Early water flows for Middle and North Fork American River boating

PCWA’s recently issued FERC license includes a provision for providing early releases from Oxbow Powerhouse of 1000 cfs to support Class II boating in the confluence area (in addition to the Class IV whitewater schedule). This year is classified as a “Dry” year.

PCWA will provide early releases from Oxbow in 2020 on the following days:

Sunday, July 19: 1000 cfs, 4am to 12pm

Saturday, July 25: 1000 cfs, 4am to 12pm

Saturday, August 1: 1000 cfs, 4am to 12pm

Friday, September 4: 1000 cfs, 4am to 12 pm

Flows for enjoyable boating, at least 1000 cfs, will arrive at the confluence around noon, instead of usual 3-4 PM, for those boating the class 2 Confluence to China Bar run. Flows will arrive at the pump station rapids around 1 pm for park and play boating at the rapids, which have a paved walkway back to the top of the 5 drops for easy repeat runs. The parking lot and boat ramp at Birdsall, which were closed after the 2017 high water damage, have been repaired and re-opened this year. The ramp is just downstream of the play rapids.

The 4 mile long Confluence to Birdsall run is a scenic alternative to C2G for class 2 boaters, with easy access from I-80, a short shuttle and a new boat ramp for vehicles to the river at the Birdsall take-out.

The 5.5 mile run to Oregon Bar has more class 2 rapids and a class 2-3 drop just above take out, and requires a 250 yd carry (or kayak cart) on a gravel road to the parking area.