Cottonwood – Three popular launch sites along the Lower Salmon River are scheduled for improvements that will enhance access for anglers and recreationists. This fall, the BLM’s Cottonwood Field Office will begin boat ramp improvements at the Shorts Bar, Lucile and Hammer Creek recreation sites. Last year, the Field Office completed work to widen and lengthen the boat ramp at the Pine Bar Recreation Site to provide a safer boating experience and address user conflicts.

Beginning in early November, construction will begin at the Shorts Bar site, and later in the month work will commence at the Lucile boat ramp. The popular Hammer Creek site will see improvements begin just after the first of the new year.

While construction is underway, the ramps and adjacent area will be temporarily closed to provide for the public’s safety. Closures will be lifted as work at each site is completed. The tentative construction schedule is as follows:

Shorts Bar Boat Ramp: Nov. 2, 2020 – Dec. 9, 2020

Lucile Boat Ramp: Nov. 30, 2020 – Jan. 5, 2021

Hammer Creek Boat Ramp: Jan. 4, 2020 - March 1, 2021

The BLM recommends several alternative launch sites while construction is underway on the Shorts Bar ramp, including the public boat launch managed by the City of Riggins and the unimproved ramp at BLM’s Island Bar recreation site. While improvements are underway at the Lucile site, the BLM recommends using the boat ramp at the Old Lucile site, located just upriver from Lucile. The White Bird gravel pit ramp is the best alternative launch site when work begins on the Hammer Creek ramp in January.

Cook and Sons, LLC, a local construction company from Grangeville, is the contractor for the project.

For more information about recreation and fishing opportunities on the Lower Salmon River, please visit

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