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Paradise to St Regis

Paradise to St Regis

Postby Nater11 » Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:01 am

Anyone run the Clark Fork from Paradise to St Regis? I can’t find any motor restriction (currently). And it looks really runnable.
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Re: Paradise to St Regis

Postby Mule » Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:10 pm

There are no motor restrictions on the Clark fork below the alberton gorge. A couple years ago, I ran from plains or Paradise (can't remember which one has the ramp) to quinn's resort and it was no problem.
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Re: Paradise to St Regis

Postby Crawdad Johnny » Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:35 am

I bet that trip would have some great scenery. Did you do any fishing on that stretch?
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Re: Paradise to St Regis

Postby Nater11 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:04 pm

Thanks Mule!
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Re: Paradise to St Regis

Postby autorick » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:29 am

That would be a fun trip to do.
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Re: Paradise to St Regis

Postby Bobcat93 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:26 pm

I have family in Missoula so that might be a trip I'd have to try. The water looks deep in spots when driving by.
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Re: Paradise to St Regis

Postby Mule » Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:18 pm

Sadly, we didn't drop any lines on that trip. However, there were some very nice looking holes on the way up there before the confluence. Our trip did not take very long at all. Went up, had lunch, and headed back. There was one rock that we narrowly missed under the bridge for the highway on the way up to Quinn's. I think you can see it on Google maps. Didn't footprint at the flow we were running. Centered in the stream on the upriver side.
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Re: Paradise to St Regis

Postby Nater11 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:58 pm

Right on. I'll be down in May, (Boatless). But will probably drive it for a scouting mission. I'll be back again in June (with the boat). Possibly permanently. So I'm doing some research on where my boats new playground might be!
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Re: Paradise to St Regis

Postby Mule » Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:58 am

Missoula area? There's not very much river open to jet boats in the west side of the state. That section of the Clark fork that I mentioned before is open. Gorge is closed year round. There is a stretch above the gorge on the Clark fork that is open up to Kelly island for a short period in the spring. Flathead river is closed below Kerr dam. Only other section I know of is the Flathead river above the lake up to Columbia falls. Everything else open is east of the divide as far as I know
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Re: Paradise to St Regis

Postby Penguin » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:06 pm

Just wanted to jump in and ask about the Flathead being closed below Kerr Dam. Closed all the way to the Clark Fork? I travel that stretch of highway all the time and have seen the same party barge motoring around a number of times. Do you know what agency sets and enforces motorized river use policy in Montana? I was always of the belief that the Federal Navigable Waterways Act (or something to that effect) made it pretty difficult for any agency, state or federal, to limit waterway navigation.
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Re: Paradise to St Regis

Postby Mule » Fri Dec 15, 2017 12:35 am

http://fwp.mt.gov/recreation/regulation ... ody.html#g

Here's a link to the Montana FWP waterbody restrictions. This will only apply to water bodies controlled by Montana FWP. The tribe regulates the dam and the Flathead river below it is on the reservation. I don't know exactly what the regs are, or where the line is. Might be worth looking into more, because that sure is a beautiful stretch of river!
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Re: Paradise to St Regis

Postby Nater11 » Fri Dec 15, 2017 3:36 am

Glad you said something- I been trying to do some research to see how far up a guy could go and found nothing about the Lower Flathead; however, the reservation wants you to buy a permit for floating it. I might have to call them and ask. Guess you can't find everything on the internet...
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Re: Paradise to St Regis

Postby Nater11 » Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:55 pm

Found a little info to share:

The Flathead Indian Reservation restricts all bodies of water to a max horsepower of 15 (except Flathead Lake).

The Reservation line starts 4.15 Flathead River miles upstream from the Clark Fork confluence.
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Re: Paradise to St Regis

Postby Penguin » Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:23 pm

Have done a little research on this and have found that the tribes have no statutory authority to restrict vessel horsepower on flowing waterways within their reservations. Like highway 200 that runs parallel to the Flathead river through the lower part of the reservation, the river is a public right of way, and while the tribe may regulate usage, it has no more authority to restrict vessels by power output than it may restrict highway usage in the same manner. The fact that it effectively does so is one of a number of jurisdictional challenges that hasn’t been ruled on in federal courts. I find it odd that the state publishes tribal restrictions, and in doing so, expresses it endorsement. Can the tribe cite non-tribal members for violations of its “laws”?
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Re: Paradise to St Regis

Postby MTRiverRunner » Sun Dec 24, 2017 8:09 am

I have spent a lot of time in that area. You can easily run up to the reservation boundary. As mentioned before, the tribe restricts travel to 15hp or less. I have gone up quite a way past the reservation boundary on my kicker. I eventually got to a rapid that was too big to run with the kicker although it would have been a piece of cake with the big motor. If you go below Paradise, there is a set of 2 rapids that you need to be on your toes for (I would not run them with a jon boat). At the confluence of the Flathead and the Clark Fork there is usually a really shallow bar, I never wanted to mess with it with my HCM but it would be pretty easy most of the time with my Wooldridge.

The fishing can be hit and miss for Smallmouth, there are a few Northern Pike, again dependent on season.
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