Sierra South - Mountain and Paddle Sports
Quick Menu Main Sierra South Page New & Used Kayaks The Kern River Links, Links, Links! Request Additional Information The Kern River Gallery Learn to Climb! Learn to Kayak! Go Rafting on the Kern River! Get the latest flows, weather, and info! Visit the Sierra South Online Store!

River Notes Archive

(Links and other information are historical in nature and may no longer be correct. Products referenced in the archives may no longer be available. References to products on sale do not apply.)

Previous Month - Index - Next Month

The Sierra South Event CalendarSierra South Event Calendar

Shop at the Sierra South River Store!
Check which New Kayaks are on Sale!
Browse New & Used Kayaks, Rafts & Gear!
Kayak Comparison Chart
2011 Raft Guide School Info
2011 Class Info
• Kern Festival 2011 Photos & Results
"Around the Kern" Resource Guide
Employment Information
News from the Past...

NRS Revolution DrytopThe NRS Revolution Drytop has unrestricted mobility and rough-use toughness, and is even more breathable with the revolutionary eVentĀ® fabric.

Vibram FiveFingers TrekSportBuilding on the success and versatility of the KSO and KSO Trek, the Vibram FiveFingers TrekSport has a 4mm EVA midsole for more protection and a lightly cleated performance rubber outsole. Available in Men's and Women's models.

Hotel Charley 5 First Descent DVDSafety is the main priority of Sweet Helmets and even though the Strutter helmet might look cool and feel comfortable, it has been tested to exceed the CE EN-1385 standard for water sport helmets.

Surfskin Pant When we pulled on the Surfskin Pant we said good-bye to poorly-fitting paddling pants!

 

Descent Rescue VestThe Descent Rescue Vest is new for 2010, and available now. Type V Strong Swimmer approved Safety vest for paddlers.

Mini Me Inflatable RaftYou'll have soooo much fun in this compact and super-maneuverable Hyside Mini Me Inflatable Raft!

Player PaddleThe Werner Player straight shaft is a great paddle for play and creek boaters.

 

More Selections from our River Store

River Notes for Saturday, April 30, 2011

Important information about River Notes.

Sierra South Raft Trips and Kayaking ClassesDownload our Rafting & Kayaking Adventures brochure (PDF).

Guess the Date, Hour and Peak Flow* for the Upper Kern and win bragging rights and a cool prize from Sierra South. * Peak flow from seasonal snowmelt as measured by the COE gage in Riverside Park. One guess per person. Earliest guess breaks tie. Post your guess on the Sierra South Facebook page.

Raft trips and kayaking classes have started, and the River is up! Take advantage of the great early season flows and book a raft trip or kayaking class. Trips and classes start booking weeks in advance, so make your reservations early -- especially for those busy Spring and Summer weekends!

Great weather and water were expected for the 47th Kern River Festival and great weather and water are what we had, with sunny skies and warm temps. Saturday, Brush Creek was around 3 on the gauge, and the juicy flow was excellent for both the Downriver and Extreme Slalom. On Saturday afternoon the Upper Kern at Riverside Park was about 2250 cfs for the Hooligan Build Your Own Boat competition, and then went up to about 2800 cfs for the Tom Johnson Slalom on Sunday.

Taking first in the Brush Creek Downriver (in a long boat) this year was Eric Giddens, followed by long boats Taylor Robertson and Macy Burnham. Shaun Smith broke up a long boat sweep of the top four, finishing just a couple of seconds behind Macy. Amanda Maruschi edged Rose Schermerhorn and LIz Brackbill in the Women's division. The Kern River Crew Evan Moore and Johnny Chase finished 1-2 in the Men's Junior division, and Sage Donnelly was the top Junior Woman.

In the Brush Creek Extreme Giant Slalom Shaun Smith outmaneuvered Eric Giddens, with Spencer Joseph taking third. In the Women's race Amanda Maruschi got her second win of the day, finishing ahead of Sara James and Diane Gayglos. Evan Moore and Johnny Chase repeated their 1-2 finish in the Men's Junior division, and Sage Donnelly was the top Junior Woman.

Chattersaurus Hooligan Boat at the 2011 Kern River Festival
Chattersaurus Hooligan Boat at the 2011 Kern River Festival. Design by Lysa Foley.

Chattersaurus Hooligan Boat

In its second year, the Hooligan BYOB competition was once again a big spectator and participant favorite. Inspired by the event at the FIBArk River Festival, paddlers constructed their own boats out of "non-boat" materials and attempted to paddle their creations from upstream of the bridge in Kernville, down through the class II rapids in Riverside Park.

Sunday, the Tom Johnson Whitewater Slalom took center stage, with paddlers competing for the best times on a pushy, challenging course. Eric Giddens took first in the Men's Expert Elite class, and Svetlana Platonova edged Rebecca Giddens in the Women's Expert Elite class. The Giddens first child is due in a few weeks, and she will be able to claim that she did her first slalom race not only before she could walk, but a month before she was born!

Many thanks to the paddlers, spectators, sponsors and all the volunteers that help put on the event. An extra special "Thank You!" goes to the Kern Festival committee Eric & Rebecca Giddens, Andrew Pernicano, Tom Moore, Lynne Siodmak, Ann Beaman, Marianne Moore-DeChant, Judy Neukirchner, and Gilbert Siegel, who with the help of Terry Valle handled the innumerable tasks associated with the organization and setup of the Kern River Festival. Here are some photos of the Hooligan Boats, T.J. Slalom, and the Kern River Crew on Brush Creek.

Kern Snowpack Top 10

California Cooperative Snow Surveys' April Snow Course measurements for the Kern have been completed, and with all 17 snow courses recorded, the Kern snowpack is reported at a monster 195% of normal. This is not only the biggest April 1 snowpack during a La Nina over the past 60 years, it is nearly as big as the Kern snowpack during the record-setting El Nino of 1997-1998, and is the 6th biggest Kern snowpack overall since 1950!

Other than this season, the only top ten snowpack that was not during an El Nino was the 1961-62 season (186%). The biggest April 1 Kern snowpack was during the El Nino of 1968-69 (301%). During the La Nina of 1971-72 the Kern snowpack was only 18% of normal. (Note: Six Kern snow courses were not measured in April 1998. An estimate of 210% of normal was used for that season in this comparison.)

Looking for the flow? The most recent Upper and Lower Kern River flows are now displayed near the top of this page as the data becomes available from the Corps of Engineers. Included are the flow on the Upper Kern at Riverside Park, and the Lower Kern above and below the Borel Powerhouse. If the flows cannot be obtained from the COE, "N/A" will be indicated.

Alan Henz's 2010 Hooligan Race 1st place winning un-boat "The Original Bucket Boat."

Sierra South - Paddling the Kern for 26 Years!Our world-famous Lickety-Split and Lickety-Blaster raft trips are far and away the two most popular and most affordable Class 2-3 whitewater rafting runs available on the Kern River. Both are full of enough excitement to challenge just about everyone from young tykes to grandmas and grandpas. Looking for more adrenalin? Try our new Upper Kern and Forks trips. Reserve your 2011 trip today!

Learn to kayak! Our proven teaching method takes you through a gradual progression that maximizes the fun. We've designed our beginning class for those who have never river kayaked before, or who have played around with kayaking some, but have not had formal instruction in the fundamentals of river kayaking. We also offer a 5-day total immersion learn-to-kayak class and Private Instruction. Our Kayaking School page has all the details on these, and other whitewater and lake touring kayak classes!

The Kern Valley River Council (KVRC) was recently awarded a $25,000 grant from the USFS, Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act. The Kernville Riverside Park Renovation Project's goal is to enhance the ecological, aesthetic, and recreational value of the 1/4 mile stretch of the Kern River starting just above the Kernville Bridge, through Riverside Park in Kernville. KVRC is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization that runs the Kern River Festival every year and organized the 2003 Wildwater World Cup Kayak races on the Upper Kern.

Area of Riverside Park damaged in recent flooding.
Flood damage in Riverside Park from high water in December 2010.

The Kernville Riverside Park Renovation Project will provide bank stabilization, erosion control, hazards removal, control of noxious weeds, promote local salmonid habitat, plant native flora, provide recreational opportunities for water users such as fishermen, rafters, kayakers, tubers, and implement public safety and environmental education programs. This Winter volunteers did an initial survey of the reach, gathering stream profile data and flow velocity data.

Unknown to some, Riverside Park in Kernville is the first manufactured whitewater park in America. Tom Johnson, local boating legend and former Olympic Coach and National Kayak champion successfully lobbied for the construction of rapids and bank restoration over 40 years ago with the Army Corps of Engineers as mitigation for the drowning of part of the Stanislaus River with the New Melones Dam in North Central California.

After 40 years, Riverside Park is in dire need of restoration and additional improvements. Whitewater parks have sprung up in both urban and rural settings throughout the country. Parks have been constructed in places such as Reno, Nevada; Vail, Steamboat, Boulder, Buena Vista and Salida Colorado; Boise Idaho; and Charlotte, North Carolina. Their construction has revitalized the river and promoted recreation and tourism.

In response to extremely heavy rain below about 7000 ft., the COE gage in Riverside Park recorded a peak of 21,741 cfs at 4:00 p.m. Sunday, December 19th! Kern locals Evan Moore, Eric Giddens, Rebecca Giddens, Geno Hackett & Johnnie Chase checked out the river from Riverside Park, before getting in the water when the flow was near its peak. The Johnsondale RAWS recorded about 12 inches of rain from 1:00 p.m. Friday to 3:00 p.m. Sunday, and about 15.5 inches for the rain event.


Check out the Jackson boats in the New Boat Barn. We think the new elite versions of the boats are the best ever made by Jackson and worth every penny. With the Sweet Cheeks and Happy Feet system, you also get the best outfitting ever. It takes just a minute or so to understand the process to get the correct fit. It is not hard to master and we will be happy to show you how. Cross-linked plastic and a composite beam support make these hulls the stiffest and most durable on the market. The come with a 2 year double warranty. Also take a look at these Jackson videos of the Star Series in action and the Elite outfitting. We usually have the new Star Series, Funs, and Heroes in stock. The new creek boat, the Villain, looked great on Brush Creek at the Kern River Festival, and we have it in stock.

Describing the numerous on-river and off-river recreation options, the July/August 2008 issue of Paddler Magazine selected Kernville as one of the 'Best Paddling Towns' in the U.S. The article rated Kernville a 5-star weekend destination and a 5-star 'Near Home' vacation destination.

Sierra South has been running raft trips, and teaching kayaking classes on the Kern River since 1985. The 2011 season will mark our 26th year on the Kern River!

We talk a lot about the "Kern River basin" in Rivernotes. During the Winter, we frequently refer to the Upper Tyndall Creek, Pascoes, and Wet Meadows snow sensors. During the paddling season, it might be Limestone, The Forks, Kern Falls, or Kernville. Here's a satellite overview of the 1000 square mile N.F. Kern drainage area with a few of the features labeled. If you look near the bottom of the photo, you'll see Lake Isabella. We're located just north of the lake!

Want to check on the Kern snowpack and see where the snow sensors and snow courses are located? We've put together a Kern River Basin Snow Courses & Sensors Google Earth KMZ file mashup that shows the station locations in Google Earth and links to the California Data Exchange Center (CDEC) data page for each station.

Here is a snapshot of today's flow and reservoir data, based on reports from the Corps of Engineers (COE) and Southern California Edison (SCE). Click on "Current" to get the latest COE info. For SCE flow information, call the flow phone at 877-537-6356 or 760-376-8821. According to SCE, the flow phone values reported for Above & Below Fairview, and Below Democrat Dam are updated every 5-10 seconds. All other flow phone data is manually updated twice a day (7am & 2pm) when an operator is on duty.


 

Upper Kern

Lower Kern

  Above Fairview* Below Fairview* At Kernville Lake Isabella Below Democrat Dam*
Date & Time Flow (cfs) Flow (cfs) Stage Flow (cfs) Total Outflow to River to Borel Canal Storage
(acre-feet)
Flow (cfs)
30APR2011 1100 2851 2552 8.29 3393 3449 2868 581 297,457 2973
Kern Flow Info Current 5 Day Plot 10 Day Plot Month WY '11 WY '10 WY '09 WY '08 WY '07
Weather NWS NWS Zones CNN Washington Post Satellite Radar Riverkern RAWS RAWS Archive
*Flow values from SCE Flow Phone. For current information call 877-537-6356 or 760-376-8821. According to SCE the flow values reported for Above & Below Fairview, and Below Democrat Dam are updated every 5-10 seconds. All other flow phone data is manually updated twice a day (7am & 2pm) when an operator is on duty.

More information concerning flow and weather can be found on our LINKS page.

River Notes Archive and Index - River Notes Photo Archive

River Notes for Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Important information about River Notes.

Sierra South Raft Trips and Kayaking ClassesDownload our Rafting & Kayaking Adventures brochure (PDF).

The River is up -- don't miss out on the outstanding early season flows -- take 20% off for the rest of the month of April! Make any raft trip or kayaking class reservation that takes place during the rest of the month and get 20% off. Must pre-reserve Online. Enter coupon Code APRIL2011 when prompted in the payment screen. Offer ends April 30th and can not be applied with any other discounts.

Great weather and water were expected for the 47th Kern River Festival and great weather and water are what we had, with sunny skies and warm temps. Saturday, Brush Creek was around 3 on the gauge, and the juicy flow was excellent for both the Downriver and Extreme Slalom. On Saturday afternoon the Upper Kern at Riverside Park was about 2250 cfs for the Hooligan Build Your Own Boat competition, and then went up to about 2800 cfs for the Tom Johnson Slalom on Sunday.

Taking first in the Brush Creek Downriver (in a long boat) this year was Eric Giddens, followed by long boats Taylor Robertson and Macy Burnham. Shaun Smith broke up a long boat sweep of the top four, finishing just a couple of seconds behind Macy. Amanda Maruschi edged Rose Schermerhorn and LIz Brackbill in the Women's division. The Kern River Crew Evan Moore and Johnny Chase finished 1-2 in the Men's Junior division, and Sage Donnelly was the top Junior Woman.

In the Brush Creek Extreme Giant Slalom Shaun Smith outmaneuvered Eric Giddens, with Spencer Joseph taking third. In the Women's race Amanda Maruschi got her second win of the day, finishing ahead of Sara James and Diane Gayglos. Evan Moore and Johnny Chase repeated their 1-2 finish in the Men's Junior division, and Sage Donnelly was the top Junior Woman.

In its second year, the Hooligan BYOB competition was once again a big spectator and participant favorite. Inspired by the event at the FIBArk River Festival, paddlers constructed their own boats out of "non-boat" materials and attempted to paddle their creations from upstream of the bridge in Kernville, down through the class II rapids in Riverside Park.

Sunday, the Tom Johnson Whitewater Slalom took center stage, with paddlers competing for the best times on a pushy, challenging course. Eric Giddens took first in the Men's Expert Elite class, and Svetlana Platonova edged Rebecca Giddens in the Women's Expert Elite class. The Giddens first child is due in few weeks, and she will be able to claim that she did her first slalom race not only before she could walk, but a month before she was born!

Many thanks to the paddlers, spectators, sponsors and all the volunteers that help put on the event. An extra special "Thank You!" goes to the Kern Festival committee Eric & Rebecca Giddens, Andrew Pernicano, Tom Moore, Lynne Siodmak, Ann Beaman, Marianne Moore-DeChant, Judy Neukirchner, and Gilbert Siegel, who with the help of Terry Valle handled the innumerable tasks associated with the organization and setup of the Kern River Festival. Festival results and photos will be posted on the Festival web site, and linked here when available.

Kern Snowpack Top 10

California Cooperative Snow Surveys' April Snow Course measurements for the Kern have been completed, and with all 17 snow courses recorded, the Kern snowpack is reported at a monster 195% of normal. This is not only the biggest April 1 snowpack during a La Nina over the past 60 years, it is nearly as big as the Kern snowpack during the record-setting El Nino of 1997-1998, and is the 6th biggest Kern snowpack overall since 1950!

Other than this season, the only top ten snowpack that was not during an El Nino was the 1961-62 season (186%). The biggest April 1 Kern snowpack was during the El Nino of 1968-69 (301%). During the La Nina of 1971-72 the Kern snowpack was only 18% of normal. (Note: Six Kern snow courses were not measured in April 1998. An estimate of 210% of normal was used for that season in this comparison.)

Raft trips and kayaking classes have started, and the River is already up! Take advantage of the great early season flows and book a raft trip or kayaking class. Trips and classes start booking weeks in advance, so make your reservations early -- especially for those busy Spring and Summer weekends!

Looking for the flow? The most recent Upper and Lower Kern River flows are now displayed near the top of this page as the data becomes available from the Corps of Engineers. Included are the flow on the Upper Kern at Riverside Park, and the Lower Kern above and below the Borel Powerhouse. If the flows cannot be obtained from the COE, "N/A" will be indicated.

Alan Henz's 2010 Hooligan Race 1st place winning un-boat "The Original Bucket Boat."

Sierra South - Paddling the Kern for 26 Years!Our world-famous Lickety-Split and Lickety-Blaster raft trips are far and away the two most popular and most affordable Class 2-3 whitewater rafting runs available on the Kern River. Both are full of enough excitement to challenge just about everyone from young tykes to grandmas and grandpas. Looking for more adrenalin? Try our new Upper Kern and Forks trips. Reserve your 2011 trip today!

Learn to kayak! Our proven teaching method takes you through a gradual progression that maximizes the fun. We've designed our beginning class for those who have never river kayaked before, or who have played around with kayaking some, but have not had formal instruction in the fundamentals of river kayaking. We also offer a 5-day total immersion learn-to-kayak class and Private Instruction. Our Kayaking School page has all the details on these, and other whitewater and lake touring kayak classes!

The Kern Valley River Council (KVRC) was recently awarded a $25,000 grant from the USFS, Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act. The Kernville Riverside Park Renovation Project's goal is to enhance the ecological, aesthetic, and recreational value of the 1/4 mile stretch of the Kern River starting just above the Kernville Bridge, through Riverside Park in Kernville. KVRC is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization that runs the Kern River Festival every year and organized the 2003 Wildwater World Cup Kayak races on the Upper Kern.

Area of Riverside Park damaged in recent flooding.
Flood damage in Riverside Park from high water in December 2010.

The Kernville Riverside Park Renovation Project will provide bank stabilization, erosion control, hazards removal, control of noxious weeds, promote local salmonid habitat, plant native flora, provide recreational opportunities for water users such as fishermen, rafters, kayakers, tubers, and implement public safety and environmental education programs. This Winter volunteers did an initial survey of the reach, gathering stream profile data and flow velocity data.

Unknown to some, Riverside Park in Kernville is the first manufactured whitewater park in America. Tom Johnson, local boating legend and former Olympic Coach and National Kayak champion successfully lobbied for the construction of rapids and bank restoration over 40 years ago with the Army Corps of Engineers as mitigation for the drowning of part of the Stanislaus River with the New Melones Dam in North Central California.

After 40 years, Riverside Park is in dire need of restoration and additional improvements. Whitewater parks have sprung up in both urban and rural settings throughout the country. Parks have been constructed in places such as Reno, Nevada; Vail, Steamboat, Boulder, Buena Vista and Salida Colorado; Boise Idaho; and Charlotte, North Carolina. Their construction has revitalized the river and promoted recreation and tourism.

In response to extremely heavy rain below about 7000 ft., the COE gage in Riverside Park recorded a peak of 21,741 cfs at 4:00 p.m. Sunday, December 19th! Kern locals Evan Moore, Eric Giddens, Rebecca Giddens, Geno Hackett & Johnnie Chase checked out the river from Riverside Park, before getting in the water when the flow was near its peak. The Johnsondale RAWS recorded about 12 inches of rain from 1:00 p.m. Friday to 3:00 p.m. Sunday, and about 15.5 inches for the rain event.


Check out the Jackson boats in the New Boat Barn. We think the new elite versions of the boats are the best ever made by Jackson and worth every penny. With the Sweet Cheeks and Happy Feet system, you also get the best outfitting ever. It takes just a minute or so to understand the process to get the correct fit. It is not hard to master and we will be happy to show you how. Cross-linked plastic and a composite beam support make these hulls the stiffest and most durable on the market. The come with a 2 year double warranty. Also take a look at these Jackson videos of the Star Series in action and the Elite outfitting. We usually have the new Star Series, Funs, and Heroes in stock. The new creek boat, the Villain, looked great on Brush Creek at the Kern River Festival, and we have it in stock.

Describing the numerous on-river and off-river recreation options, the July/August 2008 issue of Paddler Magazine selected Kernville as one of the 'Best Paddling Towns' in the U.S. The article rated Kernville a 5-star weekend destination and a 5-star 'Near Home' vacation destination.

Sierra South has been running raft trips, and teaching kayaking classes on the Kern River since 1985. The 2011 season will mark our 26th year on the Kern River!

We talk a lot about the "Kern River basin" in Rivernotes. During the Winter, we frequently refer to the Upper Tyndall Creek, Pascoes, and Wet Meadows snow sensors. During the paddling season, it might be Limestone, The Forks, Kern Falls, or Kernville. Here's a satellite overview of the 1000 square mile N.F. Kern drainage area with a few of the features labeled. If you look near the bottom of the photo, you'll see Lake Isabella. We're located just north of the lake!

Want to check on the Kern snowpack and see where the snow sensors and snow courses are located? We've put together a Kern River Basin Snow Courses & Sensors Google Earth KMZ file mashup that shows the station locations in Google Earth and links to the California Data Exchange Center (CDEC) data page for each station.

Here is a snapshot of today's flow and reservoir data, based on reports from the Corps of Engineers (COE) and Southern California Edison (SCE). Click on "Current" to get the latest COE info. For SCE flow information, call the flow phone at 877-537-6356 or 760-376-8821. According to SCE, the flow phone values reported for Above & Below Fairview, and Below Democrat Dam are updated every 5-10 seconds. All other flow phone data is manually updated twice a day (7am & 2pm) when an operator is on duty.


 

Upper Kern

Lower Kern

  Above Fairview* Below Fairview* At Kernville Lake Isabella Below Democrat Dam*
Date & Time Flow (cfs) Flow (cfs) Stage Flow (cfs) Total Outflow to River to Borel Canal Storage
(acre-feet)
Flow (cfs)
20APR2011 1300 2833 2561 8.33 3362 2911 2330 581 297,457 2251
Kern Flow Info Current 5 Day Plot 10 Day Plot Month WY '11 WY '10 WY '09 WY '08 WY '07
Weather NWS NWS Zones CNN Washington Post Satellite Radar Riverkern RAWS RAWS Archive
*Flow values from SCE Flow Phone. For current information call 877-537-6356 or 760-376-8821. According to SCE the flow values reported for Above & Below Fairview, and Below Democrat Dam are updated every 5-10 seconds. All other flow phone data is manually updated twice a day (7am & 2pm) when an operator is on duty.

More information concerning flow and weather can be found on our LINKS page.

River Notes Archive and Index - River Notes Photo Archive

River Notes for Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Important information about River Notes.

Sierra South Raft Trips and Kayaking ClassesDownload our Rafting & Kayaking Adventures brochure (PDF).

Great weather and water are expected for the 47th Kern River Festival this weekend, with sunny skies and temps in the mid-70's. Flows will be booming! This year's Festival will feature three days of non-stop action with the Brush Creek Race, Hooligan Build Your Own Boat competition, and Slalom practice on Saturday; and the Raffle, Silent Auction, Downriver Race, SUP Boardercross, and TJ Slalom Race Sunday. New for 2011, FREE camping will be available for all registered boaters at Frandy Park Friday and Saturday nights. Films will be shown Friday and Saturday evening at Frandy, with a band, beer garden, dinner and awards Saturday immediately following the Hooligan Race.

Kern Snowpack Top 10

California Cooperative Snow Surveys' April Snow Course measurements for the Kern have been completed, and with all 17 snow courses recorded, the Kern snowpack is reported at a monster 195% of normal. This is not only the biggest April 1 snowpack during a La Nina over the past 60 years, it is nearly as big as the Kern snowpack during the record-setting El Nino of 1997-1998, and is the 6th biggest Kern snowpack overall since 1950!

Other than this season, the only top ten snowpack that was not during an El Nino was the 1961-62 season (186%). The biggest April 1 Kern snowpack was during the El Nino of 1968-69 (301%). During the La Nina of 1971-72 the Kern snowpack was only 18% of normal. (Note: Six Kern snow courses were not measured in April 1998. An estimate of 210% of normal was used for that season in this comparison.)

Raft trips and kayaking classes have started, and the River is already up! Take advantage of the great early season flows and book a raft trip or kayaking class. Trips and classes start booking weeks in advance, so make your reservations early -- especially for those busy Spring and Summer weekends!

Looking for the flow? The most recent Upper and Lower Kern River flows are now displayed near the top of this page as the data becomes available from the Corps of Engineers. Included are the flow on the Upper Kern at Riverside Park, and the Lower Kern above and below the Borel Powerhouse. If the flows cannot be obtained from the COE, "N/A" will be indicated.

Alan Henz's 2010 Hooligan Race 1st place winning un-boat "The Original Bucket Boat."

Sierra South - Paddling the Kern for 26 Years!Our world-famous Lickety-Split and Lickety-Blaster raft trips are far and away the two most popular and most affordable Class 2-3 whitewater rafting runs available on the Kern River. Both are full of enough excitement to challenge just about everyone from young tykes to grandmas and grandpas. Looking for more adrenalin? Try our new Upper Kern and Forks trips. Reserve your 2011 trip today!

Learn to kayak! Our proven teaching method takes you through a gradual progression that maximizes the fun. We've designed our beginning class for those who have never river kayaked before, or who have played around with kayaking some, but have not had formal instruction in the fundamentals of river kayaking. We also offer a 5-day total immersion learn-to-kayak class and Private Instruction. Our Kayaking School page has all the details on these, and other whitewater and lake touring kayak classes!

The Kern Valley River Council (KVRC) was recently awarded a $25,000 grant from the USFS, Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act. The Kernville Riverside Park Renovation Project's goal is to enhance the ecological, aesthetic, and recreational value of the 1/4 mile stretch of the Kern River starting just above the Kernville Bridge, through Riverside Park in Kernville. KVRC is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization that runs the Kern River Festival every year and organized the 2003 Wildwater World Cup Kayak races on the Upper Kern.

Area of Riverside Park damaged in recent flooding.
Flood damage in Riverside Park from high water in December 2010.

The Kernville Riverside Park Renovation Project will provide bank stabilization, erosion control, hazards removal, control of noxious weeds, promote local salmonid habitat, plant native flora, provide recreational opportunities for water users such as fishermen, rafters, kayakers, tubers, and implement public safety and environmental education programs. This Winter volunteers did an initial survey of the reach, gathering stream profile data and flow velocity data.

Unknown to some, Riverside Park in Kernville is the first manufactured whitewater park in America. Tom Johnson, local boating legend and former Olympic Coach and National Kayak champion successfully lobbied for the construction of rapids and bank restoration over 40 years ago with the Army Corps of Engineers as mitigation for the drowning of part of the Stanislaus River with the New Melones Dam in North Central California.

After 40 years, Riverside Park is in dire need of restoration and additional improvements. Whitewater parks have sprung up in both urban and rural settings throughout the country. Parks have been constructed in places such as Reno, Nevada; Vail, Steamboat, Boulder, Buena Vista and Salida Colorado; Boise Idaho; and Charlotte, North Carolina. Their construction has revitalized the river and promoted recreation and tourism.

In response to extremely heavy rain below about 7000 ft., the COE gage in Riverside Park recorded a peak of 21,741 cfs at 4:00 p.m. Sunday, December 19th! Kern locals Evan Moore, Eric Giddens, Rebecca Giddens, Geno Hackett & Johnnie Chase checked out the river from Riverside Park, before getting in the water when the flow was near its peak. The Johnsondale RAWS recorded about 12 inches of rain from 1:00 p.m. Friday to 3:00 p.m. Sunday, and about 15.5 inches for the rain event.


Check out the Jackson boats in the New Boat Barn. We think the new elite versions of the boats are the best ever made by Jackson and worth every penny. With the Sweet Cheeks and Happy Feet system, you also get the best outfitting ever. It takes just a minute or so to understand the process to get the correct fit. It is not hard to master and we will be happy to show you how. Cross-linked plastic and a composite beam support make these hulls the stiffest and most durable on the market. The come with a 2 year double warranty. Also take a look at these Jackson videos of the Star Series in action and the Elite outfitting. We usually have the new Star Series, Funs, and Heroes in stock. The new creek boat, the Villain, looked great on Brush Creek at the Kern River Festival, and we have it in stock.

Describing the numerous on-river and off-river recreation options, the July/August 2008 issue of Paddler Magazine selected Kernville as one of the 'Best Paddling Towns' in the U.S. The article rated Kernville a 5-star weekend destination and a 5-star 'Near Home' vacation destination.

Sierra South has been running raft trips, and teaching kayaking classes on the Kern River since 1985. The 2011 season will mark our 26th year on the Kern River!

We talk a lot about the "Kern River basin" in Rivernotes. During the Winter, we frequently refer to the Upper Tyndall Creek, Pascoes, and Wet Meadows snow sensors. During the paddling season, it might be Limestone, The Forks, Kern Falls, or Kernville. Here's a satellite overview of the 1000 square mile N.F. Kern drainage area with a few of the features labeled. If you look near the bottom of the photo, you'll see Lake Isabella. We're located just north of the lake!

Want to check on the Kern snowpack and see where the snow sensors and snow courses are located? We've put together a Kern River Basin Snow Courses & Sensors Google Earth KMZ file mashup that shows the station locations in Google Earth and links to the California Data Exchange Center (CDEC) data page for each station.

Here is a snapshot of today's flow and reservoir data, based on reports from the Corps of Engineers (COE) and Southern California Edison (SCE). Click on "Current" to get the latest COE info. For SCE flow information, call the flow phone at 877-537-6356 or 760-376-8821. According to SCE, the flow phone values reported for Above & Below Fairview, and Below Democrat Dam are updated every 5-10 seconds. All other flow phone data is manually updated twice a day (7am & 2pm) when an operator is on duty.


 

Upper Kern

Lower Kern

  Above Fairview* Below Fairview* At Kernville Lake Isabella Below Democrat Dam*
Date & Time Flow (cfs) Flow (cfs) Stage Flow (cfs) Total Outflow to River to Borel Canal Storage
(acre-feet)
Flow (cfs)
12APR2011 1100 1787 1476 7.36 2064 2194 1617 577 284,396 1991
Kern Flow Info Current 5 Day Plot 10 Day Plot Month WY '11 WY '10 WY '09 WY '08 WY '07
Weather NWS NWS Zones CNN Washington Post Satellite Radar Riverkern RAWS RAWS Archive
*Flow values from SCE Flow Phone. For current information call 877-537-6356 or 760-376-8821. According to SCE the flow values reported for Above & Below Fairview, and Below Democrat Dam are updated every 5-10 seconds. All other flow phone data is manually updated twice a day (7am & 2pm) when an operator is on duty.

More information concerning flow and weather can be found on our LINKS page.

River Notes for Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Important information about River Notes.

Sierra South Raft Trips and Kayaking ClassesDownload our Rafting & Kayaking Adventures brochure (PDF).

Come join us April 9-10 as we kick off the 2011 season with our 9th Annual Spring Sale and Free Demo Weekend. Sierra South’s large rental fleet will be available for free tryouts throughout the weekend (some restrictions apply). It will be a great time to get new boats and gear at big savings!

Kern Snowpack Top 10

California Cooperative Snow Surveys' April Snow Course measurements for the Kern have been completed, and with all 17 snow courses recorded, the Kern snowpack is reported at a monster 195% of normal. This is not only the biggest April 1 snowpack during a La Nina over the past 60 years, it is nearly as big as the Kern snowpack during the record-setting El Nino of 1997-1998, and is the 6th biggest Kern snowpack overall since 1950!

Other than this season, the only top ten snowpack that was not during an El Nino was the 1961-62 season (186%). The biggest April 1 Kern snowpack was during the El Nino of 1968-69 (301%). During the La Nina of 1971-72 the Kern snowpack was only 18% of normal. (Note: Six Kern snow courses were not measured in April 1998. An estimate of 210% of normal was used for that season in this comparison.)

Raft trips and kayaking classes have started, and the River is already up! Take advantage of the great early season flows and book a raft trip or kayaking class. Trips and classes start booking weeks in advance, so make your reservations early -- especially for those busy Spring and Summer weekends!

Looking for the flow? The most recent Upper and Lower Kern River flows are now displayed near the top of this page as the data becomes available from the Corps of Engineers. Included are the flow on the Upper Kern at Riverside Park, and the Lower Kern above and below the Borel Powerhouse. If the flows cannot be obtained from the COE, "N/A" will be indicated.

Make your plans now, the 47th Kern River Festival is April 15-17. This year's Kern River Festival will feature three days of non-stop action with the Brush Creek Race, Hooligan Build Your Own Boat competition, and Slalom practice on Saturday; and the Raffle, Silent Auction, Downriver Race and TJ Slalom Race Sunday. New for 2011, FREE camping will be available for all registered boaters at Frandy Park Friday and Saturday nights. Films will be shown Friday and Saturday evening at Frandy, with a band, beer garden, dinner and awards Saturday immediately following the Hooligan Race.

Alan Henz's 2010 Hooligan Race 1st place winning un-boat "The Original Bucket Boat."

Sierra South - Paddling the Kern for 26 Years!Our world-famous Lickety-Split and Lickety-Blaster raft trips are far and away the two most popular and most affordable Class 2-3 whitewater rafting runs available on the Kern River. Both are full of enough excitement to challenge just about everyone from young tykes to grandmas and grandpas. Looking for more adrenalin? Try our new Upper Kern and Forks trips. Reserve your 2011 trip today!

Learn to kayak! Our proven teaching method takes you through a gradual progression that maximizes the fun. We've designed our beginning class for those who have never river kayaked before, or who have played around with kayaking some, but have not had formal instruction in the fundamentals of river kayaking. We also offer a 5-day total immersion learn-to-kayak class and Private Instruction. Our Kayaking School page has all the details on these, and other whitewater and lake touring kayak classes!

The Kern Valley River Council (KVRC) was recently awarded a $25,000 grant from the USFS, Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act. The Kernville Riverside Park Renovation Project's goal is to enhance the ecological, aesthetic, and recreational value of the 1/4 mile stretch of the Kern River starting just above the Kernville Bridge, through Riverside Park in Kernville. KVRC is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization that runs the Kern River Festival every year and organized the 2003 Wildwater World Cup Kayak races on the Upper Kern.

Area of Riverside Park damaged in recent flooding.
Flood damage in Riverside Park from high water in December 2010.

The Kernville Riverside Park Renovation Project will provide bank stabilization, erosion control, hazards removal, control of noxious weeds, promote local salmonid habitat, plant native flora, provide recreational opportunities for water users such as fishermen, rafters, kayakers, tubers, and implement public safety and environmental education programs. This Winter volunteers did an initial survey of the reach, gathering stream profile data and flow velocity data.

Unknown to some, Riverside Park in Kernville is the first manufactured whitewater park in America. Tom Johnson, local boating legend and former Olympic Coach and National Kayak champion successfully lobbied for the construction of rapids and bank restoration over 40 years ago with the Army Corps of Engineers as mitigation for the drowning of part of the Stanislaus River with the New Melones Dam in North Central California.

After 40 years, Riverside Park is in dire need of restoration and additional improvements. Whitewater parks have sprung up in both urban and rural settings throughout the country. Parks have been constructed in places such as Reno, Nevada; Vail, Steamboat, Boulder, Buena Vista and Salida Colorado; Boise Idaho; and Charlotte, North Carolina. Their construction has revitalized the river and promoted recreation and tourism.

In response to extremely heavy rain below about 7000 ft., the COE gage in Riverside Park recorded a peak of 21,741 cfs at 4:00 p.m. Sunday, December 19th! Kern locals Evan Moore, Eric Giddens, Rebecca Giddens, Geno Hackett & Johnnie Chase checked out the river from Riverside Park, before getting in the water when the flow was near its peak. The Johnsondale RAWS recorded about 12 inches of rain from 1:00 p.m. Friday to 3:00 p.m. Sunday, and about 15.5 inches for the rain event.


Check out the Jackson boats in the New Boat Barn. We think the new elite versions of the boats are the best ever made by Jackson and worth every penny. With the Sweet Cheeks and Happy Feet system, you also get the best outfitting ever. It takes just a minute or so to understand the process to get the correct fit. It is not hard to master and we will be happy to show you how. Cross-linked plastic and a composite beam support make these hulls the stiffest and most durable on the market. The come with a 2 year double warranty. Also take a look at these Jackson videos of the Star Series in action and the Elite outfitting. We usually have the new Star Series, Funs, and Heroes in stock. The new creek boat, the Villain, looked great on Brush Creek at the Kern River Festival, and we have it in stock.

Describing the numerous on-river and off-river recreation options, the July/August 2008 issue of Paddler Magazine selected Kernville as one of the 'Best Paddling Towns' in the U.S. The article rated Kernville a 5-star weekend destination and a 5-star 'Near Home' vacation destination.

Sierra South has been running raft trips, and teaching kayaking classes on the Kern River since 1985. The 2011 season will mark our 26th year on the Kern River!

We talk a lot about the "Kern River basin" in Rivernotes. During the Winter, we frequently refer to the Upper Tyndall Creek, Pascoes, and Wet Meadows snow sensors. During the paddling season, it might be Limestone, The Forks, Kern Falls, or Kernville. Here's a satellite overview of the 1000 square mile N.F. Kern drainage area with a few of the features labeled. If you look near the bottom of the photo, you'll see Lake Isabella. We're located just north of the lake!

Want to check on the Kern snowpack and see where the snow sensors and snow courses are located? We've put together a Kern River Basin Snow Courses & Sensors Google Earth KMZ file mashup that shows the station locations in Google Earth and links to the California Data Exchange Center (CDEC) data page for each station.

Here is a snapshot of today's flow and reservoir data, based on reports from the Corps of Engineers (COE) and Southern California Edison (SCE). Click on "Current" to get the latest COE info. For SCE flow information, call the flow phone at 877-537-6356 or 760-376-8821. According to SCE, the flow phone values reported for Above & Below Fairview, and Below Democrat Dam are updated every 5-10 seconds. All other flow phone data is manually updated twice a day (7am & 2pm) when an operator is on duty.


 

Upper Kern

Lower Kern

  Above Fairview* Below Fairview* At Kernville Lake Isabella Below Democrat Dam*
Date & Time Flow (cfs) Flow (cfs) Stage Flow (cfs) Total Outflow to River to Borel Canal Storage
(acre-feet)
Flow (cfs)
05APR2011 0900 2603 2297 8.26 3255 1566 998 568 267,167 806
Kern Flow Info Current 5 Day Plot 10 Day Plot Month WY '11 WY '10 WY '09 WY '08 WY '07
Weather NWS NWS Zones CNN Washington Post Satellite Radar Riverkern RAWS RAWS Archive
*Flow values from SCE Flow Phone. For current information call 877-537-6356 or 760-376-8821. According to SCE the flow values reported for Above & Below Fairview, and Below Democrat Dam are updated every 5-10 seconds. All other flow phone data is manually updated twice a day (7am & 2pm) when an operator is on duty.

More information concerning flow and weather can be found on our LINKS page.

River Notes Archive and Index - River Notes Photo Archive

 

Store: 760-376-3745  Mail Order: 800-376-7303  Reservations: 800-457-2082

Menu Bar Visit the Sierra South Online Store! Get the latest flows, weather, and info! Go Rafting on the Kern River! Learn to Kayak! Learn to Climb! The Kern River Gallery Links, Links, Links! Request Additional Information Information about our Outfitters Store The Kern River View or Download our Catalog
E-STORE - NEWS - RAFTING - KAYAKING - CLIMBING- GALLERY - LINKS - MORE INFO - OUR STORE - THE RIVER - CATALOG - HOME

Copyright © 1996-2014 Sierra South, Inc. All Rights Reserved.