Ask Zimo: Arrowrock Reservoir needs docks for safety, convenience

pzimowsky@idahostatesman.comJune 26, 2014 

  • HEY ZIMO! IDEAS FROM READERS

    HIGHER-ELEVATION RATTLERS

    Hey Zimo!

    We spotted a rattlesnake on June 7 at the base of Stack Rock. I thought some of your readers may need a reminder that rattlers do exist in the Boise Foothills. The one we spotted took us by surprise because of the elevation.

    JEFF LAVEY, e-mail

    ZIMO NOTE: Don't be surprised where you might come upon a rattlesnake in the West. "The Great Basin rattlesnake may be found up to elevations of 8,000 feet, depending on specific locations," said Frank Lundburg, a Boise snake expert. There are some reports of rattlesnakes being found at more than 10,000 feet in elevation. I've never seen one on an alpine trail, but never say never. Check out Lundburg's website at ecosnake.com for details about rattlesnakes.

Q: How come nobody has put the dock back up at Arrowrock Reservoir? There hasn't been one up there in many years. It was nice to have them up there. The dock was especially helpful when you're trying to launch your boat on a windy day. Without a dock, it's really, really tough. I've designated my money from my boat registration to go to docks at Arrowrock, and nothing ever happens.

CLINT HALL, avid Arrowrock boater

A: Right now, don't expect to see any docks at the boat launch at Arrowrock Reservoir. It's a long story about the docks, but Surat Nicol, assistant manager of Lucky Peak State Park, filled me in.

Nicol said many years ago Ada County Waterways had a few surplus docks and put them at Arrowrock to help the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which manage recreation facilities up there.

Since that time, the cost of docks has more than doubled, Nicol said, and most of the wooden docks Ada County Waterways replaced on Lucky Peak Reservoir over the past few years were in really bad shape and couldn't be used at Arrowrock. Ada County Waterways is operating on the same budget constraints as other agencies, and officials didn't think it was a good investment of time, material and labor to travel a bad road to Arrowrock Reservoir, he said.

"There is also the cost of maintaining the docks and a high potential for vandalism. The vault toilet and vehicles have been shot up in the past," Nicol said.

Boat anglers really like Arrowrock because you have to go a little farther on a rutted, bumpy road and that discourages a lot of folks. Consequently, they don't have to put up with the crowds and waterskiers. The trout and kokanee fishing can also be good for trollers.

The only thing I can say is power boaters pay registration fees each year, and they've got to make waves to get some docks there.

You might try petition drives to the Elmore County Waterways Board, the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Reclamation and the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation. I know that's a whole bunch of agencies, but it's going to take a lot of noise to get the docks.

Most of Arrowrock Reservoir is in Elmore County, so the county's waterways board would be in charge of facilities at the reservoir. It's puzzling because even some of the smallest reservoirs have docks, like up at Lost Valley Reservoir near New Meadows.

Pete Zimowsky: 377-6445, Twitter: @Zimosoutdoors

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