The Teton Dam is a famous study of poor civil engineering feeding pork-barrel politics. As the project was reaching completion and the reservoir was being filled, a large leak formed...and, on June 5, 1976, the developing project came to an abrupt, and tragic, end. Two bulldozers were used in trying to stem the developing leak; they both were swallowed by the flood. Fourteen people downstream lost their lives. The project is described in Marc Reisner's excellent book, Cadillac Desert. Click here for a recriminating description of the failed project; click here for a more academic description, complete with some excellent pictures by Mrs. Eunice Olson.
Floated it early this year (2010). Gorgeous views through the area. You cannot drive down to the water. Bureau of Reclamation has a gate across the road. You can hike down several hundred yards to the waters edge. I think there were only two patches that could have been called rapids, but they weren't an issue. We pulled out just after the bridge on 2750 E and on river right. There's a great place there to park the take out vehicle. I think we floated it with the water at about 500cfs.
Took 2 guys that had never been in kayaks on moving water down it May 28, 2012 at just about 500cfs again. Perfect little stretch to let them have fun and try out a new sport. Nothing wild- no strainers, just a good safe run even if you need to swim.
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Teton Dam Failure
Breach of Teton Dam
The leak increases
Leak in Teton Dam
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<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Idaho is proposing a $13 registration fee for non-motorized boats greater than 7 feet in length. Under this registration fee proposal all kayaks and rafts on Idaho waters would be required to have a registration sticker fixed to the bow of each boat greater than 7 feet in length. Stickers would not be transferable between boats. Out of state boaters would be required to comply as well.
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