New Boater Access for the Sauk River (WA)
As mitigation for impacts on the Skagit River resulting from hydropower dams, Seattle City Light has provided funds for new and improved recreational access within the Skagit River drainage. One of the sites of primary interest to paddlers was opened this summer (July 2002) on the Sauk River just downstream of the Suiattle River confluence, on the downstream river left side of the Highway 530 bridge. The Mount Baker - Snoqualmie National Forest developed and maintains the site. Future improvements to the site will occur over the coming months and plans include construction of a picnic area (with shelter) and information signs.
The new access point provides a convenient take-out for those floating the Lower Sauk or Lower Suiattle Rivers, which are popular beginner-interemediate runs through low elevation floodplain rivers. Drift boat fishermen or those looking for a more mellow paddle to watch the eagles can also use this site as a launch point. Ample parking and a launch ramp make the site suitable for rafts as well as kayaks and canoes. Available funds which were set aside as part of hydrorelicensing for the Skagit River dams will be used for additional river access, including potential relocation of the existing launch site on the Upper Sauk River (see this article if you're interested in becoming involved in planning efforts).