Raging waters: Spring runoff on Lochsa River draws boaters from all over the world

Every spring, as if drawn by a giant magnet, chinook salmon return to the Lochsa River in Idaho on their annual migration from the Pacific Ocean to spawn in the creeks and streams that drain into the river. The water is crystal-clear and cold, and comes largely from snow melting or rain falling in the Bitterroot Mountains.


A migration of another species takes place at about the same time, as adrenaline-starved whitewater junkies from all over the world converge on the Lochsa for the annual spring runoff.

Famous for its Class III, IV and V rapids, the Lochsa drops nearly 2,000 vertical feet over the course of 70 pristine, forested miles from its headwaters near the Powell Ranger Station in the Bitterroots to where it flows into the Selway River in Lowell, Idaho.

by DAVID ERICKSON – Ravalli Republic

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