Changing Conditions on Escalante River

Perhaps it is a recent development since the April deluge…but there is a new and highly dangerous strainer on the river.

There’s a GNARLY bridge strainer somewhere in the first 2-4 miles after the Hwy 12 Bridge put in (definitely before Boulder Creek). The bridge partially collapsed during last high water and the metal cross braces (or whatever) are hanging down near the water. At first sight, it kind of looks like a boat gate (the ones that are hung from a cable high above high water, and then there are vertical things hanging off it that move when you touch them, letting boats through but discouraging animals).

With lower flows (10 cfs), we had no problem sneaking under. If the water was deep enough that you couldn’t stand without being swept away, you would have some serious issues because there is nowhere to eddy out that I can remember. You can see it for 50 or so yards before you’re under it, so it won’t be too much of a surprise if you know. Portaging it would be a nightmare, if I remember correctly, because not only are there no eddies, but the banks there are steep and high. A human would get through the gaps fine…but your boat would be thrashed if it got hung up there.

If the water had been 6 inches deeper, we would not have made it underneath. Hopefully this monster is removed soon!