It’s time again that outdoor paddling enthusiasts look forward to all year in Plumas County. Pacific Gas and Electric Co. plans to increase flow releases on the North Fork Feather River this weekend for recreational purposes.
Caution is necessary for those in the water, as the water level will sporadically rise and fiercer rapids will engulf the river. For the experienced kayaker or rafter, however, this is heaven.
On Saturday, July 27, starting at 5 a.m., PG&E will increase releases up to 800 cubic feet per second. Rapids that are normally Class III will instantly turn into Class IV and V rapids. Sunday, until 10 p.m., increased releases will reach 700 cubic feet per second.
Certain stretches of the river will still remain mild enough for beginner paddlers to venture into the water. Kayakers can use the small stretch near Indian Jim Campground for practicing rolls along with put-in and take-out.
The rapids downstream from the campground will increase to Class V. It is recommended that only experienced water enthusiasts attempt to paddle the area between Indian Jim Campground and Tobin. Downstream from Tobin, also known as “Lowbin,” will contain mainly Class IV rapids.
Two more weekends of increased flow releases are planned for the North Fork Feather River this year. The last weekends of August and September will give paddlers more chances to enjoy the beauty of being on the river.
The increased release in September will coincide with the Chico Paddleheads’ annual Feather Fest. The Feather Fest is a must-attend event for river sports enthusiasts, with a small film festival and multiple races available for all.
Those interested in keeping track of increased releases in Plumas County can visit americanwhitewater.org and click on “River Info.”