Fall into fun at the Harvest Festival Sept. 12-14

Harvest Fest Hay Ride
Hay wagon rides are a big hit at the Harvest Festival

Here’s a quick bit on the upcoming Harvest Festival you can send on to your friends and relatives.

The Third Annual Harvest Festival, Sept. 12-14, at North Dam Park, is a fun festival for the entire family and a good way to polish off what has been a great summer.

And it’s free!

Always wanted to take a helicopter ride? You can do it at this year’s Harvest Festival, at a nominal price. Soar through the sky and look down on the things you’ve seen all year long, except from a different vantage point. Rides are available from 11 a.m. to dusk on Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Get on a hay wagon and relive those early days when the horse drawn wagon was a common mode of transportation. You can Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at North Dam Park.

Can you bake a berry pie? There’s competition in the berry and apple pie-baking event. Judging will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday in the picnic area with winners announced at 2 p.m. Bring two pies, one for judging and the second for a pie raffle.

One of the featured events is the barbecue competition. This is serious stuff for barbecue enthusiasts and some of the best in the Pacific Northwest are head our way.

Luckily for them, we also have an excellent beer garden planned, featuring brews from one of our favorite Washington state microbreweries, Iron Horse Brewery. Among the brews featured: High Five Heffe, 509 Style, and, of course, Irish Death. (That last one is so smooth and not bitter, for a dark beer, that you’re tempted not to take it seriously, a mistake at least one ex-sailor I know won’t repeat.) For those of you not into such craft beers, and there are a lot of you, the beer garden will also be stocked with Bud Light.

That’s Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Judging and the awards ceremony begin at 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Samples will be available for purchase. The BBQ event is in conjunction with the Pacific Northwest Barbecue Association. Ribbons and trophies will be given and there are some $3,500 worth of cash prizes. The chamber of commerce, organizer of the festival, has info and a signup sheet here.

 

Colville Tribe stocks Rufus Woods with thousands of fish 

 

Rainbow Trout
A tribal member displays a rainbow raised in net pens on the reservation in Lake Rufus Woods on the Columbia River

Staff from the Colville Tribes Resident Fish (CTRF) program released approximately 5,700 “triploid” rainbow trout ranging from two to three pounds each into Lake Rufus Woods July 31.

The fish, which can be identified by the absence of the adipose fin, are part of a supplementation effort of the Rufus Woods Net Pen Project, which the program’s staff oversees. The CTRF program purchases these fish from a local commercial aquaculture facility. Since 2011, some 118,100 triploid rainbow trout have been released into Lake Rufus Woods. Approximately 48,000 will be released this year alone.

“Normally, fish are diploid and have two sets of chromosomes (one from each parent),” Hatchery Manager Jill Phillips said, explaining the word triploid. “When a treatment of heat or pressure is applied to a fertilized egg prior to a certain egg development stage, the results are triploid or three chromosomes within the cell.”

She said, “Triploid rainbow trout females do not develop eggs. Male triploid rainbow trout sperm is not viable. Basically, both sexes are sterile. Utilizing triploid rainbow trout to supplement fisheries allow managers to mitigate impacts on native fish species.”

“Our overall goal of the CTRF program is to provide a subsistence and recreational fishery on Lake Rufus Woods which remains a popular fishing attraction,” said Bret Nine, resident fisheries manager for CTFW.

Triploid trout have three chromosomes instead of two, which means they can't reproduce. That way, the planted fish that sportsman love can't hurt the native species.
Triploid trout have three chromosomes instead of two, which means they can’t reproduce. That way, the planted fish that sportsman love can’t hurt the native species.

All non-members fishing by boat on the boundary waters of the Colville Indian Reservation or from the shore of Lake Rufus Woods at a Designated Fishing Area must have either a valid Colville Indian Reservation Fishing Permit, or a valid fishing license issued by the state of Washington, a tribal press release states. Tribal members must possess a Colville tribal identification card, which is a legal permit to fish.

 

 

 

Great things to do at Spring Canyon this weekend

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Saturday August 2, 2014
3:30-4:00pm Birds and Beaks
Join Ranger Deb in the day-use area in front of the Spring Canyon Exploration Center Building and learn about why birds have their particular beaks.
30 minutes.
6:00pm Bunchgrass Prairie Nature Trail Plant Walk.
Join Ranger Deb on a ½ mile walk on the Bunchgrass Prairie Nature Trail in the campground at Spring Canyon. We will be talking about the areas native plants and also learning about some invasive plants and their roles in the ecosystem. Please meet at the trailhead.
45-60 minutes.
 Please bring water and apply sunscreen.
 This is a very active bee and wasp area. Please, no bare feet and have epinephrine if highly allergic.
Sunday August 3, 2014
9:30am Crescent Bay Canoe Trip
Join Ranger Deborah for a free canoe trip exploring the wonders of Crescent Bay Lake. We
supply the canoes, paddles, life jackets and instruction. Beginners are welcome but an adult must
accompany children under 16.
 The trip is limited to 17-19 people, so reservations are strongly encouraged. Please make your reservations in person at the Spring Canyon Exploration Center on Saturday August 2, 2014 between 1:30-3:30.
 You must have your own transportation for the 10 minute drive to Crescent Bay Lake.
 Bring water. No water=No Go.
 Approximately 2 ½ hours, including drive time.

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Spring Canyon offers activities

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Spring Canyon campground is beautiful campground near Grand Coulee in the Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area.

Several activities are planned by park staff in the near future. Here’s the schedule:

 

What: Spring Canyon Ranger-Conducted Activities

Hands-on activities, Junior Ranger Activities, brochures and park information!

Where: Spring Canyon Exploration Center

Open 1:30-3:30 Saturday and Sunday

All Activities meet in the Spring Canyon Exploration Center unless otherwise noted.

 

Saturday July 12, 2014

Sunday   July 13, 2014

Sunday   July 20, 2014

4:30 PMGuided Bird Walk. 

Join Ranger Deborah on a walk through the campground area and Bunchgrass Nature Trail of Spring Canyon to discover and experience the area’s birds. We will be walking about a mile while observing the birds. We will also be talking about why birds are so important. Please meet at the Bunchgrass Nature Trailhead. 45-60 minutes.

  • Please bring a bottle of water and apply sunscreen.
  • This is a very active bee and wasp area. Please no bare feet and have epinephrine if highly allergic.

 

Saturday July 19, 2014

6:00 PM Crescent Bay Canoe Trip

Join Ranger Deborah for a free canoe trip exploring the wonders of Crescent Bay Lake. We

supply the canoes, paddles, life jackets and instruction. Beginners are welcome but an adult must

accompany children under 16.

  • The trip is limited to 17-19 people, so reservations are strongly encouraged. Please make your reservations in person at the Spring Canyon Exploration Center on Saturday July 19, 2014 between 1:30-3:30.
  • You must have your own transportation for the 10 minute drive to Crescent Bay Lake.
  • Bring water.
  • Approximately 2 ½ hours, including drive time. 

Take a look at our new print Visitors Guide

This site augments and updates our once-a-year Grand Coulee Dam Visitors’ Guide, which you can see on your computer or smartphone on this site.
It’s always online here. And you can always find it in the column at left under “Flip through the print Visitors’ Guide.

Visitors' Guide Cover 14

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July 4th celebration plans inside

It may not be a patriotic duty, but it certainly is a patriotic privilege to attend the Festival of America this Friday and Saturday, July 4-5, 2014, at the park below the Visitor Center.
For the complete schedule, see The Star’s Festival of America special section below. Or pick one up at any store or the Chamber of Commerce’s booth in the park.
There’s a little bit of everything for everyone and a whole lot of fun for the lot, in the two-day celebration.
The festival offers free music, food, a craft fair, a new laser light show and on Friday night, fireworks over Grand Coulee Dam.
The craft and food fair kicks off each day from 11 a.m. and continues to 9:45 p.m.
Free, live music on both days starting at 5 p.m. and going until 9:30 p.m.
Fireworks will light up the sky over Grand Coulee Dam at 10:30 on July 4.

Lake will be coming up over 4th of July weekend

With a little less than 1.4 million gallons per second flowing out of Lake Roosevelt and down the Columbia River Tuesday morning, about 75,000 gallons per second were spilling over the top.
With a little less than 1.4 million gallons per second flowing out of Lake Roosevelt and down the Columbia River July 1, about 75,000 gallons per second were spilling over the top.

With Lake Roosevelt about 4 feet from being full, the Bureau of Reclamation expects the lake to rise starting July 3 by up to a half foot each day through the weekend.

Filling the lake lifts accumulated debris off the shores and into the water where it can be dangerous to boaters.

The Bureau of Reclamation is advising people camping along the Lake Roosevelt shoreline over the July 4 weekend to be aware of potential dangers that could exist due to rapidly rising lake levels.

“When camping along the shoreline, it is recommended that tents and other belongings be kept well away from the water’s edge,” said Public Affairs Officer Lynne Brougher. “Although the lake is a popular vacation spot, it is also a working reservoir that supplies water for hydroelectric facilities at Grand Coulee Dam which can result in rapid fluctuations.”

Brougher says campsites that are too close to the water’s edge could potentially become flooded and boats that are not properly anchored or secured could drift out into the lake and become a safety hazard.

Reclamation must adhere to the court-ordered 2008/2010 FCRPS Biological Opinion requiring the lake to be at the full pool elevation of 1,290 feet above sea level between late June and early July. It was at 1,286 feet above sea level Tuesday evening.

 

Ranch rodeo to show the real stuff Saturday

A cowboy throws a lariat during the 2013 ranch rodeo.
A cowboy throws a lariat during the 2013 ranch rodeo.

Ever wonder what a real cowboy does?

You can find out Saturday evening when the Ridge Riders hold their Ranch Rodeo in Delano. Action begins at 7 p.m.

It’s the second year that the Ridge Riders have brought ranch rodeo action to Grand Coulee.

Saturday’s program is an excellent time to bring the family because children 10 and under can attend free.

Team contestants will compete in the following categories:  1) Team branding; 2) Trailer loading; 3) Pasture gathering, and a special individual category: bronc riding.

Buckles and money are in line for the cowboys and cowgirls in the various categories, where time is the deciding factor.

A ranch rodeo circuit exists from Tonasket to Republic and Winthrop to Grand Coulee.

Last year the Ridge Riders staged a pair of ranch rodeos.

Teams are made up of three men and one woman, and spectators can get a good idea of what a true cowboy/cowgirl will do in today’s ranch world.

Teams can be made up from individual ranches or a combination of members.

 

Magic and fun festival coming up for kids

Kid-powered boat
Kids power a peddle boat during the 2013 Koulee Kids Fest in the Grand Coulee Dam Area.

The upcoming weekend’s Koulee Kids Fest offers a passport for fun that will keep parents and kids entertained for hours, plus offer a chance to win some really great prizes.

Catching a fish at Kids Fest
Catching a fish is pretty much a guarantee at the fish pond provided by the Colville Tribal Fish and Wildlife Department.

 

To participate this Saturday, June 14, kids pick up passports at the Grand Coulee Dam Visitor Center, Saturday Market or Coulee Hardware. All the information will be provided when they pick up their passport.

Old car show is fun
Tons of fun at the Coulee Cruizers’ car show.

Kids and their parents take part in at least six featured events and show up at the Grand Gallery Theatre at 3 p.m. for the drawing for a Kindle Fire, an iPod and a lot more. Winners must be present and 12 or under to win.

And they can stay for a free magic show, starring Dick Frost, a 45-minute event billed to fascinate young and old alike.

At last count, venues for passport entries included:

• catching a fish at the huge tribal tank next to the museum;

• riding a paddle boat at Coulee Playland;

• stopping by the Coulee Cruizers’ Car Show and Shine event at North Dam Park to vote on your favorite car;

• buying a burger or hot dog at the Lions Club BBQ at North Dam Park;

• visiting the Visitor Center at Grand Coulee Dam, finding “Rosie” and coloring your favorite quilt blocks;

• playing disc golf at North Dam Park;

• geocache fun at Funzee’s in Grand Coulee;

• creating chalk art at the Skate Park;

• checking out the inside of a fire truck;

• getting free ice cream from the Coulee Creamery at North Dam Park between noon and 3 pm;

• slingshoting a stuffed pig at the Tropical Pig in Electric City;

• stopping by Saturday Market for a free cookie; and

• playing a round of mini-golf at Sunbanks Lake Resort in Electric City.

Here’s a link to a map of events

For more on the Koulee Kids Fest, see the Grand Coulee Dam Area Chamber of Commerce’s website.

How much water is coming out of that hole?

You might be seeing 2% of the river flow coming through a hole like this.
You might be seeing 2% of the river flow coming through a hole like this.

For several weeks, a powerful flow of water has been pounding the river below the dam, rushing from one outlet tube in the dam.

It causes a very slight vibration in my nearby home, so that the door between the kitchen and garage emits a high-pitched squeak. I can’t feel it or otherwise detect the vibration, but when I hear that squeak, I know that if I walk out my front door I’ll see that gigantic, thundering water spout.

So how big is it that water spout?

Flow records indicate there’s about 3.9 kcfs shooting out of that tube. That’s 3,900 cubic feet per second, or 29,000 gallons. Every second.

Water weighs something like 8 pounds per gallon, depending on the temperature, so that comes out to 232,000 pounds per second of water, under pressure, pounding the river 150 feet (guessing) below.

That’s impressive, but when you consider the total flow of the river is right now about 160 kcfs you’re only looking at about 2 percent of the river squeezing through that tube. The rest is making power through the generators.

The funny thing is that just watching 2/100ths of the river make an impressive show of power helps me appreciate the tremendous energy of the river tapped by the dam and sent out into the nation.