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We have a launch on the main fork of the salmon June 19th. So do 100 other parties. Rec.gov allows this many launches a day up to permit season June 20. The only reason we would put up with this is we have a middle fork the week before and want to do 2 weeks on the river
My question is, how at high water will all parties find camps?? They will assign the reserved camps but that's not that many. Has anyone else done the main during crowded non-permit times? Any insight on camps would be helpful
thanks
 

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For the love of God the Main is not a fork. It is The Main, The Main Salmon, The Mighty Main....No one that I know calls it the Main 'Fork' because it is not. Good luck finding a shuttle. And there are only 56 other groups with a permit for the same day. They don't assign camps during non-permit season so it will be a free for all. I understand the turning the corner thing....but what timing.
 

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I have never noticed that they make up to 99 permits available. I have been down the Main Salmon only in mid-july during the normal permit season (going again this summer in July). But I cannot imagine how having 56 groups launch on the same day is even possible, given parking space, boat ramp space, but especially campsites. To me it seems like all the campsites would fill up, resulting in multiple groups needing to camp at the same spot and the whole place getting trashed. Plus some people going off and making their own make-shift campsites. Does all of that happen, or does everything remain more orderly than I am picturing in my head? I just don't see how wilderness ethics would be observed with such potential for overcrowding and limited numbers of sites to stay at. like bike4me, I am curious to hear what it is like in those last few days in June before the lottery permit season starts, or even the second week of September (looks like 46 potential groups on September 8th this year).
 

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Isn't it the Main Salmon fork of the Snake fork of the Columbia fork of the Pacific. Sorry, just had to take the bait.
Common usage of the Fork in naming river tributaries is typically done to avoid confusion between similarly named tributaries or tributaries that aren't named at all except by referring to the 'collecting' river. 'Forks' typically used when in close geographic proximity and often named by the direction from which they spawn. By using the common vernacular and naming hierarchies the Main would then be the East Fork of the South Fork of the Columbia. But since there is no confusion about the Forks ( or spoons) they are called by the name commonly used in their 'native' drainage and not dependent on the larger river which the fork or tributary flows into. Nice try trollholio.....:cool:
 

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Common usage of the Fork in naming river tributaries is typically done to avoid confusion between similarly named tributaries or tributaries that aren't named at all except by referring to the 'collecting' river. 'Forks' typically used when in close geographic proximity and often named by the direction from which they spawn. By using the common vernacular and naming hierarchies the Main would then be the East Fork of the South Fork of the Columbia. But since there is no confusion about the Forks ( or spoons) they are called by the name commonly used in their 'native' drainage and not dependent on the larger river which the fork or tributary flows into. Nice try trollholio.....:cool:
So what you are saying is that it is the south, southwest fork of the Columbia. Got it!
 

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This is depressing news. We are launching on the 18th. What a disaster the ramp
Will be. At least we have our shuttle secured though.

How long before they start limiting launches for pre-lottery season to the same number as the lottery season?
Methinks this could be a year that prompts changes on a lot of rivers and other wilderness areas. Lots of people getting after it these days.
 

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I turned the corner there last Sept. It was insanely busy at corn creek. Groups everywhere not to mention 10 or so mini jet boats. Every single camp was taken. Others were just camped in the rocks cause it was dark and the camp they had planned on was taken and everyone after that. It was not a relaxing trip. We had to be off the beach by 9 and in a camp by 2pm. That was with "only" 20 or so groups launching. 50 is just not do able with the camps especially with higher water. I would do like a 40 mile day then layover for 3 days.
 

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My wife grabbed a Main Salmon pre permit season after cancellation day failure. I figured better than nothing and we could make it work if we had to (wasn't looking for a higher water trip with some newbies along). She just cancelled it but not because of flow level, but because of the hordes. Tons of rafters, gear and potential camp conflict on the Main is doesn't fit my idea of a relaxing wilderness trip. It's like Redfish lake with flowing water.

55 groups now launching June 19th - moving in the right direction!
 

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Last fall we launched at Cache Bar during the late season (Sept 9)totally empty, one group that finished the MFS showed up in the morning. Checked in with ranger and passed almost everybody rigging at the main put in. Plus got to run some real cool rapids on the 4 mile stretch.
 

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The crazy thing to me is you can launch a week earlier and be the only trip... it's like people think something magical happens.. the river might be a bit lower.
 

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I’m gonna bet there will be a bunch of cancelations. I think shuttle companies will be a limiting factor as they have difficulties meeting needs during the lottery season let alone numbers like this. If not it’ll be exciting for some, but definitely nothing I’m interested in. Currently 91 permits for the 17-19th.
 

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Lol and there are roughly 97 camps on the entire stretch... at high-water and a good number of those being small camps. Some named ones barely qualify as a lunch beach. Not going to be doable... a few years ago I think 16 groups where launching and they emailed people to rethink it.
 
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