The Idaho Kayak Tax

sticker.aloneIf you are opposed to paying for a sticker on your kayak to fight the Quagga Mussel now is the time to act. No one disagrees that the Quagga Mussel is a terrible thing. We are all together in the fight to keep all invasive species out of Idaho. The point of contention is the means and targeting of the Quagga Sticker Tax.

The sticker and the invasive species act in Idaho was an ill conceived program from the start. Ramrodded as an emergency measure in 2008 by Rep. Eric Anderson of Sandpoint the act, now entering year two, is starting to sink. It never really floated from the start:
  • No enforcement.
  • No vendors.
  • No education,
  • No one wants to sell them.
  • Not enough stickers.
Like any government program, Anderson simply wants to throw more money, your money, at the unworkable program. The new increase in fees flew through committee and is up for vote soon in

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Permit Renewal Costs Threaten Idaho Outfitters

Big Government Bureaucracy Raising Taxes on Small Business

BOISE, ID - At a time when federal bailout and stimulus money is being channeled to businesses and government agencies to save jobs, the USDA Forest Service has initiated a policy with opposite implications. After paying $1.4 million in fees to the Forest Service over the past five years, outfitters on the Middle Fork say their businesses are threatened by a new fee the agency wants to charge to recover the cost for processing their permits. They wonder where the $1.4 million went which they insist should be enough to cover the cost for permit processing.

For the 25 outfitters offering river trips on Idaho’s Middle Fork of the Salmon, the financial burden is significant. The issuance of their permits has become complicated, and potentially costly, due to requirements of the Endangered Species Act and other federal regulations. Outfitters fear that open-ended studies, monitoring and the administrative costs associated with permit renewal will compound the impact of the recession and create an insurmountable financial burden.

The viability of outfitting is important to the economic health of rural Idaho communities. The Middle Fork Outfitters Association estimates that outfitted trips produce an economic benefit valued at more than $15,000,000 to local communities. Nearly 6,000 vacationers a summer float the Middle Fork with outfitters and often extend their stay beyond their river trip. Local stores, services, restaurants, motels and specialized recreation providers see benefits.

Grant Simonds, the Executive Director of the Idaho Outfitters & Guides Association, sees Cost Recovery as affecting all outfitters operating in Idaho. “If this policy is applied to every permit as it comes up for renewal, the results will be devastating. Lots of our members are small family businesses where any new cost has a big impact. How is a small outfit grossing $50,000 going to absorb thousand of dollars in new expenses even before they take a single guest”?

Outfitters have asked the Forest Service to revisit the regulation and make changes that will protect small businesses from exorbitant costs of prolonged processing and studies.

For more information about the Idaho outfitting and guiding industry, contact Grant Simonds, Executive Director of the Idaho Outfitters & Guides Association at 208-343-9548 or by email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For information about the Middle Fork or to obtain a list of outfitters, visit

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Snotel Maps for Idaho.

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Download the NRCS current Water Supply Outlook Report.

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Idaho Red Herring Tax Increase

RS 19221 Goes to House Resources Committee
Location : State Capitol Building Room EW40
Contact : Rep. Jim Stevenson. 208 332 1136 they don't answer the phone -- typical!
Time: Thursday, 11 February 2010, 13:30

red herringHere we go again. Parks and Rec and the Idaho State government continue to tax without representation. First they wanted to tax non motorized watercraft. The found too much opposition. so they renamed it the Invasive Species Fund and what is commonly referred to as The Idaho Red Herring Tax. Five bucks isn't enough. Now they want to raise Eric and Butch's Idaho Red Herring Tax.

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Just Add Water

While the official groundbreaking, silver shovel, ribbons etc. took place in November 2009, the work crews started with a 24/7 schedule on December 1. In just over two months Kelly's Whitewater Park has been transformed from a dream into reality. As of February 4, 2010 the project looks to be on track to be completed by the goal of mid April 2010!

A crew of approximately 40 workers are on the site. Trackhoes are placing the final touches on structures three and four. The visitor's center is near completion as plumbers and carpenters finish the building's interior. The Whitewater park is located just to the east of downtown Cascade. Originally it was the site of the Boise Cascade mill. The Mill closed in 2001.

The new whitewater park is

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PBR Results 2009

Downriver Marathon. Alder Creek to Banks

Ryan Casey 1:01:42
Melisa Newell
Fred Coriel
1:01:42 Stacey Thompson 1:07:00
Brett Gleason1:02:00
Brian Ward
Aaron Wydra
Jesse Murphy
Marty Rood

Downriver. Deer Creek to Banks

Jared Alexander
Jes Brown (NZ)24:09
Brian Ward
Stacey Thompson
Mike Mckee
Jesse Murphy
Marty Rood


Seth Stoener
Team Oregon Raft
Tanner Griffith
Boise Hotshots
Connor McCloud
Ethan McCloud
Connor Jackson
Michael Hayes

Downriver. North Fork Free Otters to Banks 6/7/09

Ryan Casey
Jes Brown (NZ)
Jared Alexander
Tristan McClaren

Slicker Sticker

stickerYes the Idaho Invasive Species Fund is now in effect. However misguided, misapplied, misrepresented, the zebra mussel sticker is now required equipment on almost all whitewater craft. Well almost.

The Idaho Invasive Species Fund (IISF) was designed to raise monies to fund the costs associated with the potential introduction of invasive aquatic species in particular, the Zebra and Quagga mussel and the Red Herring into Idaho. The Quagga and Zebra species of mussels are closely related and appear very similar therefore both are commonly referred to as Zebra mussels. It is too late to stop the Red Herring. It is firmly established in Idaho , but its spread to the waterways may be preventable.

Kayakers will now pay to protect the state from zebra mussels. The Big Question on everyone's mind is why are inflatable boats under 10 feet exempt, but kayaks under 10 feet are taxed? The untaxed fleet includes float tubes, fishing cats, kick boats and more.

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Upgrades to Kayak Idaho

We've been working hard this spring to make kayak idaho better for the 2009 Whitewater Season.

  • New flows pages for all Idaho whitewater rivers. One source! Kayak Idaho!
  • More maps
  • More River descriptions
  • Surf Spots
  • SEF page addresses
  • Improved classifieds 
  • More Videos
  • Fixed the photo upload bug ( I hope)
  • Expanded the shuttle list
  • added permit bookmarks.

Now help us and all the other Idaho boaters by contributing to the forums, uploading photos, adding videos.