& RFP Release

MARCH 2021



October 2021

the project; progress report

The Salmon Wave Park Project is a collaboration of community leaders, citizens,and  local business owners  to provide a man-made whitewater park and improved community recreation opportunities in Salmon, Idaho.  We believe this park is critical to our local economy, quality of life for local citizens and recreation opportunities for youth and adults within Lemhi County and beyond.​

Salmon has qualified with professional wave park engineers as an ideal setting for a man-made park.  Improving ramps, safety information, access into the river for swimmers not only offers us great opportunities but also opens the door for us to have a more intimate relationship with the beautiful Salmon River that runs directly through downtown Salmon.  The site location is in the east channel of the Salmon River as it flows through downtown Salmon just upstream of the highway bridge and bordering Veterans Memorial Park.  See plans here.

  • Develop 1 wave feature that can be used to hold surf competitions during high run-off flows in the Spring that can also be utilized for many months on both sides of those competition flows. 
  • Wave is designed for the passage of all crafts: tubes, drift boats, rafts, paddle boards and boogie boards.
  • Creates safer access points into the river for swimmers.
  • As water levels drop, so do the size of the waves
  • Improve both ramps and other Island Facilities
  • Promote River Safety and Education


  •  Made with boulders, anchored below scour depth or into bedrock

  • New designs make the channel safer for all users by creating eddies below waves that create safe swimming zones along Island Park.

  • Stresses are transferred into the bed and banks of the river

  • Potential Ice Impacts.  I​ce is always considered in Engineering Plans.  River velocity will increase slightly through the proposed area for the park which decreases the chance for ice to build.

Press Release, June 20, 2020

Salmon Whitewater Park Association gifted 4-1 Match for remaining costs of Park engineering and construction!

The Salmon Whitewater Park Association has been navigating a complex road to the creation of a whitewater park as members and agencies take into account fish and recreation needs.  For SWPA, 2020 marks the 10th year of work towards the goal of creating a whitewater park for Salmon.  However, with a new anonymous gift of 4:1 fundraising match, 2020 now also marks the beginning of a new reality for Salmon wave park supporters and residents.  


In 2018, engineering plans were scrapped for the west channel of Island Park and moved to the east channel where a wave park would still be an enormous resource for the community and visitors but not adversely affect habitat for migrating fish and general river and boat traffic.  This plan also included a collaboration with the City of Salmon to use SWPA's surveys and permits to accomplish the city's own goals of addressing problem areas in the east channel.


By building the wave in the east channel, this will allow the City of Salmon to do some much needed maintenance on City sewer pipelines under the river, as well as address a bank problem downstream.  The partnership between SWPA and the City and construction of the park will significantly decrease the amount it would cost the City to address these problems otherwise.  The City of Salmon will not be putting any money towards the construction of a whitewater park.  All past monies raised and spent are from grants, fundraising, events and Local Option Tax funds.  


In 2019, SWPA received a Local Option Tax gift to go towards a 30% design plan from S20, SWPA engineering and design firm.  This 30% design plan has now been completed and is being submitted to permitting agencies for review.  SWPA currently needs funds for the completion of engineering plans and construction costs.  SWPA will also need to complete a phase II agreement with the City of Salmon to move forward with plans for construction.  A public comment period will be announced prior to the Phase II Agreement consideration by the City of Salmon City Council.  


In June of 2020, SWPA committee members were offered an amazing gift from an Anonymous donor.  This donor offered to match SWPA fundraising 4:1 to raise remaining funds for engineering and construction.  This generous donor has put the construction of the park well within reach with a possible construction date of Fall 2021.  Donor explains, "Salmon has been very good to me and I wanted to give something back".  


Due to covid concerns SWPA was forced to cancel Salmon Riverfest this spring.  However, members say they are working hard to reschedule an event to celebrate this gift sometime over the summer incorporating traditional community classes and a whitewater film and music night.  SWPA's 14' Raft will also be raffled at this upcoming event.  


The Salmon Whitewater Park would like to thank our past donors for getting us to this point and providing the energy and enthusiasm of which our project has been built around.   We are honored with the gift of a 4:1 match and plan to launch our final fundraising plan in the very near future.  Please visit our website and facebook page for information on whitewater park plans, donor information and future event schedules at and on fb at Salmon Whitewater Park Association.  

60 Percent Design Plan (Feb 2015)
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©2012 David Cam