PG&E to increase flows for rafting on North Fork of Feather River

Aug 27, 2014 4:25 PM by Linda Watkins-Bennett

PG & E will be increasing water flows for whitewater recreation in the North Fork Feather River in Plumas County over two weekends.

It will happen on what's known as the "Rock Creek Reach" ... an 8.3-mile portion of river between the utility's Rock Creek Dam and the Rock Creek Powerhouse near Storrie.

The higher flows will occur on August 30-31 and September 27-28. Those recreating in or near the river are encouraged to use extra caution during the increased flows. This portion of the river contains Class III, IV and V rapids, which are appropriate only for skilled paddlers. it's not appropriate for tubing.

Prior to the increase, flows in the Rock Creek Reach will be about 210 cubic feet per second. Starting at about 6 a.m. on Saturday, August 30, PG&E will gradually increase water flow until it reaches 800 cfs, about three hours later. The flows will be held at 800 cfs until about 3 p.m. that day as flows are gradually reduced to 700 cfs.

On Sunday, August 31 starting at about 1 p.m., flows will be gradually decreased until flows reach about 210 cfs later that day.

The recreational flows for the last weekend in September will have similar ramp up rates.

PG & E officials say this is done in cooperation with American Whitewater and the Rock Creek-Cresta Ecological Resource Committee. And the company offers the following water safety tips:

• Sudden immersion in cold water can stimulate the "gasp reflex," causing an involuntary inhalation of air or water. It can even trigger cardiac arrest, temporary paralysis, hypothermia and drowning. When faced with swift water, even the strongest swimmers may be easily overwhelmed.

• Many unseen obstacles can be lurking below the water's surface. Swift water can make these obstacles even more treacherous. Guided trips for inexperienced paddlers are recommended.

• Recreating in PG&E canals and flumes is strictly prohibited. Stay out of canals and flumes, which are very dangerous due to slippery sides and fast moving water.

Photograph courtesy of American White Water via Feather River Fest Facebook page.


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