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Times have changed. Last time I did a pre-season main float launching on the 19th (2006) there were only 2 or maybe 3 other groups that launched that day.

If it were me (and I considered a pre-season but couldn't make the dates work), I'd launch one or two days prior when between 7-17 groups will launch. Also, look at rigging and launching up higher Spend an extra day and launch at Spring Creek 30 miles upriver and camp above Corn Creek - then float down to Corn the morning or mid day of your launch and check in with the ranger. Avoid all the hassles of the crowds. You may make good miles per day at the higher flows.

Also consider that you don't have to make it very far past Corn Creek before pulling over and camping the night on your launch day. You just have to get to Corn before the rangers shut down for the day.
 

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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.
Yet the FS wants people to observe the stated camp limits.

We can all hope this is only a temporary assault on the outdoors. When Covid is over maybe folks will have to go back to work, school, ect.
Oh please 6lb 8oz baby jeezus please!
 

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Last fall I think there was something like 40 permits for the day after the lottery season. It would be interesting to see if there are a lot of no shows or last second cancelations and whether those folks end up as a passenger on another permit. As busy as it’s getting I could see members of a group each picking up a permit just to scare folks away. I wonder if there is an consequences for no shows or last minute cancelations outside the lottery period.
 

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^ good point.

I wonder if a couple large groups could slow this down if they all got individual permits as soon as they’re released.

Are there 99 permits, or unlimited and rec.gov can’t display 3 digits?
 

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We can all hope this is only a temporary assault on the outdoors. When Covid is over maybe folks will have to go back to work, school, ect. Soon everything outdoors will be rec.gov to play
I think this is wishful thinking. I mean, why would anyone stop pursuing their newfound activity once things get back to "normal" after they have presumably invested large amounts of $$$ for whatever gear they bought, There have been massive increases in backcountry skiing, RV's, camping, etc besides river gear and I fear this is a permanent assault on our dwindling outdoor resources. COVID just gave it a large damaging bump. I hope I am wrong, though ....😞
 

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^ good point.

I wonder if a couple large groups could slow this down if they all got individual permits as soon as they’re released.

Are there 99 permits, or unlimited and rec.gov can’t display 3 digits?
It's unlimited, they just post 99, cause they would never need more than that right?!
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
I talked to the river ranger today and she thinks a few will cancel because of high water. She stated there is no sharing reserved camps but the others are fair game. Could be interesting around dark 30,
She also said it would take an act of congress to limit launch numbers. Go figure
We are loving our outdoors to death. I guess were all part of that
 

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We did a trip that launched the day before permit season. I thought the 99 was for number of people, but about a week prior realized it was the number of groups. Crazy! My group said lets go anyway, so we went. Two days before launch the rain started. We launched with only 7 other groups at about 16K. They were doing reservation if you wanted them, even before permit season. In hindsight, we got lucky, but going forward, I wouldn't do it again if there were still 20 or more groups potentially all launching and competing for campsites.
 

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I believe some folks planning an early trip intentionally have several people in their group apply for permits to make it look like more groups are launching and discourage others. There is no way the resource can accommodate forty trips launching every day. That said, it can be challenging to find good camps available. We took an early season trip down the Main last year, and several of the usual camps were not usable due to high water. The competition for campsites was intense, and a few times our four-person group ended up in noncamps, sleeping on rocks surrounded by poison ivy. (Suggestion - bring cots so you don't need flat spaces to sleep). We saw other groups, some of them large groups with kids, still floating into the evening, looking for a place to camp. Just a word to the wise....
 

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I believe some folks planning an early trip intentionally have several people in their group apply for permits to make it look like more groups are launching and discourage others. There is no way the resource can accommodate forty trips launching every day. That said, it can be challenging to find good camps available. We took an early season trip down the Main last year, and several of the usual camps were not usable due to high water. The competition for campsites was intense, and a few times our four-person group ended up in noncamps, sleeping on rocks surrounded by poison ivy. (Suggestion - bring cots so you don't need flat spaces to sleep). We saw other groups, some of them large groups with kids, still floating into the evening, looking for a place to camp. Just a word to the wise....
Gee, I can’t wait
 

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I talked to the river ranger today and she thinks a few will cancel because of high water. She stated there is no sharing reserved camps but the others are fair game. Could be interesting around dark 30,
She also said it would take an act of congress to limit launch numbers. Go figure
We are loving our outdoors to death. I guess were all part of that
I think the drainage is lower than usual this year and while it will be high water during launch, I don't see it being extreme enough on the MS to discourage many (although I certainly hope it does).
 

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There are a fair amount of people launching right now... I had a friend do it 3 weeks ago. There is no reason to pile up on those days.
 

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And the Corn Creek staff says not to share campsites if it exceeds allowable number in the campsites.

OK..then what?!
 

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I think this is wishful thinking. I mean, why would anyone stop pursuing their newfound activity once things get back to "normal" after they have presumably invested large amounts of $$$ for whatever gear they bought, There have been massive increases in backcountry skiing, RV's, camping, etc besides river gear and I fear this is a permanent assault on our dwindling outdoor resources. COVID just gave it a large damaging bump. I hope I am wrong, though ....😞
As much as it is frustrating to see a large amount of new users engaging in an activity you love, if managed properly growth can be a positive. It's an opportunity to share stewardship practices and have a larger base for lobbying efforts for protection and perhaps expansion of our river access. It's a lot easier to complain about over use than it is to work on oragnzing these new users and pushing expanded access and protections.
 

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As much as it is frustrating to see a large amount of new users engaging in an activity you love, if managed properly growth can be a positive. It's an opportunity to share stewardship practices and have a larger base for lobbying efforts for protection and perhaps expansion of our river access. It's a lot easier to complain about over use than it is to work on oragnzing these new users and pushing expanded access and protections.
this could be true and I've heard this answer many times for similar situations, and I sure hope it IS true..

But, many of the people I have seen get involved with (fill in the blank activity) have not been good stewards of (blank) at all.. call me a cynic, but this is based on years of observations.

But, I hear you and hope you are right !!
 

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I think this is wishful thinking. I mean, why would anyone stop pursuing their newfound activity once things get back to "normal" after they have presumably invested large amounts of $$$ for whatever gear they bought, There have been massive increases in backcountry skiing, RV's, camping, etc besides river gear and I fear this is a permanent assault on our dwindling outdoor resources. COVID just gave it a large damaging bump. I hope I am wrong, though ....😞
Thankfully class IV whitewater tends to weed a lot of people out. First flip or pin and a lot of people put the raft or kayak on Craigslist the first chance they get, or else stick to the tamer day runs.
 

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As much as it is frustrating to see a large amount of new users engaging in an activity you love, if managed properly growth can be a positive. It's an opportunity to share stewardship practices and have a larger base for lobbying efforts for protection and perhaps expansion of our river access. It's a lot easier to complain about over use than it is to work on oragnzing these new users and pushing expanded access and protections.
Maybe in some activities but there's only so many rivers we can really, really access at this point. There is opportunity for breaching dams, or for dams that have releases, maybe increases releases. But the undammed wilderness runs are discovered and frankly, pretty tapped out. It is why we have a lottery system in the first place, and with more and more users, we're not actually going to see more access, but rather, more limited access as runs like the South Fork Salmon, maybe even the Bruneau, etc., will start implementing lotteries because of overuse.

Any better stewardship practices are simply offset by the raw number of people using and accessing the outdoors, unfortunately. Is this just a gatekeeping attitude - absolutely, but pristine places only stay pristine with low intensity use.
 
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