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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
got a question
How bad are the wasps on the Lower salmon by early July/Late June??

I am aware that it changes by the year with weather, etc. The reason i ask is that i was thinking of taking my 6 and 9 year old daughters down the lower salmon end of June. i hear that its a fantastic kid trip.

the thing is that my one kid absolutely hates wasps and i just dont want to ruin her experience. A few of them around are one thing but being swarmed all day and during meals is kind of a buzzz kill. None of them have allergies, just a major hatred. and it would suck if she was not stoked to raft with her dad because she keeps getting stung while on daddy river trips.

Any long term LS floaters able to chime on late June wasp conditions?
:cool:
 

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The Yellowjackets don't tend to get back until the end of July and into August. Your bigger problem will be flow as in high water. You could be looking at flows anywhere from 20K - 10K that time of year down there, which could make for a bit of a hairy trip for 6 and 9 year old kids. The run is typically done in August or late July.
 

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We all hate wasps(aka yella-jackets).

I'm personally on a mission to mess with them; like your daughter, I find them more than annoying and their presents is actually out of normal. They have a normal purpose but not when augmented by river runners that supplement their existence.

Their season begins small, basically a queen. As river runners provide food their presence IN CAMPS advances from normal to exponential.

Watch those busy beavers, they chew off a chunk, about a square millimeter, and where do to they take it, to feed the next generation. Hence, by late July and August, your daughter is unhappy and so am I, exponential yellow jackets.

Do not feed the wildlife, especially these little mother f'ers. I beg to keep them within normal and use traps from early season on to maintain their normal status.
 

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OK, I've let on to the fact that yella-jacket sucks because of us.

Please share any ideas and methods to limit their perpetuation.

I've seen many innovative and simple traps and mechanisms to prevent warf-rats daughters unnecessary issues that we cause.

Please share.
 

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Yellow jackets aside end of June is too early to plan on a little kid trip down the Lower Salmon. It is often running in the mid teens into the second week of July, I can't find the 30 year average but eyeballing the hydrographs I'm seeing these approx flows July 1 2019 about 13,000, July 1 2018 about 16,000, July 1 2017 25,000+. It must have been 2017 when we put on the MF early July with intent of running all the way down and were hoping that by the time we got to Riggins it was low enough to run Slide. Too early to call it for this year as so much depends on how early things melt out but we are sitting at 106% SWE as of today.
 

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Yellow Jackets are most bothersome it seems when cooking and eating. Maybe a screen house would be helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
so it seems like the overall consensus is that wasps suck and
Dont take my 6 year old on the Lower salmon Late June.. Roger that.
My 6 year old is so stoked and she is craving the Big Hits, She begs me to run the guts on all the waves and holes.. the 9 year old not so much (she just holds on tight and is scared Sh$% Less).
I took my 6 year old on the Thompson River up here in Canada, she was pumped, lots of huge hits.. She got stung 2x on that trip and to this day does not let it go!!
i say, remember the stoke, remember the waves..
She says: I got stung, it hurt, i dont want to go on that river again:roll:
Its a balance between exposing her to sweet rivers with lots of splash but also making sure the memories are happy ones and not full of pain.
Wasps suck.
 

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If you don't mind roadside runs and fewer days (or laps) consider running the Vinegar falls to Lucille run on the Salmon. You can stretch it out over 2-3, with roadside camping. Never had any issue with YJ in June, and the flows during your timeframe are usually a freaking hoot. I have done that section at flows from 3.5k to 42k. I have paddled it with the boy scouts (Salmon River High Adventure Base) several times and run it with paddle crews and oar frame other times. Bigger is mostly better, although the big ones (Ruby Creek and Lake Creek) are no joke at big flows. Some of the other rapids either wash out at high flows and get better as they drop, or vise versa. Worth a thought.

On the wilderness section of the lower Main (hammer creek on down) the realistic cutoff is 20K. It is gonna be spicy at lower flows than that, but doable. Higher than that and slide is gonna ruin your day.
 

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I’ve done this section of river 2-5 times a summer starting the last week of June most years. I have a fairly nasty allergic reaction to wasps and Yellowjackets. As long as I’m careful around food (they love meat), and hang traps along the outside of the camp I’m ok. I’ve been stung 3 times in 7 years. Just don’t let her in the kitchen and be careful around food. Also teach her to check her drinks!
 

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In archery elk camps and some river trips, we have a negotiated peace with the little meat eaters... we set up a tiny banquet for them away from our kitchen and they usually respect the boundaries. The high water potential may be a stopper for fam trips in your timing... just saying...
 

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In 2018 the yellow jackets on the lower Salmon were f’ing awful! We’d call “in-coming!” As we watched wave after wave of the bastards approach camp across the beaches. On the water it wasn’t much better. We all got stung 2 to 3 times per day - for 5-days! Used traps and Pam spray ignited with and bic lighters as flame throwers to kill several hundred at a time without putting a dent in the continual hoards.

Other years they’ve been more manageable, but ‘18 was wicked! I pack serous traps and bait now - just in case. That isn’t an experience I ever want to repeat!
 

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Lower Salmon Human Loving Wasps

We have made the late July run twice in row now and my recollection of the wasps were they were very bad with two camps that were the exception. But those two camps had a lot of left over human food laying around that we discovered as we set up camp. Upon docking, I would check the camp for food particles. Camps that were clean, wasps were few and far between.


There was also one very large ballface bee that seem to follow us from Pine bar rapid to Pine creek bridge. Both trips. Same bee. It seem to think it was a fun game to dive bomb us while we use the water gun on it. I swear it was laughing when we knock it down to river. All fun for everyone, everything...


Flows have been 5K- 6K CFS on salmon and 15-20k on the Snake for those trips.
 

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I will take a bite at this posting, we were at Spruce Lake RV park in Estes Park and the Yellow Jackets were invading our camp. The good folks camping next to us walked over with a spray bottle filled with peppermint oil and water and advised us to spray it on our clothing, picnic table, over head canopy, chair's, trees and bushes around our camp. It seemed to clear out about 80% to 90% of the flying critters. I don't know the ratio of water to peppermint oil, but it might be worth a try and a addition to arsenal of bug traps, and aerosol can/Bic Lighter flame throwers.
 

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We use this all the time especially for ants..... The ratio would be 10 drops(ish) and some salt of a good quality oil in a spray bottle.... As long as there is a sent..... We use Dotera.
 

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Tactics for Yellow Jackets - Wasps – Bald-faced Hornets
• Don't wear bright colors.
• Don't swat at yellow jackets. Killing one yellow jacket causes a pheromone to be released which attracts other wasps. Out of the frying pan and into the fire.
• Yellow jackets are attracted to sweets (fall) & meats (spring-summer).
• Keep clean: wash hands, avoid saturation from cooking odors, and bathe.
• Don’t leave food out (protein or fruit) – cover trash.
• Buy traps – bait with fresh meat.
• Sliced Cucumbers or Bounce sheets (smell) - Crumpled brown paper bags simulate nests, (hang around edges of camp), the critters are territorial and are scared away by ‘neighbors’. Be sure to pick up after dark.
• Build trap: Bucket with 2” water & dish soap – suspend chicken bones from stick spanning bucket 1” above water. Empty after dark so you won’t attract bears.
 

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You don't need to kill 'em

All good advice except for placing/building traps. As rafters we are but tourist in their river world and we do live by the leave no trace mantra so live and let live... ...for all living creatures. Our actions is what attracts them and they shouldn't have to die because of us.
 
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