Kooskia Scenic Byway, Fish Sculpture
This picturesque route begins on U.S. Highway 12 at Lewiston, and negotiates the curvy Clearwater River Canyon. At Kooskia, the byway splits with one section heading south on State Highway 13 toward the Camas Prairie and the town of Grangeville. Another segment continues east on US 12 along the Middle Fork of the Clearwater River, and the Lochsa Wild and Scenic River, through a the wilderness concluding at the Lolo Pass Visitor Center.
Kooskia’s byway site features an informational kiosk with parking spaces, access to the river and an intriguing metal sculpture in an island entitled “Headin’ Up Stream.” This steel artwork features seven Chinook salmon returning to their home spawning grounds in the Clearwater River. It was constructed in 2005 by artists David Govedare and Keith Powell with funding from Idaho Commission on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, the U.S. Forest Service and Communities Creating Connections, Inc.
One of the engraved informational rocks reads: For thousands of years Chinook salmon have returned to the Clearwater River from the Pacific Ocean to lay their eggs in the gravel beds of the mountain streams. In legend time, they gave themselves to the animal people and the two-leggeds who first walked upon this land. In historic time, they fed the bear, the eagle, the Nezperce (Nimi-ipuu) and later the European Americans who followed the Corps of Discovery to the banks of the river near where you stand.”