Dreamflows Notes Page - Historical
 
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Note: For up-to-date Notes Page entries, please visit the current Dreamflows Notes Page. This page your are visiting now contains a historical record of Notes Page entries, moved here from the current Dreamflows Notes Page because the entries in question became obsolete.   However, they may still be useful and/or interesting.   This page was last updated Sun, Nov 13, 2005.

Races, Rodeos, Wildwater Event Calendar:
Posted Feb 18, 2003: Check out this calendar of race/rodeo/wildwater events. A calendar for Oregon and Washington events should be coming soon!
                                          
Posted Mar 31, 2003: See the Links section (below the table of California events) on the Race/Rodeo/Wildwater Schedules page for events in Oregon, Washington and elsewhere.
So. Fk. Smith River, Lower Gorge:
Posted Mar 2, 2003: Bill Lydgate reports that yesterday a throw bag was deployed, and lost, in the SF Gorge above the last rapid.   The rope has obvious hazard potential.   If you recover it, please let us know.
                                          
Salmon River:
Posted Apr 21, 2002: The Salmon gauge at Somes Bar is down, due to an equipment malfuncion.   The USGS doesn't know exactly what the cause is.   However, they've just been out there and know data is being collected, so suspect it's a satellite telemetry problem.   They hope to have it fixed the next time they go out there, which is scheduled for the 29th of this month.
                                          
Posted May 15, 2002: The Salmon gauge at Somes Bar did indeed come back online April 29, but it winked out again May 2.   USGS reports that they've visited the gauge site a couple of times now and cannot find anything wrong.   The data is being collected and stored properly on their data logger, but it is just not being transmitted.   However, they have just received some new GOES radios and plan to install a new one at Somes Bar the first week of June.   Hopefully, this will solve the problem.   In the meantime, Dreamflows will be estimating the flows on the Salmon at Somes Bar.   Remember - this is just an estimate.
Posted Jun 10, 2002: The USGS Salmon at Somes Bar gauge is now back online.
Posted Jun 3, 2003: Peter Gandesbery reports that about three weeks ago someone was milling some logs high up in the South Fork Salmon drainage.   About 60 of the logs fell into the river and were swept downstream.   So far, no-one's been able to locate them.   Sixty is a lot of logs to be unaccounted for.   The fear is that many of them may have been swept far downstream and be lodged in rapids in the South Fork Salmon.   The flow is now coming down to the point where folks will start running this river again.   If you do, please be super careful - logs could be lurking almost anywhere.   Also, please let Chris Shackleton know how it went so I can post an update.
Posted Jun 12, 2003: Peter Gandesbery ran the South Fork Salmon yesterday and reports no new logs (though one spot has a couple from before).   So where did the 60 missing logs go (for details, see Jun 3 entry above)?   It's a mystery.   One of several possibilities is that they're forming a giant logjam upstream.   Or, perhaps they were very small logs and all flushed on through.   In any case it's worth paying extra attention on this run.
Posted Apr 17, 2004: Peter Gandesbery reports that all the logs reported above are now gone.
Trinity River:
Posted Aug 23, 2001:
Lewiston Dam Release
DateTimeNew Flow
 26 Aug  1400 550 cfs 
 26 Aug  1600 650 cfs 
 26 Aug  1800 900 cfs 
 26 Aug  2000 1,150 cfs 
 26 Aug  2200 1,400 cfs 
 26 Aug  2400 1,650 cfs 
 StaysAt 1,650 cfs 
 28 Aug  0001 1,450 cfs 
 28 Aug  0400 1,250 cfs 
 28 Aug  0800 1,050 cfs 
 28 Aug  1200 850 cfs 
 28 Aug  1600 650 cfs 
 28 Aug  2000 500 cfs 
 28 Aug  2400 450 cfs 
A special release from Lewistion Dam will occur starting on Aug 26 at 2pm, and ending Aug 28 at midnight.   The release is for the Hoopa Boat Dance ceremony on Aug 28, and is detailed in the table.   It should take about 13 hours for flow changes at Lewiston Dam to reach the North Fork Trinity, and about 22 hours to reach Cedar Flat (both times are approximate).   The flows from side-streams are negligible, so expect the flows on the Pigeon Point and Burnt Ranch Gorge runs to be essentially the same as the Lewiston Dam releases (though correspondingly delayed in time, of course).

Putting all this together: expect great flows on the Pigeon Point run Aug 27 and Aug 28.   On Burnt Ranch, expect great flows Aug 28, and better-than-normal flows in the morning of the 29th.

                                          
Posted Sep 19, 2002: There will be no special releases for the Hoopa Boat Dance Ceremony this year.   The ceremony occurs in odd-numbered years such as 2001, 1999, etc., and is typically held in late August or very early September.   You can look forward to special releases for it next year, though ...
Posted Jan 27, 2003: The 5th annual Trinity River Whitewater Festival will take place in Big Flat on April 12 and 13 this year.
Posted Apr 24, 2003: The 2003 Trinity River Release Schedule is now available.   Note that flows will start ramping up, starting on Apr 28, and reaching 4500 cfs by May 2.   They will maintain 4500 cfs for 5 days, then slowly start ramping down again over the next two months.   Note also there will be a Hoopa Valley Tribe Boat Dance Ceremony (since it's an odd-numbered year).   Special releases for it will occur in the Aug/Sep timeframe, and exact flows and times will be announced by Aug 5.
Posted May 3, 2003: The 2003 Trinity River Release Schedule has been changed.   A Fresno U.S. District Court judge capped the flows to what would be allowed in a dry year (which, of course, this isn't).   As a result, the projected peak flow will be 2000 cfs, not 4500 cfs.
Posted Aug 24, 2003: The Hoopa Valley Tribe Boat Dance Ceremony special flow releases have now started.   The official release schedule gives full details.   In a nutshell, the release from Lewiston will rise to 1650 cfs sometime today, then drop to 1500 cfs on Tuesday (Aug 26th).   It will then decrease steadily until Sep 15th, at which point it will be 1000 cfs.   The flow will then drop overnight back to 450cfs.   Note that it takes about 12 hours for flow changes at Lewiston Dam to reach the North Fork Trinity, and about 20 hours to reach Cedar Flat (both times are approximate).   The flows from side-streams are negligible, so expect the flows on the Pigeon Point and Burnt Ranch Gorge runs to be essentially the same as the Lewiston Dam releases ... though correspondingly delayed in time, of course.
Posted Aug 22, 2004: The trinity river is scheduled to come up tomorrow to 1650 cfs.   Thereafter it will drop 60 cfs every other day until on Sep 13 it will drop back to 450 cfs.   The official schedule gives details.   Aisha Hill, Trinity River Ranger, notes this fall release is to help the incoming salmon by keeping the water levels at a reasonable temperature.
Posted Apr 18, 2005: Robin Stocum reports that there may by an unofficial extreme race in the Burnt Ranch Gorge from Pearly Gates to Burnt Ranch Falls #3 on Saturday, April 30th.   To have your run timed, meet at Burnt Ranch Falls Campground at 11:00.   Some may say that there isn't a race happening but rather people getting together to go kayaking down Burnt Ranch at a certain time, and comparing their time with those going down the river the same day.   There are no sponsors.   Should be some great carnage watching at the Falls #3 finish line, just after the hole.   This is a 15 minute hike down from Burnt Ranch Campground.  

Robin includes the following Standard Disclaimer: "I am not organizing this event.   Whitewater paddling, walking to and from the waterway, portaging, performing whitewater rescues, swimming in moving water, and riding in motor vehicles to and from the put in and takeout are always dangerous activities.   Participation in the aforementioned activities can result in loss of life, serious bodily injury, and damage to or loss of personal property.   Only you are responsible for your own safety, well-being, and personal property.   I do not assume any legal responsibility for anyone other than myself and make no guarantees for anyone's safety that participate in this event.   It is your right to paddle on this navigable public waterway.   By showing up for this event, you explicitly acknowledge and accept the conditions of this paragraph."

North Fork Eel At Mina Bridge:
Posted Feb 18, 2003: Mike MacAllister reports that the USGS gauge for the North Fork Eel At Mina Bridge is over-reading by a wide margin.   For example, on Wed. 12th of Feb., the USGS gauge said the flow was 600 cfs.   Mike's estimate was 200 cfs.   He thought the gauge was accurate until the high waters of Dec. 2002.   He has lived on the North Fork Eel for a great many years, and knows the drainage very well.
                                          
Posted Mar 14, 2003: USGS agrees the gauge is misreading, and was due to visit this gauge early this month to fix.   Evidently that effort is still in progress, because the gauge still appears to be in error.   Consequently, Dreamflows has started estimating the flow at Mina for itself.   Because the USGS graph is misleading, Dreamflows is drawing its own graph too.   For feedback on the Dreamflows estimate, or on the USGS gauge, please contact Chris Shackleton.
Posted Oct 24, 2003: Dreamflows is no longer estimating the flow at Mina, and is once more reporting the USGS gauge readings.
MF Eel, Noyo River, Mattole River, Rancheria Creek, Navarro River:
Posted Apr 24, 2004: Michael D Webster of the USGS write as follows: "As many of you may be aware, last year DWR lost funding to several river gages on the North Coast.   Two on the Big River, two on the Albion River and one on the S F Eel River, all in Mendocino County.   One, Big River below Two Log Creek, USGS was able to match funds with Mendocino County Water Agency and keep it in operation.   This year DWR has lost funding in its Division of Planning and Local Assistance, and unless other partners are found, several more gages, most matched with USGS funds, will be discontinued.   Listed below are the gages which will be discontinued October 1, 2004:

IDNameDWR FundsUSGS Match
11468000Navarro River nr Navarro$8,550$8,550
11468500Noyo River nr Ft Bragg$8,550$8,550
11468900Mattole River nr Ettersburg$17,100 $0
11469000Mattole River nr Petrolia$8,550$8,550
11473900M F Eel River nr Dos Rios$8,550$8,550
11481200Little River nr Trinidad$8,550$8,550

Also, DWR Central District operates three gages on the Gualala which have lost funding and will be discontinued on October 1.   Those are SF Gualala River ab Wheatfield Fork, Wheatfield Fork Gualala River and N F Gualala River nr Gualala.   If anyone has any hidden funding sources or knows of any watershed groups which could assist in keeping these gages from being discontinued, please don't hesitate to let me know.   Also, if you know of others who use these data, please forward this information to them.   For questions concerning those gages on the Gualala River Basin, contact Mike Mosbacher at USGS, or Bob Nozuka, at DWR."

                                          
Tenmile Creek / South Fork Eel:
Posted Dec 25, 2001: There is a hazard reported for Tenmile Creek.   Reports are that a horizontal tree is blocking the only runnable chute (at typical levels), about 2 miles below the put-in for the Tenmile Creek run of the South Fork Eel.   The chute is ordinarily quite brushy and is on the right side of the river, shortly below a left side creek.   There are numerous signs of habitation on the left, in the vicinity of the side creek.   As of Dec 22, it posed an extreme hazard to unwary boaters.   For more information, please contact Steve Rock.
                                          
Posted Feb 25, 2002: The horizontal tree hazard for Tenmile Creek (reported on Dec 25, 2001) is now gone.
Rancheria Creek:
Posted Dec 10, 2001: There are two hazards reported for Rancheria Creek.   One particularly notable strainer is in the left (main) channel in the first rapid below the big slide.   Another is in mid-stream, not too far below the first one, and is perpendicular to the current.   In general, it's been a few years since there has been a major storm to scour the banks, so there is a lot of brush and small trees that would be in the channel with flows above 500 cfs at put-in.   If you take a novice on this run please pay particular attention to both of these specific hazards, and other potential hazards.   For more information, please contact Jonathan McClelland.
                                          
Posted Mar 7, 2002: Nancy Dagle reports that there were no obstructions on Rancheria Creek when she ran it late February.   However, be aware that trees and other hazards could have appeared since then, so please take care.
Russian River:
Posted Dec 10, 2001: There is a hazard reported for the Squaw Rock run on the Russian.   About half way through the run there is an island that splits the current.   On the right side of the island, there is a downed tree blocking the entire right side.   Norword Scott (who submitted this information, and who is an outstanding paddler), was fortunately able to flip over and float under the tree at 1600 cfs.   At 2000cfs, this maneuver would not be possible.   The tree is not visible from the top of the rapid.   Although the current is not moving fast above the tree, there are also no eddies above the tree.   The bottom line here is that this tree is an extreme hazard.   For more information, please contact Norwood Scott.
                                          
Posted Feb 7, 2002: The above hazard (i.e. the tree blocking the river on the Squaw Rock run) has washed out.   It was there three weeks ago, but was gone this last weekend.   For more information, please contact Stefon Shelton.
Posted Dec 15, 2003: Phil Harlan reports two hazards on the Russian River above Cloverdale.   Both hazards are in a rapid called C-Turn, which he says is the first rapid rapid after you pass Acapulco Rock, if you run river right.   Phil writes as follows: "Running right after you pass Acapulco Rock, you run between some willows, and practically run into a rock wall.   Then you run over some white water and you must turn left.   This is where the trouble starts.   You are now looking at a fallen green tree on river right that blocks three fourths of the river.   Its roots are still on the bank and this obstacle is not visible from the road or as you boat down stream!   The second hazard is visible from the road and will most probably move in high water.   It is a very thick log at the bottom of C-turn.   Stop at the turn-out on Hwy-101 just north of where the highway crosses the river at Geysers Road.   Walk to the edge of the turn out and you should be able to see the log.   But don't let this fool you, the upper tree is not visible and will not easily wash down stream!   We may be living with this one for some time."
Posted Dec 24, 2003: Phil reports that the lower hazard (the thick log at the bottom of C-turn) is now gone.   It has presumably washed somewhere downstream.
San Lorenzo:
Posted Dec 10, 2004: Steve Jackowski reports a hazard on the San Lorenzo River as follows: "Steve Berkeley and his friend Devon ran the San Lorenzo today (12/8/04) at about 1:30pm.   The river was running about 1500 cfs.   They encountered a death log in the middle of the first significant rapid - a few hundred yards (if that) from the alternate put-in.   This is the right turn with ledgy drop.   Apparently the tree is not visible until you're dropping over the edge and it blocks the main channel completely.   Steve was able to eddy out in the miniscule eddy on river right while Devon did an emergency move to the left and bounced off rocks to get around the tree.   The left route wouldn't be possible at lower water.   Steve portaged on the right.   Steve will be calling the Henry Cowell park ranger, and if we can find a chainsaw, we'll try to cut this up in the next day or two.   In the meantime, plan to portage river right before you get there if you decide to run the river.   The rest of the river is clear; we ran it yesterday as well at 660cfs."
                                          
Posted Dec 16, 2004: Steve Jackowski gives an update on the San Lorenzo log hazard, reported Dec 10 above, as follows: "Steve Berkeley and I did our best with the log today.   I managed to cut six 5' sections from the right bank to about the center of the river, and the log did swing towards river left.   This does leave room for passage.   Unfortunately, the river was too deep in the center to continue cutting and there wasn't a good place to cross with a chainsaw.   From what I can see, it appears the remaining 15' or so of the log (with root ball) will float away on any water higher than today's 25cfs (a surprising amount of water when you're using a chainsaw).   We'll need to keep an eye out for it downstream.   I suspect it won't hang up on anything in the main part of the run, but it's certainly worth scouting any section you can't see.   Fortunately, aside from the narrow slot 1/4 mile below the Garden of Eden, I don't think there are any other really blind sections."
Posted Dec 30, 2004: Scott Cochran gives an update on the San Lorenzo log hazard, reported Dec 10 above, as follows: "My brother, Jeff, and I did the San Lorenzo yesterday, Wed, Dec 29th.   We put in at the Cowell entrance bridge about 12:30, the guage read 4.60 and falling.   Steve and team did a good job removing the log, it is gone.   (You can see a large trunk on river right with some hardware in it, but very little makes it into the river and it is not a hazard.)

The big rapid has changed.   There is now a gravelly chute to the left of the main drop which now even bonier.   One will really need 5.0+ to get enough water to get a clean run down the middle, to cover the ankle biters in the entance and exposed rocks in the main chute and to compensate for flow now spread over a wider area.   There are some logs in "Grovel Bar" at the top of the rapid, easily missed by going river right.   The rest of the route is clean, if you know it.  

About 1/4 mile below where the trail crosses the river the river now has a majority of water going left, not straight.   2 years ago it was loaded with a dozen large fallen trees, if clear it would now be the standard route.  

I fear this report might be short lived.   That evening we has a serious wind storm that inevitably blew in some wood in somewhere, but it also resulted in high flows that peaked after the wind (unusual) so it might be clean.   I know of no river that changes log hazards faster than this one, so always be extra careful, even if by all reports it was clean yesterday."

Sacramento River:
Posted May 14, 2003: The gauge on the Upper Sacramento River at Delta is currently down due to equipment failure.   The gauge has apparently been vandalized, with the solar panels smashed and other damage too.   The scheduled fix date is unknown as yet.   If you know recent flows, or have a way of getting flow information on the Upper Sac., please let Chris Shackleton know - the paddling community will thank you.
                                          
Posted May 14, 2003: Mike Koza writes: "Box Canyon gauge (at Cantara RR bridge, approx. 2 miles downstream of dam) was 4.5 feet at 2 PM Tuesday May 14.   Crude estimate 500-600 cfs.   Flow at Delta will be several (3-5?) times this figure."
Posted May 15, 2003: Marilyn Tahl reports as follows: "Flow estimate appeared to be @1800-2000 (consistent with Mike K's estimate).   News - Sims Flat Campground is closed - seems there's a chlorination problem with the drinking water.   Put-in is still okay, but you'll have to camp at Castle Crags.   They are doing railroad work at Dog Creek - we had 15 minutes, no kidding, to get everything up the hill and the vehicles over the tracks before they were going to block the bridge for 1-2 hours.   Timing is probably a crap shoot.   Made for a new event - the "How fast can you run uphill with a boat on your head?" race.
Posted May 15, 2003: Dreamflows is now estimating the flow at Delta.   Remember: this is just an estimate.   However, it should still be useful.
Posted Jun 2, 2003: The USGS Delta gauge is back online.
Posted Mar 22, 2004: Mark Twitchell reports as follows: "There's a log I noticed today (03/20/04) on the Upper Sacramento that has real problem potential.   This log was (3 weeks ago) lodged across the right side of a railroad bridge pilings.   Someone has cut it loose and now it's located about a mile above Gibson, just below a popular lunch beach, and just after a rapid that makes an almost 180 degree curve in the river.   It's now much more hazardous that it was before.   The log is wedged on the right side of the chute below the beach, and the end extends just into the main part of the current.   It's easily avoidable for those of decent skill levels, but is just at the right place for a novice paddler (or a raft) to catch.   There are sharp "stobs" poking out that could catch a PFD, too.   On the right side of the log, it is blocking another chute with quite a bit of water going through it.   In addition, there are several other logs wedged in here, which create a potential death trap for a swimmer going through this spot.   Be Careful."
Posted Mar 26, 2004: Judd Smith reports that on Sunday, Mar 21: "Lake Siskiyou was spilling (about a 3-inch sheet across the entire top of the spillway) into Box Canyon.   The Box Canyon Run was primo ... I would guess the flow to be 550 to 650 cfs.   No idea, how long this will last or whether the spill will get heavier."
Posted Apr 16, 2004: Mark Twitchell reports that at the Shasta Paddlers meeting on April 14, members reported that the log, reported on Mar 22 above, has now been removed.
Posted Mar 14, 2005: Judd Smith reports as follows: "As of 11 a.m. Saturday March 12: the Lake Siskiyou Dam is just starting to spill into Box Canyon on the Upper Sacramento River.   To be specific: there is no spill right now but the reservoir is full, the generator is running full-out and the downstream spillway is in fact filmed with overflow water.   The resulting Box Canyon Run flow at this moment is enough for a nice run.   In my estimate it's certain that a greater level of spill will soon develop."
Posted Mar 18, 2005: Judd Smith has heard that with the cooler weather, spill has not developed after all, and they've even cut back the power-generation flow.   In fact, Box Canyon is barely runnable now.
Pit River Below Fall River Mills:
Posted May 16, 2004: Mark Twitchell reports that next Wed (5/19) thru Sunday afternoon @ 3:00pm, the flows in the Pit #1 bypass reach will be about 1,050cfs at the put-in and about 1,250cfs at the confluence with the powerhouse tailrace.   This level is likely too thin for all but small rafts but should be good kayak water!
                                          
Butte Creek:
Posted Feb 18, 2003: There is one physical gauge, operated by USGS, for the flow site reported by Dreamflows as Butte Creek - Near Chico.   USGS reports the flow as site 11390000 while CDEC reports it as BCK.   However, Nancy Dagle reports that USGS's 11390000 site is currently under-reading by about 200 cfs compared to CDEC's BCK site.   Nancy also reports that she paddled Butte Creek on Saturday, and at that time she had to agree with the CDEC gauge, i.e. USGS was incorrect.   However, USGS is adamant that their reported flows are correct, that CDEC's are incorrect.  

USGS says that the high flows in January deposited material on the gauge control, causing a variable negative shift of -0.20 ft in the rating table.   USGS verified the shift by taking actual flow measurements.   USGS is applying the shift to their data, while CDEC isn't, and that's why the difference in reported flows.   USGS also states that since then, there haven't been high enough flows on Butte Creek to remove the material.   USGS checks the gauge every month at least, and during the rainy season try to do it two or three times per month.   So - who's right?   You be the judge :-) ... one strategy is to consult both sites and assume the flow's somewhere in between.

                                          
Posted Apr 11, 2003: David Cline reports that the flows reported by the USGS gauge now appear to be bang on.   He further points out that the two gauges (CDEC and USGS) are now reporting the same flows.   Based on this, it appears the USGS gauge is once more reporting correctly.
Posted Mar 2, 2004: Eric Miller reports a hazard on Butte Creek as follows: A tree has fallen completely across the creek approximately 1/4 mile above the Honey Run Bridge, causing a river-wide strainer.   Best to portage on river left.   Paddlers are advised not to try to boof the log, as the branches on the downstream side are too much of a hazard.   Reports conflict as to how easy this hazard is to spot from above.   Seems you can see it from the pool above, but can't gauge the extent of the hazard until you're in the eddy above it.  

Approximately 100 yards downstream is another strainer.   Stay river left.

Posted Jun 23, 2004: Sean Norman, of the Gridley Fire Dept., reports as follows: "The CDF/Butte County Fire Dept. removed the Sycamore tree across Butte Creek today.   It took most of the day, but the channel is now clear.   Paddlers should still use caution in the area as much of the trunk sank as it was diced up, but all the limbs were removed prior to the trunk being bucked up."
Posted Feb 23, 2005: Jordan Wittman reports a hazard on Butte Creek as follows: "There is a potentially fatal hazard on the Powerhouse to Covered Bridge section of Butte Creek.   At the rapid just above the Steel Bridge (don't know the name) there is a massive tree covering the middle 60% of the creek just below the drop where almost all the water pushes.   It can be seen from the Steel Bridge.   If it must be run, hug the left or right banks.   I recommend that the run from the Powerhouse to the Covered Bridge should now only be run from the Steel Bridge to the Covered Bridge."
Posted May 22, 2005: Daniel Efseaff reports that the tree upstream of the steel bridge (reported Feb 23, 2005 above), has been washed out with the high water this last weekend.
Cache Creek:
Posted Apr 25, 2002: The gauge for Cache Creek at the Rumsey Bridge is apparently still not correctly calibrated.   The gauge now reads correctly at high flows but could be off by up to 300 cfs at low flows.   For example, the Yolo irrigation district said today that they were releasing 680 cfs, yet the gauge has been reading 367 cfs all day.   For more information, please contact Nancy Dagle.
                                          
Posted May 4, 2002: There is a hazard reported for the Rowboat Rapid run on Cache Creek.   A tree lies hidden in the rapid known as "Rock Infested Rapids", although it apparently goes by several other names too.   The rapid is just below the low water bridge, which is in turn below the Yolo County campground.   The river splits around an island and then rejoins at a pourover.   The left channel appears to be clear.   However, there is a log strainer in the right channel, about 20 yards above the point where the two channels rejoin at the pourover.   At 1000 cfs it is barely visible from upstream, and looks like a small stick poking up through the wave.   However, on closer inspection, it's really much bigger and more dangerous - 5" or so in diameter, and 10 feet long.   Depending on the flow, it could pose a hazard to kayaks, or to swimmers.   For more information, please contact Jade Tippett.
Posted May 18, 2002: Scott Cochran reports that the strainer on the rapid just below the low water bridge (reported May 4, see above) is no longer there.   He's sure the outfitters removed it.   In any event, on May 15, Scott paddled from the campground all the way to the bridge beyond Haswell, and found the run to be clean.
Posted Sep 19, 2002: The CDEC "RUM" (Cache Creek At Rumsey Bridge) gauge site isn't reporting any more.   Dreamflows is now estimating the flow at Rumsey based on three USGS gauges upstream of Rumsey.   When it isn't raining (i.e. not winter) the estimate should be good.   When it is raining, expect the flow at Rumsey to be more than the Dreamflows estimate.   How much more depends on how much it's raining, and where ...
Posted Dec 27, 2002: Elaine Baden reports that Hwy-16 between Hwy-20 and Rumsey was recently shut due to rock/mud slides.   This meant no access to the river - which made for a long day's driving for nothing.   Caltrans reports the road is open again now.   However, Elaine notes that the road is subject to closure (it seems to wash out during every good storm) and suggests you check before leaving home.   The toll-free Caltrans Highway Information Network number is 1-800-427-ROAD, or you can check online.
Posted Dec 27, 2002: Note that Dreamflows estimates the flow at Rumsey based on three USGS gauges upstream of Rumsey.   When it isn't raining, the estimate should be good.   When it is raining, expect the flow at Rumsey to be more than the Dreamflows estimate.   How much more depends on how much it's raining, and where ...
Posted Jan 19, 2003: It turns out CDEC always reports the gauge height at Rumsey.   However, they report the flow only when the gauge height is 4.02' or more (4.02' is just over 2100 cfs).   When the gauge height is less than 4.02', Dreamflows will estimate the flow from the supplied gauge height.   This estimate will be increasingly suspect the lower the flow.   To improve the estimate, please send feedback to Chris Shackleton when you run Cache Creek below 2000 cfs.
Posted Jun 3, 2003: Dreamflows was able to calibrate the Cache Creek at Rumsey estimate for low flows earlier in the season.   Since no-one has reported obvious discrepancies between the estimate and reality, it seems reasonable to assume the estimate is now good.   If you have any feedback on the validity or otherwise of the Dreamflows estimate, please contact Chris Shackleton.
Posted Feb 21, 2004: Nancy Dagle reports as follows: "I was on Cache Creek today at ~5,800 cfs.   In the rapid called Rowboat (also called Mother) just past the Hwy 16 bridge, a tree on river left has slid down the bank and is leaning out over the water.   Its branches extend into the water 3/4 the way across the rapid.   The only route is on the far right side of the main channel.   It takes a bit of paddling to make this slot.   We had stopped to scout this rapid on the drive up to the put in at the confluence of the Bear and Cache Creek and knew of the hazard before running the drop.   This could be a real problem for people that start down the left."
Posted Mar 9, 2004: Scott Cochran ran Cache Creek from Bear Creek to Rumsey Bridge at 4500 cfs on Sunday.   He reports that the hazard at Rowboat (a.k.a. Mother) is no longer much concern.   The tree still extends maybe a few feet into the rapid, but is easy to see and avoid (high water seems to have broken much of it off).
Posted Mar 29, 2004: Elaine Baden reports that "Thanks to two men and a chainsaw, the tree hazard at Mother is no longer there.   However, there is a new hazard upstream.   In the long, shallow, sweeping right turn, before the third campground, there is a pine tree that has fallen 3/4 of the way across the entire river.   You can scrape down on river left.   There is no way around on river right.   The tree is easily seen as you approach the rapid."
Posted Apr 3, 2004: Nancy Dagle reports that the tree that was across the river from the Campground on Cache Creek was due to be removed by the county last Thursday (Apr 1).   So, right now, there appear to be no special hazards on Cache Creek, though that could of course change at any time.
Posted Apr 3, 2004: Nancy Dagle reports that the flows currently reported for Cache Creek are way off.   Last Wed (Mar 31) Dreamflows was reporting nearly 700 cfs, whereas Nancy thinks it was 350 cfs, if that.   At low flows, CDEC reports only gauge height, not flow, so Dreamflows converts the CDEC gauge height readings to cfs using its own rating table.   It appears that the channel where the Rumsey gauge is located changes over time, requiring a new rating table each year.   Consequently, Dreamflows has stopped converting gauge height to flow for now, and will resume again when a new rating table can be developed.
North Fork Feather:
Posted Jul 24, 2003: Dave Steindorf reports he's had a few people ask about the status of the Feather releases this weekend, and says: "The Cresta reach will be flowing on Saturday at 1200 cfs and the Rock Creek reach will be flowing the same on Sunday.   All of the frogs have hatched and we do not have any power alerts on the horizon.   Please pass this along."   The release schedule is published by American Whitewater.   One way to get there is from the Dreamflows Home Page, click on the Scheduled River Flows link, then click on the North Fork Feather link.
                                          
Middle Fork Feather:
Posted Apr 8, 2004: Shawn Graham points out that the Middle Fork Feather gauge at Milsap Bar is misbehaving.   It's oscillating between about 500 and 4000 cfs.   The gauge therefore has a problem, but it's hard to know if it's incorrect only some of the time, or incorrect always.   The flow can't possibly be 500 cfs.   My gut feel is that the "high" values being reported by the gauge are in fact correct (e.g. if the gauge is oscillating between 3442 and 426 cfs, then my guess is the actual flow is 3442 cfs).   But, there's really no way to be sure.   If you run the Middle Fork Feather, or have any information, please contact Chris Shackleton.
                                          
Posted Apr 12, 2004: Shawn Graham ran the Middle Feather this last weekend, and reports it was great.   The gauge at Milsap Bar yesterday afternoon was between 8.2 and 8.3 feet, corresponding to about 2400 cfs.   The gauge has also stopped oscillating wildly, and is reporting once more as it did before it started misbehaving.   On the other hand, Shawn and others in the group thought the actual flow was higher than 2400 cfs, perhaps 3000 cfs.   Mind you, I once did an informal poll of paddlers on Brush Creek and got estimates ranging all the way from 27 cfs to 200 cfs, with no consensus, which tells me eyeballing flows accurately is harder than most folks imagine.   But that's just an interesting and amusing aside.   Seems to me Milsap Bar is once more back to "normal" behavior, but it may nevertheless be under-reading a bit.   If you have any comments on this, on more amusing flow-related anecdotes, please contact Chris Shackleton.
Posted Apr 21, 2004: Norwood Scott reports that he was on the same MF Feather trip as Shawn, and everyone on the trip agreed the flow was over 3,000 cfs.   Yet, the Milsap Bar gauge was reporting 8.2 to 8.3 feet that day, which corresponds to about 2200 cfs.   So the consensus is that the actual flow on the MF Feather is significantly higher than what's being reported.   If this error persists at lower flows, this could present a real hazard for the first couple of unsuspecting groups descending Bald Rock this year.
Posted Apr 27, 2004: The consensus amongst paddlers who have run Devil's Canyon recently is that actual flows are approximately 600 cfs higher than what's being reported.
Posted May 11, 2004: Rick Stock writes as follows: "I have paddled the MFF three times this spring.   My two cents is that there is not a guage error.   Flows reported on Dreamflows appear to be very close to what I've seen.   Is it possible that the Little NF was bringing big flows and confusing the guage?   Last Friday the guage at Milsap reported 8 ft.   Dreamflows reported 1850.   Both reports seemed pretty close."
Posted May 21, 2004: The River Man agrees that this gauge is under-reading.   At these lower flows (1000 cfs and below), he says to calculate actual flow = flow reported for Milsap Bar + 300 cfs.   In other words, to get actual flow, add 300 cfs to the flow reported by Dreamflows.
Posted Jun 2, 2004: Jim Pepin writes as follows: "I have to agree with Rick Stock's assessment of the flows on the Middle Fork of the Feather.   I have run this river 30+ times in my life and several times at 8.3 and it is big.   I feel the gauge is running correct."
Pauley Creek:
Posted May 14, 2002: There is a boat lodged in the first drop on the Upper run of Pauley Creek.   This run starts at a cabin after hiking up the Second Divide trail for a mile and a half; it's the "upper" section referred to in Holbek and Stanley.   The boat is in the center boof rapid about a quarter mile down from the put-in.   You can see this rapid from the trail.   The boat is mostly underwater in the river right alcove just at the boof.   You wouldn't be able to see the boat if you scouted on the right, though you "might" be able to see it if you scouted on the left (depending on the flow).   There are also two short lengths of rope floating downstream from the bottom of the boat.   For more information, please contact John Jerger or Marty Fitzgerald.
                                          
Posted May 21, 2002: The boat, which was lodged in the first drop on the Upper run of Pauley Creek (reported May 14, see above), has been recovered.   Therefore, the hazard is now gone.
Posted Apr 27, 2005: Jake Marks reports a potential hazard as follows: "I realize that each year wood shifts around on Pauley Creek.   However, this year a new tree has fallen across the river just before the first scout for Federal Falls.   The strainer comes into view at about the same time as the log across the river above the waterfall.   If one weren't paying attention he may end up scrambling for an eddy."
Posted May 10, 2005: Jake Marks has an update on the hazard reported Apr 27 above as follows: "Masaaki Oto reported to me that the fallen tree hazard just before Federal Falls has been taken out."
North Yuba, above Downieville:
Posted Jun 9, 2003: Jeremy Katz reports a hazard on the North Yuba between Moss Canyon and Downieville, as follows.   A downed tree crosses the entire river.   The root ball sticks out on river left, and the top on the right.   At the flow yesterday (800 cfs according to Dreamflows), the section just right of the roots to almost center is barely visible, potentially leading to the illusion that there are two strainers with a clear channel between; however's there's no clear channel.   On their trip, they had two rafts get hung up on the tree, and a third wrapped.   The log is right above (and blocks) what would otherwise be a nice class IV drop and wave train in a right bend.   On the right bank is an easy portage.  

Note that just above Shangri-La there is another tree, all the way across the left channel, which is easy to see and avoid.   That isn't the hazard we're talking about here.   It's unclear whether the hazard in question is right below Moss Canyon Rapid or right below Shangri-La, but either way be on the lookout for a tree that looks easy to negotiate but is in fact dangerous.

                                          
Posted May 7, 2005: Chris Shackleton reports various wood hazards on the Sierra City (a.k.a. Wild Plum) run.   First of all, there is a great deal of sub-surface wood in the river.   Second of all, at current flows (we thought at least 1000 cfs), there are three hazards worth mentioning.   There is an obvious tree right at put-in that's easy to miss - I mention it only so you don't think that's one of the three.   About a third of a mile into the run, there is a mostly submerged tree most of the way across the river that we didn't see until we were up close and almost personal.   The rafts skipped over it, we kayakers snuck left around it.   About half a mile above the dam, the second tree spans most of the channel.   We could see it reasonably easily, and there is a nasty-looking funky channel to the right you could take in a pinch, but we all portaged.   Highway Rapid is the intimidating one with a fin rock in the middle that runs right next to the highway.   The last hazard is shortly above Highway Rapid and the tree blocks the left chute where the channel is split.   Rorie Gotham says it's a death trap.   There was plenty of other wood around that you could tangle with if you weren't paying attention.   We took out below Highway Rapid, i.e. above Ladies Canyon, so there could be other hazards below I'm not aware of.   Otherwise, the water was stompin' and we all had a great time.   Just keep an eye out for the wood.
Posted Jun 7, 2005: Andrew Guldman and Tim McDermott both report that they ran Sierra City (a.k.a. Wild Plum) yesterday, and saw absolutely NO timber in the river.   Their conclusion is that the wood is all gone.
No. Yuba, Below New Bullards Bar:
Posted Oct 30, 2002: The CDEC 'NYR' gauge (N YUBA R BL BULLARDS BAR DAM) is currently reporting 3500 cfs as the release from Bullards Bar Dam.   It seems likely that the gauge is in error, i.e. don't rush off to the river, expecting 3500 cfs, just yet.   I'm basing this assumption on the way the reported flow jumped around from 8 cfs to/from 3538 cfs on Oct 27, settled on 3538 cfs, and has pretty much stuck at 3538 cfs ever since.   Erratic - then steady - behavior like that just ain't natural, and usually indicates a faulty gauge.   Your call, but while it's certainly possible that there are releases from Bullards Bar Dam right now, and even that the releases are 3500 cfs, it seems unlikely.   Anyone out there know anything about this?   For more information, contact Chris Shackleton.
                                          
Posted Nov 2, 2002: Brent Esmon drove up to New Bullards Bar reservoir to check this out, and reports that they were not releasing from the dam at that time.   Seems a pretty sure bet that CDEC's 'NYR' gauge really is malfunctioning.
Posted Nov 9, 2002: The CDEC 'NYR' gauge (N YUBA R BL BULLARDS BAR DAM) appears to be fixed now.
Middle Yuba, Below Jackson Meadows Reservoir:
Posted Jun 12, 2003: Neil Nikirk reports that Jackson Meadows Reservoir is currently spilling about 400 cfs.   He expects flows will hold for another week or so.   Jackson Meadows Reservoir is many miles above Plumbago Crossing; 400 cfs below the reservoir puts 600 cfs or more in the Plumbago Crossing to Route 49 run.
                                          
Posted Jun 14, 2003: Note that Our House Dam diverts up to 600 cfs, so the spills from Jackson Meadows Reservoir apply to only the Plumbago Crossing to Our House Dam section of the Plumbago Crossing to Route 49 run, not to the entire run.   Dreamflows reports the flow below Our House Dam as Mi. Yuba - Below Our House Dam, which is currently only 51 cfs.   In other words, plan to take out at Our House Dam rather than the 49 bridge.
South Yuba - Strategic Planning Meeting:
Posted Nov 4, 2004: An important whitewater strategic planning meeting for the South Fork Yuba River will be held on Tuesday, Nov 9, 2004 at 6:30 PM.   The venue is Condon Park (in the L.O.V.E. Building) in Grass Valley.   This meeting concerns making recommendations to the four relevant planning agencies:
  • Tahoe National Forest
  • BLM
  • CA State Park and Rec
  • Nevada County
concerning put-in/take-out access for the South Fork Yuba, and recommending a feasibility study for use and flows.   Needless to say, you are encouraged to attend.   For more information, contact Rorie Gotham at 530-478-0258, or via e-mail.
                                          
Fordyce Creek:
Posted Aug 22, 2001: There is a persistent rumor that there'll be a release of 350 cfs from Fordyce Creek, starting Sept 1.   So far, no-one associated with Drum Powerhouse has been able to either confirm or deny this rumor, although they state that since the reservoir is so low it seems unlikely.   As of today, the reported storage of Fordyce Lake was 25,000 AF, or about 1 billion cubic feet.   At the current discharge rate of 100 cfs, this would last about 125 days, which would just about take them through to Christmas (don't forget they need to always release something).   So - will there be boatable releases Sept 1, or won't there?   It's doesn't seem too likely, but it is certainly possible.   Toss a coin.   As soon as more information becomes available, it'll be posted here.
                                          
Posted Aug 30, 2001: The word is that Drum Powerhouse plans to sustain 110 cfs for the foreseeable future.   As of this morning, the reported storage of Fordyce Lake had dropped to 23,361 AF.   The projected storage for Dec 31 is 7,500 AF.   This implies an average flow of 65 cfs from now until then.   Putting this all together, it seems unlikely there'll be boatable flows on Fordyce this year.
Posted Jun 10, 2002: Robert Payne spoke with the Fordyce dam keeper in person at the put-in on Saturday.   At the time, the combined spill plus release was 593 cfs on the gauge.   The dam keeper said that for the next week at least there should be 350-400 cfs coming out of the tube, but after that who knows.   The road was still closed at the summit, just under two miles from the put-in, but looks like it should open soon.
Posted Jun 9, 2003: According to Drum Powerhouse, Fordyce Lake is currently full, and spilling about 740 cfs.   It's been that way for a few days, and is expected to continue for a few days.   However, the runoff is starting to fail, so you can expect the flows to start dropping soon (within a week).   Also, the dam operator at Fordyce Lake is still snowed in, reporting 5' snow drifts across the road, so expect access to be an issue.   We don't currently have information about how far in you can drive, just that you can't currently drive in the whole way.   For more information, contact Chris Shackleton.
Posted Jun 12, 2003: Fordyce Creek was back to fish flow (about 50 cfs) this morning.   It isn't clear whether flow will bounce back again with the warmer weather, and if so to where.   Dreamflows will post updated information as and when it becomes available.
Posted Jun 16, 2003: The Fordyce Creek flow was 175 cfs this morning, and they're expecting it to stay at that level for a few weeks.   In a few weeks they'll start moving water lower down and flows may rise.   Drum Powerhouse reports they are getting far too many calls asking for flows, and this in impacting their ability to do their work.   So, please don't call Drum Powerhouse yourself, or we run the risk of losing the phone number, and hence flow information, altogether.   Thanks in advance for not calling Drum yourselves ... Dreamflows will contact Drum Powerhouse a couple or three times a week for the forseeable future and report the flows for you.   If you have any questions about this, please contact Chris Shackleton.
Posted Jun 24, 2003: Brett Valle reports that you'll want 4WD to get to the Fordyce put-in.   Also, although Dreamflows was predicting 500 cfs this last weekend, the flows were actually in the 175 to 200 cfs range.
Canyon Creek:
Posted Aug 28, 2003: The annual Canyon Creek release out of French Lake has begun, and it's currently running at 40 cfs.   Based on our experience last year, I'd say this is way too low to be fun.   However, sometime next week, probably by Thursday (Sep 4), the flows are scheduled to ramp up to between 75 and 100 cfs.   75 cfs should be enough, while 100 cfs should be great.   Watch this space for more details as they become available.   The online guidebook gives information on this run.   For more information, contact Chris Shackleton.
                                          
North Fork American River:
Posted Jun 10, 2003: Nancy Dagle found two kayak paddles at the take out of the Chamberlain Falls run on the North Fork of the American last Saturday.   For more information, contact Nancy at 916-483-4730.
                                          
Posted May 11, 2004: Chuck Baumann reports as follows: "Sunday I pinned a blue RPM Max about 1/2 mile from the put in on the first major rapid.   The river bends right and is divided by two rocks - one larger one on river left and a smaller one on river right.   The pin is just to the right of the rock on right side of river.   We tried to get the boat off for about 90 minutes but don't think it is coming off until water drops.   At the level we had, the boat is just below the surface so I don't want anyone else to get tangled up there."
Posted May 24, 2004: Chuck reports that the pinned RPM Max has been removed, so is no longer a hazard.
Posted Feb 27, 2005: Nancy Dagle reports that the Clementine gauge is most likely in error.   She reports that yesterday, the flow at the Chamberlain Falls run put-in was about 800 cfs, while the Clementine gauge was reading in the 500s.
Posted Mar 5, 2005: The Clementine gauge appears to be functioning properly again.   If you have additional information, please contact Chris Shackleton.
Posted Mar 7, 2005: The Clementine graph now appears to be smooth and even shows snowmelt cycles, so it appears to be functioning normally.   However, Tim Lasko provides convincing data to the effect that the Clementine gauge is nevertheless still inaccurate.   Evidently the gauge was significantly under-reading yesterday - the Clementine gauge said about 650 cfs, while the Iowa Hill gauge read 2.00 (which corresponds to about 1100 cfs at Clementine under snowmelt conditions).   Tim confirms from his own estimate (based on the feel of Bogus Thunder) that the real flow was about 1000 cfs.   Other paddlers have also provided useful feedback that confirms that the Clementine gauge continues to be suspect.
Posted Mar 17, 2005: Tom Hoeck reports as follows: "There is a problem with the gage if you trust the manual gage readings at the Iowa Hill Bridge (Gap take out/Chamberlin put in).   These are my personal readings of the gage for 3 days (March 11, 12, 13) at appx. 6:30 am. Fri./11th 2.70' ; Sat/12th 2.94' ; Sun/13 2.85'.   These were close to peak flows for the day which I think were occurring around 4-6 am and you have to adjust for the time it takes this pulse/wave to reach Clemintine, and looks to be fairly accurate (within 200-350cfs) when flows are above 1500cfs.   The real problem lies when the gage tries to read flows around 1000cfs or lower!   For example my son Ryan is putting on the gap this morning Thurs. Mar 17th and at 7am he called me on his cell to report the gage was reading 2.0'/1100cfs compared to the USGS Clemintine gage reading of appx. 430cfs.   This matches up with an earlier report by Tim Lasko March 7."
Posted Mar 24, 2005: Ranger Bill Deitchman, who is in charge of the whitewater recreation office at ASRA, is very interested in gathering data on the stick gauge under the Iowa Hill bridge (i.e. the Chamberlain Falls run put-in).   Any information will help him manage the river and possibly get the gauge re-calibrated.   Boaters are able to gather more data than his time or staff can accumulate.   He therefore asks that you check the gauge noting date, height, and time, and email the data to him so he can reset the gauge if needed.   Thanks!
Posted Apr 2, 2005: Patty Schifferle reports as follows: "The gage is off today (Friday).   I ran the run yesterday and today.   At the Bridge yesterday it read 2.9, today it was around 2.9 to 2.95 (i.e., it was slightly higher).   I understand the flow gage at Clementine read about 1300 or 1200.   I think it was closer to 1900 or 1950, some said it was 2000, though I do not think it was that high.   Several in the party with us decided once getting to the river and doing the shuttle etc that it was too high for their skill level."
Posted Apr 3, 2005: Mike Bean has been in contact with the USGS.   It turns out the Clementine gauge had radio/power issues in February, and was inaccurate for the month of March.   However, it should be more accurate now, but if you think otherwise please let Mike know and he'll pass the information on.
Posted Apr 6, 2005: Tim Lasko confirms the gauge is still inaccurate as follows: "I confirmed today that the Clementine gage is significantly in error.   The Iowa Hill stick gage read 2.75 at 11:00 am today, April 6th.   I estimate the flow to be 1800 to 2100 cfs.   Clementine was reading between 600 and 700 cfs.   Yesterday appeared to have similar flow and similar readings, based upon my commute over the NFA.   With that big of a discrepancy, I think it is safe to say Clementine is in serious error."
Posted Apr 15, 2005: Bob Center has been in contact with the USGS.   In essence, they've noted continuing gauge drift problems, which explains the drifting flow readings.   To fix, they have systematically replaced the pressure sensor, power supply and nitrogen bubbler unit.   They sincerely hope and believe the gauge will be right now - if not, then the next step is to go looking for clogs or tears in the sensor line, a much larger undertaking.   Note that USGS have gone back and adjusted the reported gauge heights and hence the flows as time has gone by.   In other words, although the realtime reported values have been in error, the historical record is correct.
Rubicon River:
Posted Jun 3, 2003: Hell Hole Reservoir on the Rubicon is close to spilling.   The reservoir storage is 205,240 AF, rising slowly, while the maximum capacity of the reservoir is 207,600 AF.   In other words, if/when the reservoir storage reaches 207,600 AF, Hell Hole will spill and the Rubicon will have more water in it.   How much more water depends, naturally, on the extent of the spill.   Dreamflows projects the storage change trend three days into the future, trying to predict whether Hell Hole will spill, and currently doesn't think it will.   Ralston Powerhouse folks are doing everything they can to stop spill, and they don't think it will spill, but they don't have enough data to know for sure one way or the other.   So, it seems spill is possible but unlikely, but if it does occur it'll be in several days' time and probably won't last long.   For more information contact Chris Shackleton.
                                          
Middle Fork American River:
Posted Aug 19, 2001: The Middle Fork News and Rumors Page concentrates on current and scheduled release information, though it posts other useful information on the Middle Fork as it becomes available.
                                          
Posted Aug 5, 2004: 10:30AM - KCBS reports that a release gate at Ralston Dam on the Middle Fork American has failed.   As a result, a four-foot wall of water is currently coming down river, and people in the canyon are being evacuated.   Obviously, you are advised to stay well clear of the Middle Fork until this is sorted out.
Posted Aug 6, 2004: Seems Ralston Dam release gate failure reported yesterday didn't do any significant damage.   KCBS has the story.
Posted Apr 29, 2005: Ranger Bill Deitchman forwarded a report from PCWA to the effect that Oxbow powerhouse has been experiencing technical problems.   Original estimates were that the powerhouse would be shut down (with no boatable flows as the result), however the lastest information is that the powerhouse is back in service again.   It should operate through the weekend.   Monday morning they will be taking a hydraulic specialist to the tunnel intake for consulting and planning.   The bottom line is that you can expect boatable flows through the weekend, but after that is unknown.
South Fork Silver Creek Above Ice House ("South Silver"):
Posted Jun 21, 2003: Chris Shackleton ran the South Fork Silver Creek ("South Silver") yesterday, and reports as follows: "The flow is great right now - I'd say at the high end of optimum.   However, watch out for some new wood below the mandatory portage this year.   We put in right above Autobahn, so for all we know there could be wood in the upper section too."
                                          
Posted Jun 23, 2003: Chris Shackleton ran the South Fork Silver Creek ("South Silver") today, and reports as follows: "The flow has dropped significantly in the last few days - I'd say today it was at the low end of good."
Posted Jun 28, 2003: Chris Shackleton ran the South Fork Silver Creek ("South Silver") today, and reports as follows: "The flow is slightly more today than it was last Monday (23rd), which is to say at the lower end of good but still great fun.   Seems this hot spell is giving the creek some new life.   Doesn't look like a whole bunch of snow is still up there, though, so it's hard to say how much longer it'll last."
South Fork American River Above Chili Bar:
Posted Apr 8, 2004: Dreamflows is now reporting realtime gauge-quality flows at Kyburz.   El Dorado Irrigation District maintains the gauge, and reports the flows themselves on their website.   Dreamflows supplied its own flow graphs, since the EID ones are less than ideal.   Use the Kyburz flow for the Kyburz, Riverton to Peavine, and Golden Gate runs.
                                          
Posted Jun 5, 2004: Kim Fondrk reports as follows: "I've run Kybuz 5 times this past spring in the 500-700 cfs range.   The first 4 times the flows seemed 'normal' or consistent with the gage reading.   This past Sunday, 5/30/04, we ran it at was was supposed to be ~ 650 and found it to be something more like 350 or 400 cfs at most.   Either the gage has been reading too low all along or it is now out of calibration."
Posted Mar 10, 2005: Excited at the thought of scheduled releases on the Slab Creek run of the SF American River?   Well, negotiations are currently being held between SMUD and interested parties to determine scheduled releases on Slab Creek (and also on the SF Silver Creek below Ice House Res).   There are no scheduled releases right now - boatable flows occur only during spill events, and that typically happens without warning only once every few years.   Hilde Schweitzer is currently representing private boating interests for the UARP in general and Slab Creek specifically.   Unfortunately, it may be hard to convince SMUD to release boatable flows on Slab.   This would be partly due to lost power generation for them, and partly since it requires significant co-ordination on SMUD's part to release enough water from upstream reservoirs to make Slab spill.   So - if people don't speak up now there is no way we can expect scheduled releases on Slab for the term of the relicense, which could be for as long as FIFTY YEARS.   Anyone who has boated Slab, wants to boat Slab, or wants their children to have the ability to boat Slab, needs to voice their opinions now.   To do this, e-mail Hilde and give her your thoughts on why you want boatable scheduled releases on the Slab Creek run of the SF American.   Express the value to you of local, relatively easily-accessible class V.   SMUD needs to hear there is a significant demand, and that it is very important for them to figure out a way to provide scheduled releases.   Negotiations are currently in progress, so Hilde needs your support A.S.A.P.   Thanks!
South Fork American River Below Chili Bar:
Posted Aug 19, 2001: The South Fork News and Rumors Page concentrates on current and scheduled release information, though it posts other useful information on the South Fork as it becomes available.   On occasion, it may report information on the Lower American as well.
                                          
Posted Oct 8, 2001: A Greenwood Creek access meeting is scheduled for this Wednesday Oct. 10th at 6:30PM at the IOOF Hall in Coloma.   The decision of whether or not the access at Greenwood Creek will remain open will be decided by majority consensus of those present.   This is a revisit to what was basically a done deal, that would have allowed the present access to be available year-round.   Note that the vote to readdress the access issue was a majority vote and was won by only two votes!   Therefore, your presence not only does matter, but at this point it's critical.   So, please attend if you possibly can.   For more information, please contact Hilde Schweitzer at mikefen@innercite.com, or at 530-622-2932.
Posted Jan 5, 2002: Reports are that the Chili Bar gauge is over-reading by 1000 cfs or more.   For example, yesterday (Jan 4) is was reporting 2000 cfs but was actually flowing much less, perhaps 800 cfs.   Another note will be entered on this page when the gauge appears to be fixed.
Posted Jan 8, 2002: Reports are that the Chili Bar gauge has been fixed as of mid-afternoon today.
Posted May 29, 2002: Dan Crandall of Current Adventures reports a NEW large strainer in the bottom of the RIGHT channel at OLD SCARY rapid on the Coloma to Lotus run of the South Fork American River.   This upper half of a dead pine tree is out of the water at very low flows, but reaches out into the current in a very dangerous manner at the higher flows we have been experiencing in the afternoons.   It has many branches, and is not visible from the entry point at the top of the rapid.   Please be very careful when running this rapid!
Posted Jun 3, 2002: Michael Snead reports that the strainer at the bottom of Old Scary rapid (reported May 29, see above) has been removed.
Posted Aug 12, 2002: The annual Sierra Nevada House Film Festival, a benefit for Friends of the River, returns this year on Saturday Aug 17th.   Leave the Sacto heat, the Gray Area fog, the day job and weekday worries, and complete a perfect day on the mighty South Fork with a drink and BBQ dinner, followed by a host of the latest and greatest films featuring exotic river scenes, adventures, and of course, gnarly hydro-vegematics.   A delectable BBQ dinner by Sierra Nevada House chef Tony Bartlett is on offer from 5:30-7 for $15, including complementary drink.   Admission to films from 7-10 is also $15.   All are welcome for either dinner or film or both - Saturday Aug 17th at the Sierra Nevada House in Lotus CA, corner of Hwy 49 and Lotus Rd.   Please tell your river pals.   Information provided by Teresa Schilling,
Posted Aug 15, 2003: Dean Danielson reports that several cars were broken into at the Skunk Hollow parking lot yesterday sometime between 11 am and 4 pm.   Skunk Hollow is near the Salmon Falls Bridge and is the private boater take-out for the Gorge run.   A cell phone, CD face plate and about $300 dollars' worth of CDs was stolen.
Posted Aug 24, 2003: Derrick Wydick reports another break-in at the Skunk Hollow parking lot on Friday, Aug 22, between 2 and 6 PM.   It was a large rental SUV with tons of personal gear.
Posted Mar 10, 2004: The Senoritas on the South Fork of the American River 1st Annual Fundraiser for American Whitewater will be held on Sunday, April 25, 2004.   This is the first in a series of professionally-instructed clinics for women.   Click here for more details.
Posted Jun 16, 2004: Martin Wong reports that the PRAE River Ranch on the South Fork American was robbed, ransacked and vandalized a few days ago.   A huge amount of paddling and other gear was taken - his web page http://www.raft.org/rob.html gives a full list.   If you know or hear anything about this, please contact Martin, or the El Dorado County Sheriff (e-mail address is on the web page).
Lower American, Release Lake Natoma (San Juan Rapid):
Posted Oct 16, 2001: Dreamflows now reports the USGS 'Fair Oaks' gauge for the Lower American, in place of CDEC's 'Natoma' gauge.   The USGS is closer to San Juan Rapid, and appears to be more accurate.   Note that the USGS gauge reading is lower than the CDEC one by 10 to 15 percent.   Therefore, until you get used to the new readings, please don't freak over apparently low readings: 1140 cfs on the USGS gauge is approximately equivalent to 1300 cfs on the CDEC gauge.   Hilde Schweitzer (who knows about these things) reports that 1128 cfs on the USGS gauge still works for San Juan Rapid, but to please beware of shallow rocks at these lower flows.
                                          
Posted Sep 21, 2002: The USGS 'Fair Oaks' gauge for the Lower American appears to be stuck at 834 cfs, i.e. the gauge is malfunctioning.   Therefore, Dreamflows is now reporting CDEC's 'Natoma' gauge instead.   Note that the CDEC gauge tends to over-read somewhat: 1550 cfs on the CDEC gauge is equivalent to approximately 1450 cfs on the USGS gauge.
Posted Oct 11, 2002: The USGS 'Fair Oaks' gauge for the Lower American appears to be working correctly again, so Dreamflows is once again reporting it, instead of CDEC's 'Natoma' gauge.
Posted Nov 18, 2003: A full-on white water slalom course at Nimbus is a possibility, and you can help.   For more information, click here.
North Fork Mokelumne River, Devil's Nose Run:
Posted Jun 3, 2004: John Gangemi reports that the storm on Friday, May 28 brought about an inch of precipitation to the Mokelumne watershed.   The storm resulted in an extra 3000 AF inflow to Salt Springs.   The result is that Devil's Nose Run on the Mokelumne is likely to spill this weekend.   Not sure what the flow will be.   Check the Mokelumne streamkeeper page on the American Whitewater website for more information.
                                          
Posted Apr 27, 2005: John Silva offers the following insight into why Devil's Nose (Salt Springs to Tiger Creek) has boatable flows: "The flow from the put-in (800 cfs) is not due to any type of spill from Salt Springs Reservoir, but is actually water that PG&E has been releasing for the following reasons: The canal, which diverts 550 cfs, of water from Salt Springs has been down for service the last week or so.   Additionally, PG&E has been resurfacing the face of Salt Springs dam since last fall.   Basically, they are putting on a high tech liner on the inside face of the dam & in order to do so, they need to keep the level of the reservoir at an extremely low level.   The net result of the above factors is the reason for the early season flows the last week.   I fully expect the Devil's Nose run to dry up relatively soon, so I hope there are other boaters out there who are taking advantage of these early season flows.   Spring runoff flows should still occur on the above run after the dam fills & spills."  

John also reports on access issues: "Ellis Road is the most expedient way to reach the put-in; however, despite PG&E keeping the snow plowed, it is still gated & closed.   The USFS plans on opening the gate to allow public access this coming weekend (04/30).   Until then, boaters must drive up the canyon to the put-in from Tiger Creek Powerhouse (approx. 45 to 50 minute drive).

North Fork Mokelumne River, Tiger Creek Dam Run:
Posted May 17, 2004: The scheduled releases for this weekend on the Tiger Creek Dam run have been canceled.   It's possible that all upstream flows will be canceled for the Moke this year, in which case we'll get compensating flows on the Electra Run at a later date.   Therefore, be sure the check the scheduled release page regularly.
                                          
Posted May 22, 2004: PG&E, FS, and the ERC have decided to not release whitewater flows this year on the Mokelumne upper runs.   There will be supplemental flow releases to make up for those lost upper releases in July, Aug and Sept on the Electra run.
Posted Apr 27, 2005: John Silva reports on access issues as follows: "The road (River Road) we normally use that parallels the river from the put-in to the take-out at Hwy 26 remains closed by PG&E due to erosion control problems resulting from a fire that occurred in the canyon last year.   To reach the put in, boaters must walk an additional mile from the locked gate off of Tiger Creek Road.   There are no access problems using Hwy 88 & Hwy 26 to get to the take-out."
Posted May 21, 2005: John Silva has a Tiger Creek Dam Run update as follows: "River Road has officially been re-opened as of about a week ago."
Mokelumne River, Electra Run:
Posted Oct 17, 2002: Nancy Dagle reports that CDEC's 'PAR' gauge (Mokelumne River - Inflow to Pardee) readings have been too high for what is actually in the river.   Yesterday (Oct 16) she paddled this stretch of river and estimated the flows at around 550 cfs from their put in time of noon, to the time they took out at Middle Bar at 4 pm.   CDEC reported more than double this flow during that time.   Even compared to the PG&E estimate (as published by AW), the CDEC flows are way high, and the two are out of synch.   It's as if CDEC's PAR gauge is reporting flows on a different river.   In any event, the bottom line is that CDEC's PAR gauge appears to be grossly in error.
                                          
Posted Mar 3, 2003: CDEC hasn't been reporting realtime data for the 'PAR' gauge (Mokelumne River - Inflow to Pardee) for some time now.   However, they are now reporting daily average flows.   This is a calculation of the average inflow to Pardee Reservoir from midnight to midnight of the day in question.   Note that:
  • On most days the powerhouse releases water some of the time, but not all of the time.   This means the actual released flow was more than the average flow indicated here.   We don't know how much more with the information currently available, though.  
  • The daily average gives no clue as to when the releases started and when they stopped.   In general you can probably expect they'll start during the morning and end during the afternoon, but there's no guarantee of that.  
  • Of necessity, the average inflow can't be calculated until the start of the next day, i.e. the report will always be a day late.   If you see that the average inflow for today is being reported today, be highly skeptical.  
For a general, rather imprecise, forecast of Fri+Sat+Sun flows, visit AW's North Fork Mokelumne - Weekend Forecasts page.
Posted Mar 5, 2003: EBMUD operates the realtime gauge reported by CDEC as 'PAR' (Mokelumne River - Inflow to Pardee).   EBMUD reports that the reason the gauge hasn't been reporting recently is that they have been experiencing data transmission problems.   They are troubleshooting the problem but do not yet have an estimated return to service date.
Posted Mar 6, 2003: CDEC's 'PAR' gauge appears to be functioning again.
Posted Mar 6, 2003: The Foothill Conservancy has been working with the Bureau of Land Management, State Lands Commission, and Dept of Boating and Waterways to secure a permanent, legal takeout for the Electra run, with parking.   The site's been selected (it's on river left below the Hwy 49 bridge), BLM is anxious to move forward, money is available from PG&E and DBW, in fact nearly everything is in place.  

We need just one more thing, and that needs to come from you.   We need to demonstrate that creating a legal takeout for the Electra run will solve existing problems and is in the public interest.   Boating and Waterways therefore needs letters of support from organizations and individuals ASAP.   If you've had to walk along Highway 49 carrying a kayak or otherwise put yourself at risk because there isn't a good takeout or parking, please include that information -- or any other personal observations regarding why a permanent takeout and parking are needed for the Electra Run.   If you belong to a group, please get your group to send a letter.  

Address your letter to:

Mr. Mike Ammon
Department of Boating and Waterways
2000 Evergreen, Suite 100
Sacramento, CA 95815-3888
You can send your letter as an e-mail note or attachment to mammon@dbw.ca.gov, fax it to 916.263.0648, or even (gasp) send it via snail-mail to the above address.   In any case, sooner is better!   If you'd like to send the Foothill Conservancy a copy, that would be great - e-mail to fhc@foothillconservancy.org or mail to Foothill Conservancy, P.O. Box 1255, Pine Grove, CA 95665.   For more information, contact Katherine Evatt.
North Fork Stanislaus River, Boards Crossing Run:
Posted Mar 31, 2003: Tom Patoff reports a large tree in the first rapid below Sourgrass (known as "Beginner's Luck").   This is what Tom has to say: "As you enter the first rapid below Sourgrass, the branches are visible.   You can enter the main channel (the right of the two water channels) and run the two entry holes.   The large eddy pool above the 'main ledge' is where you'll want to stop ... obviously.   The tree is in the middle of the drop lying with the current, downstream.   It's pretty big.   An easy portage of the 'main ledge' on the left will deliver a boater below the tree (for the most part).   People I kayak with that like to portage this drop won't care a bit.   The rest of the rapid is runnable."
                                          
Posted May 13, 2003: Lannie Yeager reports that the tree that was in Beginner's Luck (reported Mar 31, see above) is now at the bottom of the next rapid, called Body Slam.   Scouting is highly advised.   The tree extends from at least the middle of the river to far left, making running it very dangerous at this time.
Posted May 18, 2003: Lannie Yeager reports that the tree that had moved to Body Slam (reported May 13, see above) is now in the next rapid and in a much safer place.   It is pointed downstream about 10 yards from river left - well away from the main channel.   It was also tied to the left shore with a rope (on Thursday May 15, by O.A.R.S.) to keep it from moving around so much.
Posted Oct 27, 2003: Julie Munger of Sierra Rescue reports as follows: "I just returned from teaching an advanced swiftwater rescue class on the NF Stan.   As part of the class we decided to river board down the river to do a strainer assessment and try to remove as many as we could because of the low flows.   There are big strainers everywhere that are just under the water at higher flows.   The flow was about 175 cfs.   There are extremely hazardous big logs in the first rapid below put-in (known as "Beginner's Luck") on both the left and right side.   The run is still as beautiful as ever, but we thought it might be nice to post that careful scouting in ANY rapid and ANY drop is essential."
Posted Mar 10, 2004: Tom Patoff reports that the tree is now gone.
Stanislaus River, Gauge at Orange Blossom Bridge:
Posted Jan 3, 2001: Reports are that the CDEC OBB gauge (Lower Stanislaus at Orange Blossom Bridge) is reporting flows which are currently too high by as much as 200 cfs.   Dreamflows will continue to report the flows as they come off the gauge, i.e. unaltered.
                                          
Posted Oct 15, 2001: The tentative fall release schedule for the Goodwin Canyon Dam run on the Lower Stanislaus is as follows.   Releases will start on Fri Oct 19, rising to 1000 cfs by the morning of Sat Oct 20.   They will stay at approximately 1000 cfs until the evening of Sun Oct 28.   Note: this is the tentative release schedule, to be confirmed later this week.
Posted Oct 18, 2001: The confirmed fall release schedule for the Goodwin Canyon Dam run on the Lower Stanislaus is as follows.   Releases will start ramping up at 6pm on Fri Oct 19, rising to 1000 cfs by the morning of Sat Oct 20.   They will stay at approximately 1000 cfs until 4 pm on Sun Oct 28, at which point they'll start ramping back down again.
Posted Sep 26, 2002: The tentative fall release schedule for the Goodwin Canyon Dam run on the Lower Stanislaus is as follows.   They plan to start ramping up on Oct 19, rising to 750 cfs by Oct 21.   They plan to maintain 750 cfs until Oct 24, when they will ramp down to 700 cfs.   They will maintain 700 cfs until Oct 28.   They will start ramping down again on Oct 28, falling to 300 cfs by Oct 30.   The reason they give for such low flows is that this was a low water year, the second in a row.   Note: this is the tentative release schedule, to be confirmed (or changed) later, probably around Oct 10.
Posted Oct 11, 2002: The less-tentative but still unconfirmed fall release schedule for the Goodwin Canyon Dam run on the Lower Stanislaus is as follows.  
Lake Tullock Release
DateFlow
 Oct 19 200 cfs 
 Oct 20 350 cfs 
 Oct 21 600 cfs 
 Oct 22 700 cfs 
 Oct 23 700 cfs 
 Oct 24 700 cfs 
 Oct 25 700 cfs 
 Oct 26 700 cfs 
 Oct 27 700 cfs 
 Oct 28 450 cfs 
 Oct 29 250 cfs 

Note: this is the unconfirmed release schedule, to be confirmed (or changed) sometime next week.
Posted Oct 17, 2002: The Bureau of Reclamation has confirmed the fall release schedule for the Goodwin Canyon Dam run on the Lower Stanislaus.   It's the same as the one just above, i.e. the schedule detailed on Oct 11.   Warning: last year the actual releases didn't match the scheduled releases (they were lower and of shorter duration), so be sure to check the actual flow before leaving home ....
Posted Oct 21, 2003: The fall release for the Goodwin Canyon Dam run on the Lower Stanislaus began yesterday.   It is scheduled to continue until Oct 28, when they will ramp down again.   The flow is supposedly 975 cfs, although the Orange Blosson gauge (downstream) is currently reporting closer to 775 cfs.   You can see the schedule for yourself on CDEC (look for GDW entries).   The entries should be updated closer to Oct 28.
Tuolumne River, Cherry Creek Run:
Posted May 21, 2001: There are at least three more logs on the Cherry Creek run of the Tuolumne than last year.   The first is most of a tree, highly visible, right at the top of the last rapid before Guillotine.   The second is in that same rapid, after the initial drop, between a rock near the left wall and the left wall.   It's not so obvious until you're busy running the rapid.   The third log is perhaps 15 feet below the main falls in Blind Faith, right in your path if you were to run the falls head-on.   It's a foot in diameter, and stands perhaps 6 feet vertically out of the water.   If you boof cleanly on the right side of the main falls (the "normal" route) you should miss the log with room to spare.   If you land in the hole at the bottom of the falls in Blind Faith, watch out!
                                          
Posted Jan 26, 2003: Rick Smith reports a hazard in Flat Rock Falls.   A tree has fallen down from above, about 70 yards up river of the four doors.   The tree itself presents no hazard at this time.   However, the tip or a branch from the tree has washed down stream, below the doors, and now blocks the river right exit from the rapid.   Any paddler making it to the last eddy below the doors will have a very difficult time getting back upstream or ferrying to the river left.   Paddlers should portage the rapid.   Rick also reports that while the road down to Meral's Pool from Casa Loma is closed, the river right road (the "back way") is open and lovely.
Posted Jul 8, 2003: Rick Smith reports that the tree hazard in Flat Rock Falls (reported Jan 26) is now gone.   The rapid is good to go.
Posted Jul 13, 2003: The Cherry Creek run on the Upper Tuolumne appears to be pretty clean right now, at least at current flows (1200 cfs).   As you know from the Jul 8 notice above, the hazard in Flat Rock Falls has gone.   Also, the tree at the bottom of Blind Faith, reported May 21, 2001, is no more.   Likewise, the head of a tree, stuck on river left in the rapid above Guillotine, also reported May 21, 2001, has disappeared.   On our run last Friday, only two visible pieces of wood were left.   The first is the mostly submerged tree trunk between the confluence and Guillotine, easily seen and avoided if you're paying attention.   It's been there a while.   The other is a mostly submerged tree (or branch of a tree) at the bottom of door number 3 (i.e. the left-most door) in Flat Rock Falls ... a most uncommon route to take.   You could tangle with it if you flipped while going down that slot, though.   There may, of course, be other stuff we didn't see, or which isn't visible at these flows.   For more information, contact Chris Shackleton.
Tuolumne River, Lower "T" Run:
Posted Jun 4, 2002: There is a new strainer on the Lower Tuolumne, two rapids above Stern (a.k.a. The Squeeze), maybe 1/2 mile below Tin Can Cabin.   An oak tree has fallen into the channel about 20 feet off the right bank.   It fell in 5/31 or 6/1.   The rapid is a Class 2 wave train which leads into a ledge at a bend to the right.   Boaters should run the left chute, as the right entrance (the blind right turn), leaves one little time to deal with the tree.   The tree is a pretty serious hazard.   For more information, contact Smokey Pittman.
                                          
Posted Jun 28, 2002: Smokey reports that the tree on the Tuolumne (reported Jun 4, see above) has moved downstream 100 yds, and is now much less of a hazard.   It is lodged in the Class II rapid above Stern, on the right side.   Easy to see and avoid.
Tuolumne River:
Posted Jun 20, 2001: Some time back, Hetch Hetchy Water and Power gave projected flow information to the USFS, who then passed it on to us.   At that time, Hetch Hetchy Water and Power were guaranteeing flows between 950 to 1000 cfs at Lumsden launch (Merals Pool), from July 2, 2001 through August 11, 2001, Monday through Saturday (no Sunday releases!).   Releases will be from 10:00 am to 1:30 pm, resulting in flows arriving at Merals Pool at approximately noon.   As far as we know, this information is still valid.
                                          
Posted Aug 9, 2001: Dreamflows includes the South Fork Tuolumne flow in its calculation for the flow at Merals Pool.   Unfortunately, the South Fork Tuolumne gauge isn't reporting right now (equipment failure).   However, estimate the Merals Pool flow by adding 25 cfs to the flow at Mushroom (as reported by Dreamflows).
Posted Aug 29, 2001: The South Fork Tuolumne gauge is fixed, so Dreamflows is once again reporting the flow at Merals Pool.
Posted Sep 1, 2002: According to information supplied to the Groveland Ranger Station, we can expect reliable releases from Holm Powerhouse to continue until Sept 8.   Yes, that means you can expect boatable flows on Sun, Sept 8 too.   After that, however, things are much less certain.   In the past, releases have typically continued well past the cut-off date, until mid-September or even later.   The thing to note is that while such releases may well occur for a time after Sept 8 this year, they aren't guaranteed.   This means they could get suspended for a day or two - or may stop altogether - at any time and without prior warning.
Posted Feb 20, 2003: Due to lack of funding, USGS has discontinued gauges 11281000 and 11282000, reported by Dreamflows as So. Tuolumne - At Rainbow Pool and Mi. Tuolumne - Above So. Fork Confluence respectively.   These sites were funded by the City of San Francisco (Hetch Hetchy) until October last year, but with the budget crunch are being discontinued because they are not vital to their operations.   The USGS and Forest Service do not have funding to keep them in operation either.   The Mushroom estimate isn't affected by the loss of the SF and MF gauges.   However, the loss of these two gauges greatly affects the accuracy of the Merals Pool estimate.   Also, without the SF gauge, Dreamflows can no longer estimate Clavey or NF Tuolumne flows.   And, of course, flows on the SF and MF Tuolumne are no longer being reported.   Overall, this loss of information will significantly impact rafters and kayakers, both recreational and commercial, at many skill levels.   Neil Nikirk is actively working on restoring funding, preferably for both gauges but at least for the SF gauge.   If you have any thoughts on getting funding, or would like to get involved, please contact him.
Posted Jul 10, 2003: Groveland Ranger Station provided the following flow release information for this weekend.   Hetch Hetchy is guaranteeing at least 1000 cfs at Meral's Pool Friday and Saturday, with no release Sunday.   Typically releases are from Holm Powerhouse (though that isn't guaranteed - it could be a combination of Holm and Early Intake).   Releases will be from 8AM to 11AM.   Flow propagation time from Holm to Meral's Pool is 2 to 2.5 hours.   Boatable flows should therefore reach Meral's Pool between 10 and 10:30 AM.   If you're running Cherry Creek, this means you want to get to Meral's Pool before about 1:30PM.   Remember: expect no releases Sunday.  

In reality, they seem to be releasing 1000 cfs from Holm Powerhouse, from 8AM to 11AM.   Add to this the almost 200 cfs coming down the Main Tuolumne, plus tributaries, and you can reasonably expect 1200 cfs or more at Meral's Pool.   Some paddlers report the flow last Saturday was much less than reported by Dreamflows, others state the reported flow was accurate.   Operating Dreamflows can be very interesting.   The bottom line is be prepared for flows in the 1000 to 1250 cfs range, with a very short (3-hour) window.   For more information, contact Chris Shackleton.

Posted Aug 29, 2003: You can confidently expect boatable flows on the Cherry Creek and Lower "T" runs of the Tuolumne on Saturday, Sunday and Monday this weekend, i.e. up to and including Monday, Sep 1.   The release window will be the usual 8AM to 11AM, from Holm Powerhouse, all three days.   Flow propagation time from Holm to Meral's Pool is 2 to 2.5 hours.   Boatable flows should therefore reach Meral's Pool between 10 and 10:30 AM.   If you're running Cherry Creek, this means you want to get to Meral's Pool before about 1:30PM.   After Monday, Sep 1, there are no flow guarantees.   The general plan is to release about 600 to 700 cfs Tuesday through Thursday next week, though that's not cast in stone either.   Seems even Hetch Hetchy doesn't know what's going to happen after next Thursday.   Bottom line: be sure to get your Tuolumne paddling fix in this weekend!   For more information, contact Chris Shackleton.
Posted Sep 5, 2003: The official Tuolumne scheduled releases have ended for the year.   Hetch Hetchy may (and usually do) continue to release water out of Holm Powerhouse after that, but it's strictly on their own schedule.   Which days of the week, start times, amount of water, and duration aren't in any way guaranteed, or even necessarily predictable.   Having said which, there are some observable trends.   Historically, after scheduled releases end, flows start off fairly predictably, then get more and more erratic as the weeks go by, until finally they switch the river off for good.   Also, they tend to release more consistently during the week (especially Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday), while boatable flows are much less likely on weekends.   Also, if you see a good flow on Monday, it's a reasonable bet it'll continue for a few days.   However, let me stress again that none of this need be so on any given week, or any given day of the week.   They can - and do - change the pattern at will, and you can get skunked at the most unlikely times.   This is one reason you'll see very few paddlers up there this time of year.
Posted Feb 11, 2004: Jake Marks reports that Lumsden Road (the access road from Casa Loma down to Meral's Pool) is closed due to rock slides.   The Groveland Ranger Station confirms the slides, and says they should have the road cleared sometime in April, certainly by May 1.
Posted Mar 15, 2004: The Groveland Ranger Station reports that they have already cleared Lumsden Rd of a tree and other debris, and plan on opening the gate at the top of Lumsden Road April 1 (weather etc., permitting).   However, they will be removing the old restrooms near Meral's Pool and installing new ones, so there will be no restrooms for two to four weeks after that.   The bottom line is that you should be able to drive down Lumsden Road from April 1 onwards, but don't count on there being restrooms at Meral's Pool until the end of April.
Posted Jun 14, 2004: Hetch Hetchy Water and Power has supplied the following projected flow information to Dreamflows: They will release about 1000 cfs, from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM, Monday through Saturday, until Aug 14.   They will release on Sunday, July 4, otherwise there will be no Sunday releases.   They will cease all releases after Aug 14, i.e. expect no releases after Aug 14.   Hetch Hetchy also notes that, as always, this schedule is subject to change, if required by operational considerations.
Posted Aug 10, 2004: The "Early" fire started 15 miles east of Groveland yesterday, and has spread quickly.   It's close enough to Early Intake to pose a threat to the power-house there; no doubt it poses a threat to the power lines too.   As a result, releases on the Tuolumne (both Cherry Creek and Lower "T" runs) have been stopped.   Naturally, the Groveland Ranger Station isn't currently issuing permits to run either section.   If fire fighters get the fire under control quickly enough there may be releases later this week, but don't hold your breath.   Note that the official releases are due to end this Saturday.   The result is that most likely this is the end of the paddling season on the Tuolumne.   Watch this space for updates as they occur, or call the Groveland Ranger Station at 209-962-7825.
Posted Aug 11, 2004: The "Early" fire is now mostly contained.
Posted Aug 12, 2004: Holm Powerhouse is once again releasing water, and the Groveland Ranger Station is now issuing permits for the Lower "T".   However, they are not yet issuing permits for the Cherry Creek run, and don't expect to be issuing them until next week.   All access roads (even via the back way) to Cherry Creek are closed, and will most likely stay that way until Monday.   The last scheduled release in this Saturday, but of course there may be unscheduled releases after that.   The bottom line, therefore, is that you can paddle the Lower "T" starting today, but won't be able to run Cherry Creek until next week.
Posted Aug 13, 2004: However, Larry Berg reports that they almost got on Cherry Creek yesterday.   They managed to get a permit to run the Creek, and were allowed to drive via the normal route all the way to the top of the road down to Holm Powerhouse before being turned back.   The reason?   The CDF is afraid kayakers would interfere with helicopters getting water out of the river.   The chances are quite good that by tomorrow (or, conceivably, even today) the helicopters will leave and normal Creek river running can resume.   Check with the Groveland Ranger Station at 209-962-7825 for updates.
Posted Jan 26, 2005: Noah Hughes reports as follows: "Kip Magnesson and I tried to access the Cherry Creek section of the Tuolumne this past weekend.   As usual, Lumsden road is closed.   However, the other route to Lumsden Bridge (1N10 on the north side of canyon) is also out of commision.   The road is washed out (completely) high above Sky King rapid.   The wash-out was pretty bad and I can't imagine it being repaired anytime soon ...   so the only access to Lumsden Bridge and Meral's Pool is to hike South Fork road from Buck Meadows."
Posted Apr 7, 2005: Chris Taylor reports that they opened the Lumsden Road March 25.   They did the lower "T" that day and the Forest Service said that the road was only open to the South Fork (implying the back road to the Cherry Creek put-in isn't open yet).
Merced River:
Posted Aug 9, 2001: The USGS gauge for the Merced at Pohono Bridge is misbehaving.   It flip-flops between about 40 cfs and about 11,000 cfs.   The 11,000 cfs readings are totally spurious; believe the 40 cfs readings instead!
                                          
Posted Aug 15, 2001: The USGS gauge at Pohono Bridge seems to be reporting correctly again.
Posted Apr 13, 2003: Dreamflows is now reporting actual gauge heights at Red Bud, as measured by Ted Farmer (who lives there).   This is in addition to the traditional Merced - At Red Bud Dreamflows estimate.   Note the distinction between the two - one is a flow estimate, the other real gauge height measurements.   In time (soon, hopefully), we'll have a rating table to convert the Red Bud gauge heights to flows, at which time things should become somewhat simpler.
Posted Apr 17, 2003: Don't be surprised to see negative gauge heights being reported for Red Bud.   For whatever reason, the bottom of the gauge at Red Bud (Foresta Road Bridge) doesn't go all the way down to the river bed.   A gauge reading of "0" is still a boatable flow - it corresponds to perhaps a foot of water below the bottom of the gauge, and more in the channel.   Consequently, water levels below the bottom of the gauge will show up as negative gauge heights on the Dreamflows reports.
Posted May 30, 2003: Nicole Nasser, Guide at Zephyr Whitewater Expeditions, reports as follows: "The gauge at Briceburg on the Merced is inaccurate, according to the River Rangers, which is why it's showing 1500-2000, when the Gorge on the Merced is about 7000+ cfs with the Main and the South Fork converging.   People who privately boat should also be aware that Percolator Rapid has a VW bus sized hole at the bottom, and they should not be running the wave train in there right now (strainers on river right, road wall on river left).   If anyone is unsure of the rapids, they should ask Dave or Aaron or any of the commercial boaters at Cranberry put-in."
Posted Mar 18, 2004: Ted Farmer reports a hazard as follows.   Approx. 250 yards upstream from the Foresta Bridge and Redbud put-in (also the take-out for the 140 Bridge and Hotel upper runs), across from the NPS sewer plant, is a bank-to-bank Ponderosa pine, approx. 12" dia.   It's a single long trunk with root ball partly on the river left bank, partly in the water.   At +0.10 on the Foresta Bridge stick gauge, the trunk was almost completely submerged.   This is a fast Class 2+ section.   At current and higher flows, if one paddles upright with good aim, it should be easy to paddle over in the river left/center area portion - on the river-right end, limbs are sticking up several feet out of the water.   Note: when flows rise, the trunk will probably swing out of the way towards river left.   However, if parts break off they could become a traveling hazard that could lodge in rapids downstream, for instance Nightmare Island or Chipped Tooth.   Ted has seem this happen before in similar situations.   So, although the hazard is above the Redbud put-in right now, parts of it could move into the lower run later.
Posted Mar 22, 2004: Ted reports that the tree reported on Mar 18 above has moved (either that, or there's a new tree hazard).   Either way, it's about 1/2 mile downstream from the Foresta Bridge (Redbud put-in), or 1/4 mile above Nightmare Island, see photo, towards the bottom of the long straight rapid that parallels the highway before the 'forebay' above Nightmare.   It's a single long pine trunk, with minimal branches if any showing, approx. 20" dia., reducing to 10", and maybe 100ft in length.   It's on river left, extending straight out across the current from bank, blocking approx. 1/2 the channel, lodged on the upstream side of a rock at its midpoint.   Looks very easy to avoid if aware, easy to blunder into if not.   The trick is spotting it soon enough and moving right quickly enough to avoid it.
Posted Apr 20, 2004: Ted reports that the tree reported on Mar 18 above is no longer a hazard.   On Apr 4, local BLM river rangers David Greenwood and Aaron Fouch, and a couple of local river runners, pulled it off the rock and left it fixed by steel choker cable to a large Ponderosa snag on river left.   That night at high water, it floated around into the bank and is now very hard to spot even for those who put it there.
So. San Joaquin - Below Florence Lake:
Posted Jun 2, 2003: Paul Martzen reports that Florence Reservoir has some chance of spilling.   If it does, that would likely occur in a few days, possibly starting June 6, but probably lasting 2 or 3 days at most.
                                          
Posted Jun 3, 2003: Paul Martzen reports as follows: "Florence reservoir is expected to spill starting Thursday June 5, because of the high temperatures and some constraints on Edison's generation capacity.   Spill flows are expected to be in the 2,000 cfs range.   Spill may last for a few weeks and can be expected to taper off over that period, but could also end abruptly with significant cooling of the weather.  

Spills from Florence will travel down to Mammoth Pool and add to spill there.   Expect flows below Mammoth Pool including Tied for First, Chawanakee Gorge and Horseshoe Bend to increase to the 7,000 cfs range.   Accurate real time estimates of flow in Horseshoe Bend can be calculated by adding 3,000 cfs to the flow in Patterson Bend while Patterson Bend is also spilling.   Once Patterson Bend stops spilling, Horseshoe Bend will be 3,000 cfs or less.  

Edison states that they will try to update their webpage twice weekly during the spill period."

Posted Jun 11, 2003: Paul Martzen reports that the spill from Florence Reservoir ended Sunday June 8th.   Spill from Mammoth Pool and all downstream reservoirs is rapidly tapering off.   Reddinger was spilling around 3000 cfs on Monday June 9, (excellent flow!) but dropped to probably less than 2000 cfs in late afternoon.   He expects that spill will end completely in the next few days.
Posted Jun 12, 2003: Paul Martzen reports that Florence may possibly spill again at a moderate level by this weekend.
Posted Jun 16, 2003: Tom Meinholz writes: "I was riding my bike along Chawanakee yesterday (Sunday).   It had about 100 cfs more than last time I did it (which was 660 cfs).   It is Ideal and may last a few days with the warm weather down here."
Posted Jun 25, 2003: Paul Martzen reports that the South San Joaquin spills are over.
San Joaquin Flows:
Posted May 23, 2003: Paul Martzen reports as follows:

Chawanakee Gorge of the San Joaquin River is presently spilling 300 cfs to 400 cfs, every day.   Spill over dam #6 into Chawanakee Gorge is usually starting around 10:00 AM or earlier and continues into the evening.   The flow of 300 to 400 cfs is probably less than optimum, but it is really unkown how boatable the run is at that level.  

Mammoth Pool on the San Joaquin River is expected to spill starting in the next two weeks approximately.   Exactly when spill starts depends completely on the weather.   Spill is likely to last from 1 to 3 weeks, depending on the weather.   When Mammoth Pool does spill, whitewater flows will occur in the "Tied for First", Chawanakee Gorge and Horseshoe Bend runs.  

Horseshoe Bend is runnable at most spill flows, so will be boatable for the entire spill period.   "Tied for First" needs less water and so may be too high for boating during some of the spill period.   Chawanakee Gorge is probably best at only 500 to 800 cfs, so will likely be much too high to boat during the spill.

                                          
Posted Jun 12, 2003: Paul Martzen reports that spill should continue in the main stem of the San Joaquin through this weekend and perhaps into next week.
Posted Jun 25, 2003: Paul Martzen reports that the San Joaquin spills are over.
Posted Oct 28, 2004: Paul Martzen reports as follows: "Flows are not presently occuring in Horseshoe Bend of the San Joaquin River.   Dependable Flows are occurring for part of the day at Squaw Leap and less dependable flows have been occurring in Patterson Bend.   These flows are due to maintanence activities at several reservoirs and powerhouses in the drainage.   These flows are likely to continue through this weekend till Monday Nov. 1, and possibly for a few days after that.   Then flows are likely to cease for a while.   Flows in Squaw Leap may start again but would end for this season by Nov. 19, 2004.   Monitoring elevations of Millerton Reservoir should indicate if and when powerhouse releases are occuring.   For more information on these reaches see AWA entries for Patterson Bend and Squaw Leap.
Posted Apr 12, 2005: Paul Martzen reports as follows: Southern Cal Edison is will start releasing 700 cfs from Mammoth Pool starting April 14.   This flow will continue for a few weeks until Mammoth Pool spills.   Flows will then be much higher.   Mammoth Pool is expected to continue spilling till the end of June or early July.  
"Tied for First"700 cfs
Chawanakee Gorge700 to 1000 cfs
Horseshoe Bend1000 cfs (1000 cfs to 1600 cfs on Sat. April 16)
Patterson Bend30 cfs until Mammoth Pool spills
The road to Mammoth Pool, put in for "Tied for First" is presently closed due to snow.   Roads are open to Chawanakee Gorge and of course Horseshoe Bend."
Posted Apr 14, 2005: Paul Martzen reports an update as follows: Chawanakee is definitely spilling 1000 cfs (990 cfs this morning).   An additional 140 cfs is entering at Stevenson creek near the end of the run.   Southern Cal Edison is now releasing 700 cfs from Mammoth Pool.   This flow will continue for a few weeks until Mammoth Pool spills.   Flows will then be much higher.   Mammoth Pool is expected to continue spilling till the end of June or early July.   Chawanakee Gorge receives that 700 cfs plus an additional 300 cfs approximately from Big Creek at the beginning and also is receiving an additional 140 cfs from Stevenson creek near the halfway point.   This gives Chawanakee 1000 cfs to start and 1140 cfs by the end of the run.   Flows now:
"Tied for First"700 cfs
Chawanakee Gorge1000 cfs
Horseshoe Bend1000 cfs (1000 cfs to 1600 cfs on Sat. April 16)
The road to Mammoth Pool, put in for "Tied for First", is presently closed just past the "Mile High Vista" due to snow.   Roads are open to Chawanakee Gorge and of course Horseshoe Bend.   Call the Sierra Nat Forest at 559-877-2218 for road and trail information.
Posted Apr 21, 2005: Paul Martzen reports an update as follows: "Edison has now told me that they will NOT continue to release from Mammoth Pool.   Inflows to Millerton from April 20 confirm that flows have dropped.   So, presently Horseshoe Bend only has 300 cfs in it, and Tied for First has 20 cfs or so.   However, Chawanakee Gorge probably has around 350 cfs or so over the dam and 450 to 500 cfs after Stevenson Creek, so that might be worth checking out."
Posted May 5, 2005: Paul Martzen reports an update as follows: "Chawanakee seems to still be at a low but decent flow of around 350 cfs.   Mammoth Pool is getting close to spilling, perhaps only 3 to 5 days away if the weather stays warm.   Flows could be in the 3,000 to 4,000 cfs range to start but will likely go higher in coming weeks.   Florence remains almost empty and will not spill till early or mid June.   Horseshoe Bend has only a few hundred cfs now, but will have a few thousand cfs once Mammoth Pool spills."
Posted May 8, 2005: Paul Martzen sends an update as follows: "Mammoth Pool appears ready to spill late today or early Monday May 9.   Initial spill into "Tied for First" will be around 2,000 cfs to 2,500 cfs.   Chawanakee Gorge will have this same amount plus 400 cfs, so much too high for boating.   Horseshoe Bend will have only a bit more than is coming from Mammoth, so it will have a decent flow.   Flows will increase over the month of May and into June, fluctuating with the weather naturally."
Kings at Rodgers Crossing:
Posted Jan 11, 2004: Dreamflows isn't reporting Kings - At Rodgers Crossing right now.   Dreamflows estimates this flow from the Army Corps Kings - Below North Fork gauge (amongst others).   Starting at about 4PM yesterday, the Army Corps gauge jumped from less than 1,000 cfs (more-or-less correct) to well over 20,000 cfs (incorrect).   As a result, the estimated flow Kings - At Rodgers Crossing is also incorrect, which is why it's being suppressed.   The flow site reported by Dreamflows as So. Kings - Below Cedar Grove is likewise based on the Kings - At Rodgers Crossing, so is being suppressed too.   Dreamflows will start reporting both flows sites again when valid data is once more available.
                                          
Posted Jan 13, 2004: The gauge is fixed so both Kings - At Rodgers Crossing and So. Kings - Below Cedar Grove are being reported again.
Brush Creek:
Posted Mar 19, 2003: Paul from Sierra South reports that the Brush Creek gauge has changed dramatically since last season, no doubt as a result of the floods towards the end of last year.   He ran it yesterday and it was 0.5 on the gauge, but it felt like 4 or 5 on the gauge as it was reading this time last year.   Yesterday (i.e. 0.5 on the gauge) was the highest he's ever run it.   Bottom line: Brush Creek is running right now.
                                          
Truckee River, Floriston Run:
Posted Apr 25, 2002: There is a hazard reported for the Floriston Run on the Truckee River.   This is in Bronco Rapid, just above the Floriston bridge.   A submerged log lies on the river left side of the third set of pour-overs.   This log pinned a paddler who had come out of his boat; fortunately he was able to push free.   This pour-over is the most prominent and vertical river-left one, about a 2-3 foot drop.   Since the specific spot is hard to pin-point, a good way to avoid the hazard altogether is to run the rapid on the right.   For more information, please contact Phil Samuels.
                                          
Posted May 7, 2002: The hazard (a submerged log) reported for Bronco Rapid, on the Floriston Run of the Truckee River, is now gone.   It was removed by J.C. Goldrup.
Truckee River, Below the Floriston Run:
Posted Jun 18, 2002: The Truckee Meadows Water Authority is officially warning people to stay away from the Truckee River between the Fleish Power Diversion Dam and the Steamboat Diversion Dam.   These diversion dams are both located a few miles below Floriston; Steamboat Diversion Dam is just upstream of the state line.   A large section of wooden flume blew out between these two points and is strewn all across the river presenting a real safety hazard.   At one section debris is piled up all the way across the river, so that there is no way through it, only around it by portage.   Broken boards and timbers present an immediate danger to anyone attempting to traverse this section of the river, and so you are strongly advised to avoid this area until further notice.
                                          
Posted Jul 8, 2002: The Truckee Meadows Water Authority reports that the emergency cleanup, between the Fleish Power and Steamboat Ditch diversion dams, has been completed (see story reported June 18 above).   They have gotten everything they could find out of the river, and safe river passage is now possible.   However, it is possible that some submerged pieces which they did not see could eventually surface.   If you see (or hear of) any submerged timbers, etc. that may present a hazard to recreation, please give the Truckee Meadows Water Authority a call at (775) 834-8100 so that they can have someone come out and take a look.
East Fork Carson:
Posted Jun 4, 2003: Lorraine Hall reports a lot of vandalism at the Gardnerville take-out on the East Carson this last weekend.   For example, a paddler on a private trip had all four windows of his truck broken.
                                          
Posted Jun 8, 2003: Dean Danielson reports as follows: "There were break-ins at several locations on the E. fork of the Carson last weekend.   Three vehicles in our party (including mine) had windows smashed and items inside stolen at the Hangman's Bridge put-in lot on Sunday night, June 1.   Also, I know of at least 1 vehicle parked in Woodford's that was broken into.   The police/sheriff's office was onsite when we returned taking reports, but I am not aware of any information on suspects/arrests."
North Fork Umpqua:
Posted Sep 23, 2003: Bob Langley points out that the No. Umpqua - Above Copeland Creek and No. Umpqua - Below Steamboat Creek gauges disagree with each other.   Sunday, for example, the Steamboat gauge reported only 444 cfs, while (allowing for flow propagation time) the Copeland gauge reported 737 cfs.   The Steamboat gauge is downstream of the Copeland gauge.   Comparing these two flows with No. Umpqua - At Winchester (756 cfs), it seems likely that the No. Umpqua - Below Steamboat Creek gauge is the one in error.   Anyone know anything definitive about this?   If so, please contact Chris Shackleton.
                                          
Posted Jan 11, 2004: The No. Umpqua - Below Steamboat Creek gauge appears to be reporting correctly again.

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