Hazard in Mallard on the Main Salmon? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 07-24-2019   #1
athelake's Avatar
Newman Lake, Washington
Paddling Since: 2010
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Hazard in Mallard on the Main Salmon?

I got a call this morning from someone who got off the Main yesterday. He informed me that he had seen three boats that had long cuts on their left tubes after running the left side of Mallard. A fourth boat had a cut on their right tube. The fourth boat had done a 180 degree turn after the drop to watch duckies go through behind him.

I called the FS and the ranger I spoke with hadn't heard anything. He was going to pass it on to the River Rangers.

Has anyone else heard anything about Mallard in the last few days? We are launching on Sunday and would appreciate any additional information.

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Old 07-24-2019   #2
Twin Falls, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 10
We stayed at Lower Yellowpine on Sun 7/21, there were two groups at Mallard that had hit something in the left run that day. 2 outfitter boats and 1 private were being repaired. Nobody saw or heard anything but suspected a piece of metal was somewhere lodged on the left side. We all ran far right the next day with no issues. We watched two other boats run left afterwards with no issues.
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Old 07-25-2019   #3
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Newman Lake, Washington
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Salmon Challis National Forest has a poston their Facebook page about the unknown obstruction.

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Old 07-26-2019   #4
Salmon, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
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We got off the Main on the 25th, and my boat was one of 4 that I know of that incurred major damage at Mallard. I ran the typical left side run, though tighter to the left rock than the Mallard rock. However, I didn't even graze the rocks on the left bank, though was probably within a couple feet of them. As a former Main Salmon guide, this is a run that I've run dozens of times with no issue (and of course I've had lots of much worse runs as well!. As I dropped through the slot, approximately 25-30 feet below the drop I heard/felt a rock rub, and sounded like left front. We were camping at Big Mallard camp and as we pulled in we found Idaho Afloat with two badly damaged boats upside down on the beach working on patching. As we were pulling in we noticed the damage to my boat as well and hightailed it to the beach. The damage occurred in the left rear tube, and was a total of five gashes ranging in length from 1.5 to 7 inches. All three boats there had nearly identical damage.
As we worked on repairs, a member of our group took a paddleboard across and hiked up to the slot to see if we could tell what the issue was. He reported a fresh scarp on the hillslope and a jagged, shark fin rock along the left bank. Apparently this rock was just coming into play as water levels dropped, and may or may not continue to be an issue for weeks to come.
Lots of boats made it through without issue prior to and after our incident, so the left run can still be made, particularly if you are closer to the Mallard than the left bank. There is of course multiple other runs at this flow further right of the Mallard rock.
My advice is either run right or scout and make sure you walk all the way to the bottom so you can be sure of the status of this hazard.
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Old 07-27-2019   #5
athelake's Avatar
Newman Lake, Washington
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Thanks for the Beta!!
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Old 07-27-2019   #6
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salmon, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Mar 2012
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I got off the river yesterday. 4 boats all ran left no problems... talked to several outfitters and no one mentioned a word of mallard problems. Wonder if the sharp object cleared or sharp rock got rolled..
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Old 07-27-2019   #7
Pendleton, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Feb 2010
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We ran Big Mallard on 7/20. 4 boats in my group. I went right of Mallard rock along with my son in his IK. Other 2 went left and scraped oars on the left bank, but no issues for either of us. The right run is possible, just plan on lots of pulling from the top to get over in time.
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Old 07-28-2019   #8
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Kalispell, Montana
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codycleve and crossfox, thank you for the recent beta.

Buddy of mine launches on Tuesday, I'll let him know.
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Old 07-29-2019   #9
Never enough free time
Red Lodge, Montana
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Feb 2018
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I don't do facebook but my wife showed me a video this morning of someone crawling out of their tube after a tear in Mallard in a recreation of the Ace Ventura rhinoceros birth scene.

They showed the final repair after the fun and it looked like a 2 foot plus stitch job.
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Old 07-30-2019   #10
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Boise, Idaho
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We have been posting on our FB page, there is still a very sharp rock getting folks, the video referred to is on our page as well. They are saying it is up to 8 boats that have been sliced open. DO NOT HUG THE LEFT BANK and all should be fine is what we are hearing from multiple people who have been on in the last week. Just a little heads up, it is not gone, with water levels dropping it may become more visible though and that would be a good thing! Keep it right side up and in one piece Renee
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