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Old 08-16-2015   #1
port angeles, Washington
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 31
Rogue River question

I was thinking of joining a September 23rd Rogue trip but was wondering how Rainie Falls would be for 16' boat at low water. Would I fit down the fish ladder? Would the center route be open? I've been down before but at much more water.

Any insight would help.......Thanks

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Old 08-16-2015   #2
TriBri1's Avatar
Tigard, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 768
The fish ladder is always an option, it just becomes more of a pain in the ass. If you have one person ride the cat down the fish ladder and have 4-5 people ready to catch and push it is not too bad. The Middle Chute should be ok, but I have only done it in a raft, there may be other factors with a cat.

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Old 08-16-2015   #3
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 78
A friend ran the middle passage of Rainie Falls in a 16' cat during an early August trip without any problems. However, the water was probably at a higher level than what you'll encounter. His cat was too wide for the fish ladder (it was an Aire Jaguar I believe, don't know the make/model of the frame though).
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Old 08-16-2015   #4
port angeles, Washington
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 31
Thanks for the feedback, I have 16' Sotar raft, not a cat

Thanks fro any help,...................... Gary
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Old 08-17-2015   #5
Learch's Avatar
Dundee, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 655
I wouldn't not go because of low water at Rainie. I'd think you would make it down the fish ladder, the last time I was there it was at about 2500 and it looked difficult to get to the middle chute, but I have since heard many people make it in there at low water, so I am sure it can be done. I was thinking about bringing paddles the next time I went just to use down the fish ladder. ( I run a 14' Sotar raft) The vegetation makes rowing pretty damn hard, I think a paddler or 2 would be easier.
Wishing I was on the river instead of surfing the web...
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Old 08-17-2015   #6
Bend, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 113
Low water Rogue

I did it last October at about 1200 on the Grants Pass gauge. Both the fish ladder and the middle chute were open for business. If you run the fish ladder, send the light boat(s) down first and have them walk up to help with the larger, heavier boats. Don't try to row the chute after you enter at the top. Ship your oars and ride it down, shifting your weight as needed to follow the channel, or extricate the boat after you get stuck. A paddle is a good idea. Don't sit idly in the rower's seat like you're important, work it and you will make it fine. The rocks in and around the fish ladder are very slick. Don't have flip-flops on and a beer in your hand.

If you are comfortable with the line for the middle chute it may be easier, but it has potential pitfalls as well.
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Old 08-17-2015   #7
jakebrown98's Avatar
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 165
The eddy line at the bottom of the middle chute is nasty. Do not fall out in or below the chute the eddy will pull a swimmer down and hold him under. Having a guide in the bow to throw in a draw keeping you straight is nice. Or you can do a little with your oar blades up front of you, but mostly hold on and keep your head clear of unmanaged oars.

You'll also be fine in the fish ladder. I've never needed help from shore even with a loaded 16er below 1500. Swampers help but are also more weight. You can do a lot with oars in there believe it or not.

Also watch out at Wildcat. That center cluster has wrapped many many unwary boats over the years.
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Old 08-17-2015   #8
UriahJones's Avatar
Salem, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 64
I've never been down the Rogue with less than 1500 CFS so can't comment on that. The ladder will probably need help from the shore as previous people have mentioned. But should be doable to get down, if a little slow perhaps.

One note on the middle chute: I've run it in a 14' at 1600CFS and in inflatables, but also have seen a 16' get stuck in there at 1600CFS, and that wasn't a pretty site. As one who has also swum the eddy at the bottom of that chute (this month in fact ) avoid that if at all possible. Very strong eddy with potential to pin you under as well as wash you on the rocks all day long. If you are gonna take the middle, consider the width of your boat, and stay IN the boat if at all possible.

As far as entering the chute, it is not too difficult IMO, just scout your line if you're not familiar with it (not a bad idea even if you are familiar as it is an easy scout).

Good luck on your run!
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Old 08-17-2015   #9
Creswell, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 67
,1500cfs, 1200cfs, Last I heard, they were going to drop it to 900cfs around the11th of September. My money is on you getting stuck pretty good in the fish ladder at that flow. There's always Ranie. I've taken that route before and it turned out alright. Just make sure you have everything tied on real good and you have your go pro on.
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Old 08-17-2015   #10
Creswell, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 67
Even though I don't think you'll have any problem getting stuck in the ladder at that flow, with the help of a few of your friends, I'm sure you'll make it down. I haven't seen anybody die of old age there yet.

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