Spring 'ideal' time for Willamette River tour
River Assets and Opportunities Task Force members are joining forces with Oregon City Business Alliance to produce a second-annual river tour.
On Saturday, June 1, electric vessels will offer the public a "journey of discovery" on two cruises beginning at 11 a.m. and at 1 p.m.
Tour leaders say that spring is the ideal time to see wildlife, fish and river mammals, because the runoff on the Columbia creates a lake effect all the way to Willamette Falls. As the river is now backed up by Columbia River runoff, the river has become in effect "a huge and quiet lake," said Jerry Herrmann, who will be captaining the vessels, along with Matthew Riegg, Rivers of Life Center administrator.
"Historically, steamboats and even tall ships attempted to navigate the Willamette to the ports of Milwaukie, Lake Oswego and at least to the confluence of the Clackamas and Willamette because there was no current, due to the Columbia's lake effect," Riegg said.
Herrmann said tour patrons can expect to see nesting herons at the second largest heron rookery in this part of Oregon, and new projects underway in Oregon City and West Linn, including at the Willamette Falls Locks.
"We will go where no one can go at most times of the year because of the quiet and crystal-clear waters we will witness," Riegg said.
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