, and as you mention, what is the penalty, if any, for violation. If there's no specific penalty, it's simply a prohibition without any teeth.

Also, while it is conceivable that the Mitigation Commission could have authority to restrict access, there's still a legal question as to what the scope of their authority is, and whether they have exceeded it. In other words, there has to be some legal basis, which would be expressed in writing, somewhere, for them to keep boaters off the water. Ultimately, the agency's authority to restrict access will have to have been more or less specifically granted by a statute or maybe an administrative rule. The content on the website is pretty vague as to what the actual parameters of the policy are. Are there signs up along the riverbank advising the public of the prohibition? And isn't that section historically used pretty heavily by tubers and the like? I've never been there.

yossarian

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Re: Middle Provo off Limits to Kayakers!

Post by Jeff Young on Mon 20 Aug 2012, 10:30 pm

Best way to find out it to test it. Any takers? The Utah Stream Access Coalition is a fisherman based org. Fishing is legal there. Good luck. Who floats this section anyway? I'm not familiar with it, doesn't mean its not good... but pick your battles is all I'm saying.
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Signs at Access Points

Post by Ewetah on Mon 20 Aug 2012, 10:34 pm

Apparently there are signs at access points that list the prohibited activities. They are incorporated into a general map of the area if the information I have is correct. I have not been there yet but have been planning to go and run that section. The info on the Eddy Flower site also talks about signs that prohibit boating but the author states he did not feel it applied to kayaking. As for tubers I do not know if it is a popular spot like it is below Deer Creek.

Ewetah

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Re: Middle Provo off Limits to Kayakers!

Post by Ewetah on Mon 20 Aug 2012, 10:44 pm

[quote="Jeff Young"]Best way to find out it to test it. Any takers? The Utah Stream Access Coalition is a fisherman based org. Fishing is legal there. Good luck. Who floats this section anyway? I'm not familiar with it, doesn't mean its not good... but pick your battles is all I'm saying.[/quote



From what I have heard it is a class II plus run that old guys like me would like to try. I know that the Utah Stream Access coalition is mostly fisherman based but they do tout the multi-use concept in thier philosophy.

I am game for a test float if anyone wants to join me! If no one floats it very often one old dude with bad vision when it comes to reading access signs could probably get away with it.

Ewetah

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Re: Middle Provo off Limits to Kayakers!

Post by jws on Mon 20 Aug 2012, 11:43 pm

I've been paddling this section for years and really like it when it flows.(I'm an old guy to) I've been going 2-3 times a week for a month.I live in Heber so it's mostly about being 5 min away I can get wet any time (not normal for this time of year)

The Run is class 2+ but very fast and very shallow.The current level is about as low as I would go. I used to say min was 750 @ river road, but tried it at 600 and it is still pretty fun. It usually runs over 1000cfs for 5-6 weeks most years. Some years like this spring it never gets over 600-700. I ran it 2 years ago @1900 and it was a great run.

There are a handful of people who will paddle it when it's high but not many. No tubers, water is very cold. I am always surprised more people don't run it. I think at this flow if I had to choose hen-tag or Provo and had the same drive I would run the Middle Provo every time.

Yes, there are signs at the access points that say no boating. When they first went up as they completed the restoration project a few of us asked about the policy. The short answer was always NO
KAYAKS. On further digging the policy was to prevent access to private land by boat for fishing. You can WALK the entire river both sides but are only allowed to access it at designated points.

I asked a sheriff 7-8 years ago while taking out about it, he said there was nothing he could cite me for and that he always thought it meant motor boats or drift boats....

There are 2-3 guides that comment occasionally but no big deal, I give them space and pass by. Most fishermen don't care and even chat it up.

Let me know if you want to go, I can't believe it will go much longer so tomorrow eve?

jws

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Re: Middle Provo off Limits to Kayakers!

Post by wasatchbill on Tue 21 Aug 2012, 12:17 am

I thought they just didn't want fishermen in boats, floating onto private land and stopping to fish. The old Eddyflower run description said that the only whitewater is in the first 4 miles; and there are another 20 or so miles down to Deer Creek.

I did not see any signs at the obvious putin spots by the bridge below Jordanelle (downstream of the bridge, river left, is the most obvious putin spot for kayakers, since there is a dirt road there, and an eddy). A fisherman I talked to said he had never seen a boater on it. A downside of a Friday evening run (I was looking at it when I was down there for a concert at the putin) would be that you will pass about 75 fishermen. I can kinda see their point; why bother; to paddle past dozens of fishermen. Its a perfect fishing stretch of river.

The water is too cold for tubers; it must be coming off the bottom of Jordanelle. There is a half mile of decent II+ rapids, then it is braided and kinda shallow meanders. Its not really beginner friendly because its so cold and fast; not roadside either; very scenic.
There is a riverwide ledge at the takeout that makes a decent side surf wave (road to Midway). You can bank scout it for at least a mile on the left or right (some nice single track on the right, across the old bridge); I guess it becomes private land down further. There are a couple half-river logs that are barely visible, mostly underwater.
The Vivian park stretch below Deer Creek res is heavily used by tubers and raft companies. Its mellow II-. The Vivian Park stretch is incredibly scenic; can't beat it for scenery; especially the first half; it has road noise and flat water after that wood bridge.
Hen-tag has better playboating, eddy turning and attaining.

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Re: Middle Provo off Limits to Kayakers!

Post by Ewetah on Tue 21 Aug 2012, 6:03 pm

I have exchanged e-mail with Bert Ley who is the President of the Utah Stream Access Coalition. He is very familiar with the middle Provo but did not know about the boating prohibitions. The coalition is very active in the efforts to provide stream, stream bed and stream bank access to the high water mark for all users. I have supported the coalition since its inception as both a boater and a fisherman and I would encourage everyone to become a member.

Here is his reply to me.

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the follow-up.

Federal rules, huh? I could see why they might not be enforced in this State, even if there were more enforcement officers!

Wouldn't it be nice if there was a single standard for the entire State of Utah. One that allowed anglers and boaters to touch all beds and banks up to the ordinary high-water mark on rivers or streams that would float a kayak? One that would allow boaters to stop, anchor, scout, and have a shore lunch regardless of who owns the bed? That's what the Utah Stream Access Coalition is fighting for!

By the way, if you're not already a member, and would like to join us in this fight, it would be great if you would join the Coalition. (We do care about boaters rights too!) If you'd like to join, go to this web address and simply fill out the form: http://utahstreamaccess.org/usac-wp/membership/ Membership is free, and as I like to say, the only "test for membership" is whether you'd like to see MORE access or LESS in the State of Utah. And please pass this along to members of the Utah Whitewater Club for me!
________________________________________________________________________

In the meantime I am going to plan on running this section on Sunday or Monday. If you can make that JWS lets hook up and that goes for anyone else who may be interested. PM me with your phone #.

75 fisherman may make for a nice slalom course. JK, I doubt it would be any more crowded than the section below Deer Creek.

Thanks

Ewetah

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Re: Middle Provo off Limits to Kayakers!

Post by Jeff Young on Tue 21 Aug 2012, 6:18 pm

Cool,

Just as a FYI for those that don't know, the Utah Whitewater Club has a great relationship with the USAC. We had a drawing for a new kayak this year and the proceeds went to them.
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Re: Middle Provo off Limits to Kayakers!

Post by Ewetah on Tue 21 Aug 2012, 9:30 pm

Jeff Young wrote:Cool,

Just as a FYI for those that don't know, the Utah Whitewater Club has a great relationship with the USAC. We had a drawing for a new kayak this year and the proceeds went to them.


That was a great way to provide support from the kayaking community Jeff. I hope all kayakers, rafters and other river enthusiasts join and support the efforts of the USAC. They are doing very important work to help change the assinine (sp?) law the legislature passed restricting our rights to river and streams in Utah. We need to get out and vote for state senators and representatives that see this issue from our perspective.

Ewetah

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Re: Middle Provo off Limits to Kayakers!

Post by Dave on Thu 23 Aug 2012, 9:15 pm

Ewetah wrote:

That was a great way to provide support from the kayaking community Jeff. I hope all kayakers, rafters and other river enthusiasts join and support the efforts of the USAC. They are doing very important work to help change the assinine (sp?) law the legislature passed restricting our rights to river and streams in Utah. We need to get out and vote for state senators and representatives that see this issue from our perspective.

'Tis True Smile

Dave

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