Ellen Morris Bishop Wallowa County Chieftain
Ever wonder what’s on the bottom of Wallowa Lake? Now you can see for yourself in one of the new, transparent kayaks available from startup Jo Paddle.
“I noticed that they had these on Lake Tahoe,” said owner Robert Nichols. “I thought they would be ideal for people who wanted to explore Wallowa Lake.”
The 22 foot long kayaks are made of transparent lexan, and seat two people. On daytime paddlers, they offer a clear view of the bottom in water up to about 15 feet deep.
Daytime paddlers can glimpse an occasional kokanee or sucker-fish, and a plethora of glacially-transported rocks of all shapes, sizes and composition.
Jo Paddle also offers guided nighttime tours. Nichols outfitted his boats with LED running lights along the gunwhales, and lights on the bottom of the craft that illuminate the lake’s bottom.
Either way, paddlers have the feeling of immersion in the lake, while remaining dry. Other options for rental include a stand-up paddleboard with a transparent portion to view the lake beneath you, and a more conventional canoe.
Jo Paddles will operate out of the Wallowa County Park and the north end of Wallowa Lake. Rentals include PFDs, a dry bag, and other essentials.
Jo Paddles does not have a rental facility at the lake, but will deliver kayaks to their clients by prior arrangement. Reserve daytime rentals or nighttime tours through their website: jopaddle.com. For more information, call them at 541-886-0086.