Presidents Corner

Presidents Corner - April

By Scott Harvey

Scott Harvey.jpg

Hello Club Members,

The Spring Boating season has finally arrived!! Especially here in our corner of the Northwest with decent snow packs in the mid to higher mountain elevations. Several club members have already been getting an early start to the multi-day river floats by getting out on the Lower Deschutes club trip, the secluded North Fork John Day River and Eastern Oregon’s Owyhee River to name a few! In the next three months, the OWA has a great number of club trips and events posted in the Upcoming Events Calendar.

RST: To begin with, this coming weekend we’ll be kicking off our River Safety Training (RST) at Dodge Park that will be lead by Sam Drevo of eNRG Kayaking. If you are to a certain extent new to whitewater boating or would like to up your safety skills game, then this river safety course is definitely for you! Two years or twenty years of whitewater boating under your belt, you will walk away with added knowledge and awareness. For additional information contact the Training Director, Will Brezinski at safety(at)

Boating 101: Matt Saucy will be leading the Boating 101 on the class II to III North Santiam River (Packsaddle Section) during the first weekend of May. Boaters relatively new to the sport or need more oar and/or paddle time on the river are encouraged to participate in this weekend long camp-out and river skills trip. Camping will be at John Neal Memorial Park in Mehama. 

Grande Ronde: There will be two separate river trips on the Grande Ronde River this year and they both will also be offered during the first weekend of May. Eric Ball will be leading his annual 90 mile river trip from Minam Bar to Heller’s Bar. While Jason Urasky and Gary McCann will be leading the 60 mile trip from Minam Bar to Boggans.

The Green River cleanup activity hosted by WRRR will be taking place at on Saturday, May 4th. The meeting location will be at Kanaskat-Palmer State Park.

The McKenzie River weekend and campout at Horse Creek group camp will be the second week of May 8th thru the 12th and will be lead by Brenda Bunce. Which I have to say, Brenda’s done remarkable leading these McKenzie River trips. Also, the log jam that was located below the Bruckart Boat launch site has been removed! Thanks to the McKenzie River Ranger District and the Lane County Sheriff’s Marine Patrol.   

Upper Clackamas Whitewater Festival will be taking place on both Saturday and Sunday, May 18th and 19th of this year. Come on up to compete in the slalom course, watch fellow boaters test their skills from the banks of Carter Falls Rapids, spend a couple hours volunteering, support the silent auction or just hang-out and shoot the breeze with fellow boaters. It’s always a good time up at the Clackfest!

Klickitat and Upper Naches: Steve Herring and Doug Smith will be hosting the Klickitat River and camping trip that will be taking place up in Glenwood, Washington during the Memorial Weekend of May 25th thru the 27th. Then right after the Klickitat trip during the mid week, I’ll be spending a couple days camping up on the scenic, pine covered Upper Naches River boating the class II and III rapids of the Upper Naches.  

The class III+ (IV) North Umpqua River trip will be happening this year from Thursday, May 30th thru Sunday, June 2nd at the Horseshoe Bend Campground along the North Umpqua River. This trip is co-lead by both the NWRA and OWA. There will also be a Dutch Oven Cook-off taking place on Saturday night, right after the float.

All of these river trips and events with detailed descriptions can all be found in the “Upcoming Events Calendar” section of the Oregon Whitewater Associations website page.    

Reminder: The OWA has an extensive Wilderness First Aid Kit and an AED that goes on club trips and is available for club members to take on private trips as well. Your encouraged to take both with you on your next overnight private trip. You can check them out by sending an email to firstaid(at)

Enjoy the this year’s Spring boating season and be safe out there!


Cheers and Safe Boating,                

Scott Harvey, OWA President