By Paul Moreno
QUINCY — PG&E will again 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 on Aug. 26-27 and again on the fourth weekend of 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 Aug. 26-27, flows in the Rock Creek Reach will be at about 440 cubic feet per second (cfs). On Saturday, Aug. 26, flows will gradually increase to 1,100 cfs by 9 a.m. The flows will be held at that level until 3 p.m. that day, when flows will be reduced and held at 900 cfs until about 2 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 27, then gradually reduced back to about 440 cfs.
Planned recreational flows for Sept. 23-24 are 900 cfs.
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.
Email Currents at Currents@pge.com.