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  • Vancouver Lake Birdwatching (Level 2)

Vancouver Lake Birdwatching (Level 2)

  • December 17, 2017
  • 9:15 AM - 3:00 PM
  • Vancouver Lake Regional Park
  • 2


  • Active club members, including kayaking professional & lifetime. Provisional acceptance, pending approval by the Trip Organizer.

Registration is closed

This trip is limited to OOPS members who are WEC.  To register, you'll need to log into your member account on the OOPS website.

Narrative: Okay, weekend paddlers—this one’s for you! I’ve heard that the sandhill cranes and white pelicans are hanging out in Vancouver Lake and Lake River. We’ll launch from Vancouver Lake Regional Park and work our way north to where they are generally seen, then we’ll meander farther north down Lake River and possibly up Salmon Creek. Expect a minimum of eight miles paddling. Low tide is around noon, which is close to the time that we’d want to turn around and head back to the launch site.

Depending on our energy and how much of a boost we get from the tide, we might make it to Salmon Creek. This is a fun area, but it could make the overall trip anywhere from 10-12 miles. We will be paddling at a leisurely pace so that we keep our options open and don’t tire ourselves out early. Just in case we “go the distance,” we’ll allow time for that by launching at 10 a.m.; we will be off the water by 3:30 or 4 p.m. at the very latest, quite possibly earlier. Again, this will be based on how we’re all feeling, if the tidal influence makes the paddling easier (it should), and just generally what we want to do! If we to up Salmon Creek, we’ll be paddling back to the launch site later, which means we’ll have more of tidal boost to help us get back upriver. So that’s win-win.

Disclaimer: this is duck-hunting season, and there is an area that is open to duck hunting adjacent to Lake River between Vancouver Lake and Felida Moorage. From what I’ve read, hunters don’t use it much and the vast majority of it is NOT along the river. Also, hunting is more common in the early hours. I’m not worried. I would like to think that mallards and kayakers are not easily confused. Still, loud conversations or holiday caroling will be encouraged as we paddle that section. Maybe this is a good excuse to wear your helmet! :-)

There is a $3 parking fee. Fee booths are not staffed in December; we will need to use self-pay stations. Only cash is accepted at self-pay stations. Please bring your dollar bills. Bathrooms are available. It’s a bit of a walk from the parking lot to the beach area. As usual, we’ll help each other. If you have a cart with wheels that work well in sand, this could be your opportunity to use it.

The water and air temps will be cold. Drysuits required. Due to the potential distance, this trip is suitable for boats 12 ft. and longer; no inflatables, please. Intermediate-advanced SUP paddlers who can keep up with kayaks welcome.

Meeting Time: 9:15:00 AM
Launch Time: 10:00:00 AM
Type of activity: Paddle Trip
Put in: Vancouver Lake Regional Park, 6801 N.W. Lower River Road, Vancouver, WA
Take out: Vancouver Lake Regional Park, 6801 N.W. Lower River Road, Vancouver, WA
Route Alternative for bad weather: TBD, possibly Estacada Lake
Required equipment:  
Minimum Immersion protection: Drysuit
Primary Organizer: Chris Mayou
Assistant Organizer(s):  Connie Lively, Mike Cenedella
Has organizer paddled here before? Yes
Has organizer led an OOPS paddle here before? Yes
Organizer's first aid and CPR current? Yes
First Aid /CPR Person:  
Maximum number of paddlers: 12
I certify that I understand and will conduct this activity in accordance with the OOPS Activity Policy: Yes
Estimated Air Temperature: 40-45
Estimated Water Temperature: 45
Estimated Water Time: 3-5 hours with breaks
Tide times & heights: 2017/12/17 Sun 05:52 AM 2.02 H
2017/12/17 Sun 12:02 PM 0.44 L
2017/12/17 Sun 5:00 PM 2.72 H

Current information:  
Wind strength: Level 1: 0-7 knots (8 mph)
Swell/Surf size: Level 1: Under 1' waves, no breaking waves
Sea state: Level 1: Waves up to the deck seam; water glassy to rippled, no whitecaps
Landing types: Level 2: Frequent landing opportunities including docks or moderate sloping banks, brush or overhanging trees
Currents: Level 1: None or mild (less than 1 knot)
Total distance: Level 2: 6 to 11 miles
Open crossing: Level 1: No open crossing
Paddling Environment:  
Overall rating: Level 2
Rating Comments: Level 2 for potential distance and landing spots.
Location (Optional): Vancouver Lake Regional Park, 6801 N.W. Lower River Road, Vancouver, WA. Directions from I-5: take exit 1-D (4th Plain Blvd), go west on 4th Plain through Vancouver onto SR-501 (Lower River Rd). After 3.5 miles on SR-501, continue straight for 0.6 miles to Vancouver Lake Park.
Photos (optional):

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