By Paul Moreno
PG&E will increase water flows for whitewater recreation in the Rock Creek Reach of the North Fork Feather River in Plumas County.
The higher flows are planned the weekend of July 22-23 and again on the fourth weekends of August and September. Those recreating in or near the river are encouraged to use extra caution during the increased flows. This portion of the river contains Class III, IV and V rapids, which are only appropriate for skilled paddlers, and not appropriate for tubing.
The Rock Creek Reach is the 8.3-mile portion of the North Fork of the Feather River in the Plumas National Forest between PG&E’s Rock Creek dam and the Rock Creek powerhouse near Storrie.
Prior to the scheduled increase for July 22-23, flows in the Rock Creek Reach will be at about 450 cubic feet per second (cfs). By 9 a.m. July 22, flows will gradually increase to 1,100 cfs. The flows will be held at this level until 3 p.m. that day, when flows will be reduced and held at 900 cfs until about 2 p.m. July 23, then gradually reduced back to about 450 cfs.
Planned recreational flows for August 26-27 are expected to follow the same pattern. In September, flows will peak at 900 cfs on September 23-24.
The recreational flows are done in cooperation with American Whitewater and the Rock Creek–Cresta Ecological Resource Committee.
PG&E offers the following water safety tips:
- Sudden immersion in cold water can stimulate the “gasp reflex,” causing an involuntary inhalation of air or water. It can even trigger cardiac arrest, temporary paralysis, hypothermia and drowning. When faced with swift water, even the strongest swimmers may be easily overwhelmed.
- Many unseen obstacles can be lurking below the water’s surface. Swift water can make these obstacles even more treacherous. Guided trips for inexperienced paddlers are recommended.
- Recreating in PG&E canals and flumes is strictly prohibited. Stay out of canals and flumes, which are very dangerous due to slippery sides, sub-surface obstacles, fast moving water, and transitions to full tunnels and pipes.
Additional water safety tips can be found in PG&E’s Summer Safety Guide.
Email Currents at Currents@pge.com.