The North Fork Feather River will be rushing for whitewater enthusiasts July 25-26, but others should use caution. File photo by Mari Erin Roth

Plan ahead for high water recreation flows on the Feather River

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) urges the public to take extra safety precautions as water flows will be higher through the weekend of July 25-26 for whitewater recreation on a portion of 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.

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, July 25, flows will be increased to 800 cubic feet per second (cfs) and later that afternoon reduced to 700 cfs. On Sunday, July 26 at 2 p.m., flows will gradually decrease to the season normal of approximately 150 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 last month due to dry-year conditions.

PG&E advises recreationalists to practice physical distancing and avoid congregating with others outside their immediate household.

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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