The North Fork Feather River will be rushing for whitewater enthusiasts Sept. 24-25, but others should use caution. File photo by Mari Erin Roth

PG&E urges caution Sept. 24-25 for whitewater rec flows on the North Fork Feather River

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) urges the public to take extra safety precautions as water flows will be increased for whitewater recreation for the weekend of Sept. 24-25 below Rock Creek Dam on the North Fork Feather River.

 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.

 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, Sept. 24, flows will be increased to 800 cubic feet-per-second (cfs) before being reduced to 700 cfs at 3 p.m.

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 On Sunday, flows will be at 700 cfs until 2 p.m. when flows will be gradually reduced to the season normal of approximately 350 cfs.

 The recreational flows are conducted in cooperation with the American Whitewater organization and the Rock Creek–Cresta Ecological Resource Committee and are usually held four weekends a year, in June, July, August and September. No recreational flows were held this past June due to dry-year conditions.

 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