The Idaho Department of Fish and Game has rebuilt the Ahsahka boat ramp, located below Dworshak dam on the North Fork Clearwater River, in time for the upcoming spring steelhead and salmon seasons. The previous boat ramp was very narrow and the broken cobble substrate made launching of boats difficult and at times, hazardous.
The new ramp is 230 feet long and 20 feet wide of 8-inch steel-reinforced concrete.
The funds to pay for the improvements came from federal excise taxes on fishing gear and Idaho salmon and steelhead fishing permits.
IDFG worked in cooperation with the Clearwater Management Council, a group comprised of several county waterway committees and State and Federal government entities that combine funds to accomplish access improvement projects along the Clearwater River corridor.
IDFG maintains 44 boating and fishing sites within the Clearwater region to provide access for a variety of users. Thirty-four of these sites are located along the Clearwater, Salmon and Snake rivers.
IDFG provides boating access to meet the public demand for quality fishing experiences and to produce revenue for the local economies. For example, a recent survey on the Clearwater River, determined that steelhead anglers annually expend 104,272 angler days, which equates to approximately $16,996,000 going into local economies.
A recent survey of salmon anglers, showed over 32,847 angler trips were taken on the Lower Clearwater River alone this spring and summer. This equates to $12,186,237 going into local economies as well. The survey showed anglers spending at least $371 per fishing trip with an average of $90 going for non-fishing supplies, $80 for lodging, $80 for transportation, $70 for fishing supplies, $60 for groceries and $40 in restaurants.