Ask Zimo: Baumgartner’s famed hot springs pool saved from fire

pzimowsky@idahostatesman.comSeptember 19, 2013 

Q: Do you know how bad the Baumgartner Campground is after the Kelly Fire?

FRED, from Sept. 11 Idaho Outdoors live chat

A: Baumgartner Campground, a very popular campground located 12 miles east of Featherville, survived the fire.

Fire burned in back of the campground and now there is danger of falling trees and rocks, so the U.S. Forest Service has closed it for the rest of the season.

The campground, which is near the South Fork of the Boise River above Anderson Ranch Reservoir, is popular because it has a developed hot pool that is drained and cleaned every night.

So, if you’ve enjoyed this campground in the fall, you’ll probably have to wait until next spring to use it again.

It is a reservation campground, and you can call (877) 444-6777.

This season, the campground fee was $10 a night for a single unit and $20 for a double.

AIR PUMPS ON GREENBELT

Q: I wonder what is the possibility of getting a few air pumps (compressors) along the Greenbelt?

HOLLY MARIE, email

A: There are no bicycle air compressors along the Boise Greenbelt right now, but there has been talk about installing them in the future.

The discussion about the air compressors is going to be part of the Boise River Management Plan, which is being updated.

The city of Boise is getting help from a steering committee of 21 people representing a broad range of interest groups and agencies. At some point either late this year or early next year, the public will get to comment on the plan.

The plan deals with all kinds of recreation along the river. You can go here for more info. You can also send in suggestions to Boise Parks and Recreation officials.

By the way, Boise State University has two bike stations on campus with air compressors. One is at the Outdoor Recreation Center and the other is at the Lincoln Parking Garage.

Whole Foods, at 401 S. Broadway Ave., which is just off the Greenbelt at the Broadway Bridge, has free air at a bike station on the north side of the building.

Several bike shops between a block and several blocks from the Greenbelt also provide air.

HOLY FLYING STURGEON

Q: If sturgeon are supposed to be anadromous, how did they get above Shoshone Falls without being planted?

JOHN, from Sept. 11 Idaho Outdoors live chat

A: We’d like to imagine these giant, magnificent creatures jumping 212-foot Shoshone Falls along the Snake River, but that would take flying sturgeon. The ones in Idaho are white sturgeon.

I’ve seen sturgeon roll in the Snake River, looking like whales, but the falls are too much for them. Naturally, their upstream migration was stopped by the falls, which are higher than New York’s Niagara Falls.

So, to answer your question: Yes, the fish were stocked upstream by Idaho Fish and Game.

I went to the state agency’s website and got more information on one of Idaho’s most interesting fish.

The white sturgeon is the largest freshwater fish in North America.

Sturgeon can live to be more than 100 years old, and they used to get pretty big. Pioneer anglers caught sturgeon from the Snake River that were up to 1,500 pounds.

The prehistoric-looking fish are found in the Snake, lower Salmon and Kootenai rivers of Idaho.

The healthiest populations remaining in the state are found in the free-flowing stretch of the Snake River between the Bliss Dam and the upper end of C.J. Strike Reservoir in southern Idaho, and in the free-flowing Snake River from Lewiston upstream to Hells Canyon Dam, according to Fish and Game.

Smaller numbers of sturgeon are also found in the Snake River below American Falls and C.J. Strike dams.

Pete Zimowsky: 377-6445, Twitter: @Zimosoutdoors

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