Unearthing Idaho - C.J. Strike Reservoir

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Connor J. Marth
  • 366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Early morning light shimmers off the water as each cast breaks the calm of the lake. Fish jump in the distance and children splash in the warm water. It's summer in Idaho and what better way to spend it than on the water at C.J. Strike Reservoir.

The Air Force Marina at C.J. Strike Dam, Idaho, offers rental equipment and facilities for Mountain Home Air Force Base airmen and their families. The marina operates from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, Saturday, Sunday and holidays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Courtesy photo by Samuel Morse) This was our first stop in our trip across Idaho to find the best spots anyone can enjoy this summer.

At just under 30 minutes from Mountain Home Air Force Base, the reservoir is one of the most easily accessible recreation areas for Airmen and their families. Outdoor Recreation even has a marina dedicated solely to the Gunfighters.

The marina offers a wide variety of rental options during the summer months. Airmen can sign out pontoon, bass and ski boats as well as jet skis, kayaks and paddleboards. Whatever your choice in watercraft, Outdoor Rec. has you covered.

I decided to sign out a ski boat to see what all the fuss was about and it definitely did not disappoint. There's nothing quite like the feeling of going the speed limit of most interstates while crashing through waves. I can only imagine how much fun it must be to hang on to a raft while that monster of a boat tows you around. That being said, remember to stay safe while enjoying some of these thrill rides.

When renting a watercraft from the marina, you are required to wear a life jacket. Depths in some areas of the reservoir reach more than 100 feet and can be very dangerous to swimmers regardless of skill.

The sun slips behind a view of the Owyhee Mountain Range at C.J. Strike Dam, Idaho, July 6, 2015. The Dam holds back 7,500 acres of water and is capable of generating 82 megawatts of power at a single time. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Connor J. Marth) But, it's not just about splashing around in the water; the dam has several campgrounds scattered around the lake. With heated public restrooms, green parks and plenty of space between other campers, it's one of my favorite places to spend the night. Most marked locations are free; however, some of the nicer camping and fishing areas, such as the Cove, require small fees, usually around $2, for daily use. Outdoor Rec. also offers cabins for rent just inside the marina.

Boating and camping are great but fishing is perhaps the most popular activity at the reservoir. The water spans over 7,500 acres and contains 22 species of fish. You can even find yourself pulling in some strong game fish such as white sturgeon, if you know where to cast, but we'll be going more into that in next week's blog post. I found it easy to get away from the crowds and spend the day pulling my favorite fish from the water.

C.J. Strike reservoir offers loads of amenities. From camping to cannonballs, it has everything you need to make this summer one to remember.

For more information please visit http://www.mhafbfun.com/marina/

Editor's note: This is the first installment of a weekly blog highlighting attractions and activities around Idaho. Stay tuned to learn more!