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Had a buddy that put in at the last ramp down on the lower Cowlitz(Kelso) yesterday at low slack and he said the high water earlier in the year pushed a bunch of silt down filling in the boat ramp and surrounding areas. He said there was only about 1 foot of clearance going out. He said he did not feel comfortable running his pump as it was sucking up silt. Just wanted to make everyone aware since we have some negative tides coming up that might make it difficult if not impossible to launch or trailer your boat. You may want to consider the Ranier ramp as an alternative.
 

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I'm not real sure, but I think it's a little deeper just upstream of the ramp. So head up a bit as you're heading out.
 

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Even if it wasn't, if there is any boat traffic at all, the water gets mudded up, and its hard to see. What I do is come up river on the east side till I'm even with the ramp, then come across just upstream of the ramp, on plane, until I'm just out from the point. That seems to be the common drill. That way, if you do get stranded when you come off plane, it's a short walk to the car to call the tow truck. :grin:

But I haven't been out there since May.
 

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Last month, when I was there....follow the angle of the ramp out to main channel....it was shallower above the ramp, and a sand dune appears straight out from the ramp at low tide. In and out on plane if you are comfortable with it...off plane....tilt your motor up so it still sucks water and has power. I ran on plane to the hole directly at the ramp with the sand bar up showing real high....maybe foot, foot and a half max of water in the deepest slot....angle of the ramp... a couple boats idled out as I loaded up...they were sucking alot of sand, but for what ever reason, didnt tilt their motors up. :shrug: Jign
 

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Silver Hilton, I believe it was deeper on the upriver side last year but this year is totally different. At low slack, you may need to wealk your boat in or out. You need to follow the direction the ramp is facing all the way out to the other side. The entire river has filled in quite a bit since last year so go slow and watch your depthfinder. Just come back in after about an hour of the flood tide. :shrug:
 

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This summer the sand bar is well above water level upstream from the ramp. You need to angle downstream even at high tide. The sand has made alot of bars that were not there before. I was running on plane at low tide and some areas there were no deep channels to follow. If you are not a regular at this ramp follow someone who is. Good luck, be carefull. -Steve
 

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Thanks for the updates, guys. I think I'll use Kalama.
 

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we had the same problem here on the nehalem and solved it with an air cooled outboard motor
you can wash a lot of sand with the prop wash and you dont have to worry about ruining the water pump
 
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