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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.)

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Streamlines News and Info for Paddlers
S T R E A M L I N E S
News & Info for Paddlers
Updated 10/11/05

o Seventy-five environmental groups around the country announced today that they will mount a petition campaign to reinstate the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule overturned by the Bush administration in one of its most controversial environmental decisions. Among the first citizens who have lined up to file a petition is Rebecca Giddens, a 2004 Olympic silver medalist kayaker. "National Forests are an important part of my lifestyle and I'm concerned our pristine forests and the unique recreational opportunities they provide are at risk," said Giddens, who trained for the 2004 Summer Games on California's famed Kern River, which runs through thousands of acres of roadless areas on the Sequoia National Forest. More.

o Hurricane Katrina’s tragic impacts were greatly worsened by our efforts to "control" rivers and fill wetlands. The Mississippi’s hundreds of large dams and thousands of miles of levees have almost eliminated flows of sediment needed to replenish coastal wetlands, making Louisiana – which has lost 1.2 million acres of coastal lands since the 1930s – much more vulnerable to storm surges. Damage from floods in the U.S. – and around the world – has gone up dramatically over the past six decades despite huge investments in flood–control infrastructure. Global warming is likely to worsen the situation by raising sea levels and increasing the frequency and intensity of severe storms. More.

o The Cosumnes River is an anomaly in the heart of California’s breadbasket—the last undammed river in the heavily irrigated Central Valley. The Cosumnes flows freely from its headwaters in the red fir forests of the Sierra Nevada to its confluence with the Mokelumne River and the marshes of the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta. More.

o California is blessed with some of the most beautiful and diverse rivers in the world. From the steep creeks of the high Sierra to the broad and powerful rivers of the Central Valley, each river tells a personal story and provides a unique experience to the visitor. More.

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

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News from the Past...

River Notes for Thursday, September 22, 2005

Important information about River Notes.

Tuesday's rain in the Southern Sierra -- 0.47 inch at the Kernville RAWS -- pushed the flow on the Upper Kern at Kernville to above 600 cfs yesterday. The flow on the Upper is back down around 400 cfs today, but any significant rain this Fall could bring it back up to a good boatable level.

Looking to do some Fall paddling? The flows on the Lower Kern, Kern below Democrat, and Kern below Rio Bravo are the best they have been in years. According to SCE, as a result of tunnel maintenance, no water is being diverted at Democrat Dam. This increases the "usual" flow between Democrat Dam and the KR1 powerplant by about 400 cfs and should extend the season on that reach. This morning at 10:00 the COE is reporting the Upper Kern at Kernville at 419 cfs, Lower Kern upstream of Borel (Slippery Rock put-in) at 825 cfs, Lower Kern downstream of Borel (Sandy Flat, Miracle, Delonegha put-ins) at 1375 cfs. At about 10:00 the SCE flow phone reported the flow below Democrat Dam at 1434 cfs.

Officials "discouraged" boating on the Kern Below Democrat Dam before 1995. Keith Beck, with boating partners Phil Martin and Glen Troness, began probing the Kern below Democrat in the early eighties, and by around 1984 had done most of it, including the stretch below the KR1 powerhouse. Others, including Mark Richey, were running some sections of the KBD at about the same time. The class IV-V run now known as the Richbar Run was done from time to time by local boaters and visiting dignitaries such as Lars Holbeck.

In the Fall of 1995, as a result the FERC relicensing of KR1 powerhouse, the AWA initiated a whitewater flow study by WRC Environmental. Coincident with the flow study and rediscovery of this "new" whitewater resource, kayaker Rocky Contos ran most of the rapids from Democrat Dam to the mouth of Kern Canyon. Rocky's accounts of running the Cataracts thrilled everyone reading his rec.boats.paddle newsgroup postings. Some of the more exciting stories were included in an article about the Cataracts in the March-April, 1996, AWA Journal, written by Richard Penny, with Rocky Contos and Keith Beck.

Much has changed in kayaking since 1995, but the Kern Below Democrat remains a somewhat enigmatic and inscrutable section of river. The long boating season of 2004-2005 has renewed interest in the Cataracts and recently Brett Valle (boof.com) got together with Eric Giddens (Olympic kayaker) and JD Batove (Bakersfield class V boater) and did a few runs on the KBD. You can read Brett's impressions in his calrios blog, and Eric's in his Kern Cadillacs and Cataracts Trip Report (PDF, 658K). Today's RiverPhoto is a shot by Eric Giddens of JD on Triple Falls with an in-channel flow of about 1400 cfs.

Hey, did you see the shot of Sierra South in the July/August 2005 issue of Paddler? That's the Sierra South Kernville store at the top of the Road Trip: Paddler to the People article!

The Sierra Cup Slalom Series started with the with the T.J. Slalom at the Kern River Festival in April, and ended last weekend with the Mokelumne River Races. More than 150 paddlers competed in at least one Series race. The races in the Sierra Cup Series are fun, low-key events, generally on class II whitewater. The courses are usually set so that most of the racers, even novice racers, can make most of the gates. Plastic boats are common, and you can practice the course the day before the race. This year's Sierra Cup point tally resulted in a photo finish, with Gary Valle and Jessica Subido only a fraction of a point apart. Six of the top 10 paddlers -- Jessica Subido, Sara Perales, Jennifer Scarborough, Stein Beals, Nick Wilkening, and Joseph Dunwoody -- are in their teens. For all the results, see the Sierra Cup Final Standings (Adobe PDF).

Thanks to all of you that made our Sizzlin' Summer Sale a great success. For those of you who missed out, we still have some boats left and have extended the Boat Sale to September 30th! New boats on sale include Dagger Mamba; Jackson Fun series, Hero, Super Hero; Liquidlogic Airhead, Huck, Lil Joe, Trigger, Scooter, Space Cadet, Vision; Perception Aloha, Sparky; Pyranha I:3, I:4, S6f, Seven 0; Wavesport EZ, EZG, Zero Gravity; Wilderness Systems Tarpon, and Pungo. Also, more than 80 used whitewater and recreational kayaks are listed in the Used Boat Barn. Check our Boat Barns daily for new listings. We also have a few Hyside Padillac 1-man & 2-man inflatable kayaks. Our boat inventory varies daily. Please call 1-800-376-7303 if you are interested in a specific boat and don't see it on our New Boat Barn or Used Boat Barn. Thanks for a great season!

Many thanks to USA Canoe & Kayak, Pan American Canoe Federation, International Canoe Federation, U.S. Forest Service - Sequoia National Forest, Kern Valley River Council, Kernville and Kern Valley Chambers of Commerce, race organizers, volunteers, sponsors, paddlers, spectators, and especially the people of the Kern Valley, who all helped to make the Kern Tripletazo (Big Triple) at Miracle Hot Springs such an outstanding event! Top paddlers from Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Panama, Paraguay, and the U.S. competed in a series of three whitewater slalom races -- the Pan American Whitewater Slalom Championships, America's Whitewater Slalom Open, and the USACK Whitewater Slalom Nationals. Results and Photos are posted on the event web site. Andy Stone of Last Minute Productions has put together a dynamic six minute video (WMF, 12Mb) of the event!

Retire that bleached out PFD, worn down paddle, and behemoth kayak and get into something new! Why not advertise your current boat for sale on our web site in our consignment Used Boat Barn? Call us at 800-376-7303 for more info! Looking for a boat? Check out the recreational. touring and whitewater kayaks (and rafts) in our Boat Barns.

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.

EquipmentThe Sierra South River StoreClick!


 

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)
22SEP2005 1000 418 113 5.12 419 1375 825 550 342455 1434
Kern Flow Info Current 5 Day Plot 10 Day Plot Month WY '05 WY '04 WY '03 WY '02 WY '01
Weather NWS NWS Zones CNN Washington Post Satellite Radar Kernville 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.

Streamlines News and Info for Paddlers
S T R E A M L I N E S
News & Info for Paddlers
Updated 06/21/05

o The debate over the proposal to breach the Sierra's O'Shaughnessy Dam, drain the reservoir behind it and restore Hetch Hetchy Valley to its former natural splendor is apt to intensify this summer with the release of a California Department of Water Resources study on the issue. More.

o The Cosumnes River is an anomaly in the heart of California’s breadbasket—the last undammed river in the heavily irrigated Central Valley. The Cosumnes flows freely from its headwaters in the red fir forests of the Sierra Nevada to its confluence with the Mokelumne River and the marshes of the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta. More.

o California is blessed with some of the most beautiful and diverse rivers in the world. From the steep creeks of the high Sierra to the broad and powerful rivers of the Central Valley, each river tells a personal story and provides a unique experience to the visitor. More.

o What rescue equip. do you carry? Shoes, of course, though I'm pretty optimistic. Most down-days I carry rope, knife, handpaddles, couple caribiners, Cliff bar, lighter, and one Petzl Ti-bloc. I've got a little Adventure Medical Kit I've enhanced with Lortabs, Flexeril, and a space blanket for steep, remote, or long days. I've got a wad of orange flagging tape I use to mark new wood on popular runs. I carry more food, gloves, balaclava, and headlamp for cold days or late starts. . .West Coast/ international creeking I've got float-bags, iodine or a water filter, and a firm knowledge of my walk-out options (or map). People often forget how much safety equipment you can store in your brain - weight free.(Clay Wright) More

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

River Notes for Friday, September 9, 2005

Important information about River Notes.

Thanks to all of you that made our Sizzlin' Summer Sale a great success. For those of you who missed out, we still have some boats left and have extended the Boat Sale to September 30th! New boats on sale include Dagger Crazy 88, Mamba; Jackson Fun series, Hero, Super Hero; Liquidlogic Airhead, Huck, Lil Joe, Trigger, Scooter, Space Cadet, Vision; Perception Aloha, Sparky; Pyranha I:3, I:4, S6f, Seven 0; Wavesport EZ, EZG, Zero Gravity; Wilderness Systems Tarpon, and Pungo. Also, more than 80 used whitewater and recreational kayaks are listed in the Used Boat Barn. Check our Boat Barns daily for new listings. We also have a few Hyside Padillac 1-man & 2-man inflatable kayaks. Our boat inventory varies daily. Please call 1-800-376-7303 if you are interested in a specific boat and don't see it on our New Boat Barn or Used Boat Barn. Thanks for a great season!

Many thanks to USA Canoe & Kayak, Pan American Canoe Federation, International Canoe Federation, U.S. Forest Service - Sequoia National Forest, Kern Valley River Council, Kernville and Kern Valley Chambers of Commerce, race organizers, volunteers, sponsors, paddlers, spectators, and especially the people of the Kern Valley, who all helped to make the Kern Tripletazo (Big Triple) at Miracle Hot Springs such an outstanding event! Top paddlers from Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Panama, Paraguay, and the U.S. competed in a series of three whitewater slalom races -- the Pan American Whitewater Slalom Championships, America's Whitewater Slalom Open, and the USACK Whitewater Slalom Nationals. Results and Photos are posted on the event web site.

COE (Army Corps of Engineers) is reporting the flow on the Lower Kern at Borel at about 1425 cfs this morning. The Lower Kern at Borel flow gives the amount of water (subject to various caveats) on the reach from the Borel powerhouse to Democrat Dam. This includes the Sandy Flat, Miracle Hot Springs and Delonegha Bridge put-ins. The flow reported on the reach below Isabella Dam is 849 cfs. This includes the BLM launch at Slippery Rock and the Keysville bridge put-ins. At about 10:30 a.m., the SCE flow phone reported 1383 cfs below Democrat Dam. This flow applies to the "Kern below Democrat" section of the River, which extends from Democrat Dam to the KR1 powerhouse. Due to repairs being done on the diversion tunnel, the amount of water diverted at Democrat Dam is expected to be less than normal through the end of the year. For more information on these reached see The River.

Kern paddlers Rebecca & Eric Giddens, along with friends Eric Southwick, Sam Drevo and Corby Leith -- with support from Dr. Lindsey Bennett (Rebecca’s sister), filmmaker Andy Stone, and writer Ann Beman -- completed a 10-day expedition paddling the "Headwaters of the Kern" last Friday. The trip marked the first time a woman has paddled the Headwaters. (See video from the trip at kernheadwaters.com.) The group gained access to the upper reaches of the Kern by hiking over one of the toughest passes in the Sierra -- 12000 ft. Shepherd Pass. Putting on the river in the shadow of Mt. Whitney, the paddlers reveled in the extraordinary Sierra scenery, challenging whitewater, changeable mountain weather, and overall wilderness experience. Coached by her husband Eric, Rebecca Giddens won a Silver Medal in the 2004 Athens Olympics.

This Spring, the highest reported hourly stage and flow for the Kern at Kernville was 10.05 ft. and 8211 cfs on Friday, May 27 at 1:00 P.M. The highest reported average daily flow for the Kern at Kernville was 7280 cfs on Saturday, May 28. The highest reported average daily inflow to Lake Isabella was 7077 cfs on Friday, May 27. The USGS gage on the South Fork near Onyx, recorded a peak flow of 1,710 cfs on the afternoon of May 17th. The maximum storage level reached by Lake Isabella was (538,667 acre-feet (95% full) on June 17, just before midnight.

This panorama of the headwaters of the S.F. & N.F. Kern River was taken June 26th from Olancha Peak. Even on warm south-facing slopes there was significant snow on the highest peaks, and much more snow was hidden from view in cirques, gullies and north-facing slopes. This satellite overview of the Upper Kern drainage taken in early January 2005 provides a good overview of the Kern drainage.

Retire that bleached out PFD, worn down paddle, and behemoth kayak and get into something new! Why not advertise your current boat for sale on our web site in our consignment Used Boat Barn? Call us at 800-376-7303 for more info! Looking for a boat? Check out the recreational. touring and whitewater kayaks (and rafts) in our Boat Barns.

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.

EquipmentThe Sierra South River StoreClick!


 

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)
09SEP2005 0900 334 112 5.37 554 1424 849 575 342455 1383
Kern Flow Info Current 5 Day Plot 10 Day Plot Month WY '05 WY '04 WY '03 WY '02 WY '01
Weather NWS NWS Zones CNN Washington Post Satellite Radar Kernville 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.

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

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