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Kayakers will be able to enjoy whitewater flows on the North Fork Feather River over the upcoming weekend. File photo by Mari Erin Roth

PG&E urges caution during increased flows on North Fork Feather River for whitewater rec

UPDATE: Due to the heavy rainstorm starting Sunday, PG&E is reducing the scheduled whitewater recreational flows on the North Fork Feather River to just Sat., Oct. 23 and is cancelling the higher flows for Sunday, Oct. 24.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) urges the public to take extra safety precautions as water flows will be higher during the weekends of Oct. 23-24 and Oct. 30-31 for whitewater recreation on a portion of the North Fork Feather River.
A third higher flow event is scheduled for Dec. 11-12. Previous higher flows normally scheduled over summer were postponed due to the Dixie Fire.
During the higher flows this part 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.
By 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 23, flows will be increased to 800 cubic feet per second (cfs) and later that afternoon reduced to 700 cfs. On Sunday, Oct. 24 at 2 p.m., flows will gradually decrease to the season normal of approximately 150 cfs.
The flow schedule will be repeated for the weekend of Oct. 30-31 and December 11-12.
Boaters are urged to follow COVID-19 precautions and be aware that camping in the canyon will be limited.
The recreational flows are conducted in cooperation with the American Whitewater organization, the Rock Creek–Cresta Ecological Resource Committee, and the U.S. Forest Service and are usually held four weekends a year in June, July, August and September. During dry-years no recreational flows are held in June.
PG&E offers the following water safety tips:
  • Stay out of cold water. 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 strongly 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. For more water safety tips visit:  www.pge.com/hydrosafety

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