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(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.)

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Immersion Research Comp LX Dry TopImmersion Research Comp LX Dry Top This 4 season dry top now features ergonomic seaming for greater mobility and comfort.

Kokatat Helix DrytopFrom fall's first chill all the way through the spring paddling season, the Kokatat Men's Helix Drytop or Women's Helix Drytop is our constant companion.

Southern Sierra Mountain Bike TrailsSouthern Sierra Mountain Bike Trails is the first book written from a mountain bike rider's perspective to be done exclusively for the Southern Sierra.

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.

 

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Splashes: Rolling - AW Safety Code - River Quotes - Foamies - Water Art

River Notes for Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Important information about River Notes.

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.

Big snow, means big water, and this year's snowpack is the biggest we've seen during a La Nina! Remember the great water we had last season? We're currently ahead of last season's (El Nino) snowpack, and this year's runoff should be even better. At the beginning of March, California Cooperative Snow Surveys' March Snow Course measurements put the Kern snowpack at 136% of the normal seasonal total. Last weekend's storm and other smaller systems have added to the snowpack since March 1. It's snowing now in the Sierra, and snow is in the forecast through Sunday. The Kern snowpack could be in the neighborhood of 150% when the seasonal measurements are taken on April 1. We'll see!

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!

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."

There's still a few spots available in the 2011 Kern River Gold Medal Camps. These unique training camps offer progressive whitewater instruction to paddlers of all skill levels, ages 15 and up. It’s your opportunity to work with Olympic-level instructors in one of the finest whitewater venues in America.

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)
23MAR2011 0800 -- -- 6.64 1323 822 822 0 224,883 --
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 Thursday, March 10, 2011

Important information about River Notes.

Raft trips and kayaking classes begin this Saturday, March 12, and the River is already up! This morning at 7:00 the COE gage at Riverside Park reported the Kern at 1087 cfs. 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!

Big snow, means big water, and this year's snowpack is one of the biggest we've seen during a La Nina! California Cooperative Snow Surveys March Snow Course measurements have been completed, and with 13 of 14 courses measured, the Kern River basin is reported at 152% of normal for March 1, and 136% of the normal seasonal (April 1) total. Medium range forecasts generally keep the storm track north of the Kern basin, but also indicate the possibility of a strong trough or upper low affecting the area sometime around St. Patrick's Day. In any case no snow-melting mega ridge is forecast, and the snowpack should be in great shape when the seasonal measurements are taken on April 1. We'll see!

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!

Make your plans now, the 47th Kern River Festival is the weekend of April 16-17. This year's Kern River Festival will feature two 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.

Congrats to Mean River Gene (Geno Hacker) and Whitewater Whitman (Lucian Whitman), co-winners of the annual Whisky Flat Mayor's race! In the 2011 edition of the annual Whisky Flat Parade the new mayors and their families rode through beautiful downtown Kernville on their Riverside Park Restoration Project Float. Geno and Lucian raised over $20,000 for the project. In addition to the whitewater park project, some funds will go to the Kern Valley Search and Rescue, as well as a portion to the Kernville Chamber of Commerce, which puts on the annual winter festival. Great fun was had by all.

A big "Thank You!"goes to Geno and Lucian for putting much time and effort into the Restoration Project over the past two months. "We have only just begun," said an excited Mean River Gene, "after seeing and understanding the success of other whitewater parks throughout the country, and realizing the Park in Kernville pioneered the way in the 70's, I am proud to be a part of a grassroots campaign to improve our whitewater park, and bring it up to date. Everyone that enjoys the River will benefit from this project and I challenge everyone to donate frequently and often. Your generous donations are needed to complete the dream. Stay tuned!"

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

Sierra South's entry into the Whiskey Flat parade was Alan Henz's 2010 Hooligan Race 1st place winning un-boat "The Original Bucket Boat," complete with Banner Girls Marianne Moore-DeChant and Judy Neukirchner! Here are some photos from last year's Hooligan Race, and a PDF flyer about the 2011 Hooligan Race. The Hooligan Race is part of the Kern River Festival, April 16-17, at Kernville's Riverside Park.

There's still some space available in 2011 Kern River Gold Medal Camps. These unique training camps offer progressive whitewater instruction to paddlers of all skill levels, ages 15 and up. It’s your opportunity to work with Olympic-level instructors in one of the finest whitewater venues in America.

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 Wintervolunteers 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 Corp 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)
10MAR2011 0700 915 602 6.40 1087 798 798 0 208,495 474
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

 

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