January 25 2021
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New Ojalla Boat Slide Offers Easy Access to Siletz River

by Maggie Elliot - The Oregon Herald
LINCOLN CITY, Oregon - Boaters now have easy access to the Siletz River off highway 229 near Lincoln City, with the recently completed Ojalla boat slide. Drift boat anglers have safe access to prime salmon and steelhead fishing while paddlers (kayakers and canoeists) have year-round recreational use of this section of the river.

"The first fall rains typically spark the lower river salmon fishery for both fall chinook and coho salmon and that fishery can be productive into December," said Derek Wilson, fisheries biologist with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). "Anglers can then go after winter steelhead through March and into June for summer steelhead, so this new slide provides a good eight months of access to excellent fishing opportunities."

For decades, paddlers have parked on the side of the road near the Ojalla Bridge and carried their drift boats or other boats down the bank into the Siletz River, which eroded the bank, increased sediment in the water and posed safety risks. Boaters and anglers wanted developed access on this section of the river and provided valuable slide design and location input to the Marine Board, ODFW and Lincoln County Parks.

This project was a cooperative effort that began in 2010. Keith Andresen from Lincoln County Parks contacted the Marine Board and began conversations with ODFW, who owns the land and leases it to Lincoln County for operation and maintenance. Andresen oversaw every aspect of the project for the county and the sub-contractors to bring the project into focus.

Lincoln County received a total of $375,800, ODFW provided $295,575 of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Sport Fish Restoration boat ramp funds and the Marine Board provided $80,225 in state boater funds toward the project. Lincoln County also contributed $35,000 cash and in-kind services.

This project was a true collaboration since it is the first boat slide project designed by Marine Board engineers, patterned after a design developed by ODFW. The slide is 107 feet long with a 14 percent upper slope and 43 percent lower slope that can accommodate drift boats, canoes and kayaks. The slide structure contains over 60 cubic yards of concrete, 10,000 pounds of steel, and 260 square feet of cedar lumber (with an expected life of 15-20 years).

Although the slide is not ADA accessible, the 16 boat trailer spaces, eight single car spaces and a single stall vault toilet are ADA accessible.

In addition to constructing the new slide, grant dollars also helped pay for environmental work that included extensive bank restoration, plantings and invasive species removal to restore the eroded bank. The site design also included construction of an infiltration basin to collect and treat stormwater.

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