Slab Creek Reach - Kayakers and rafters


As many area boaters know, SMUD has been trying to facilitate access to the Slab Creek Reach below Slab Creek Dam for kayakers and rafters wishing to float the reach down to Mosquito Bridge and points west for several weeks now while our construction work downstream of the dam continues. I’d like to thank all of you that are using are process – call in advance to get the North Canyon gate unlocked and an escort provided to get you and your watercraft down to the put-in safely.

I’d like to ask all of you that have been using this process to reach out to me as I’m trying to put together a contact list of boaters active on the Slab Creek Reach. You can reach me at my SMUD email address:

You can also text me at: 916-718-4450 with your contact info. Ideally, please provide an email address and a phone contact.

For those of you that have registered for our two-week look-ahead Roads Condition webpage at our South Fork Power House website, SMUD is transitioning to a new format on it’s portal. Some of the links are off line until the final version is made public. If you have questions on road conditions, don’t hesitate to contact me at my email or phone listings above.


Dave Crespo, Senior Project Manager - South Fork Powerhouse and Boating Flow Release Facility


Thank you, SMUD, for valuing the resource and welcoming boaters! Much appreciated.


I spoke to Dave today and he said the road to put in will be open and unlocked starting tomorrow Thanksgiving day through Sunday.


Update! On Thanksgiving the gate at North Canyon leading to Slab Creek will be open.
Friday the construction crews will be working so the gate will be locked. Please call or text me to arrange access on Friday, 11/24. The gate will be unlocked on Saturday and Sunday.
Dave Crespo, SMUD - 916-718-4450


Somehow we missed the update that the gate would not be open today- Thanksgiving. Bummer. So many of us use Dreamflows to check the flow and Facebook to look for updates, had actually fallen off my radar. Didn’t want to call and disturb you on the holiday and just went by day old news that it would be open.


We went today and Dave gave us an escort down the road. He told me that the gate was supposed to be open on Thanksgiving but the construction crew must have closed it. Construction will be going on tomorrow November 25th. Which means the road will be gated. The only day that construction will not be taking place is Sundays and supposedly the gate should be open that day. Best rule from here on out is to call before you go now because things can change daily. I believe the damn will be spilling into the first week of February.


Hi folks, so sorry about the mix-up on Thursday. Our contractor left the gate locked Wednesday evening. We’ll try to do a better job of assuring that the North Canyon gate to Slab is open the evening before a day off for the construction crews. I’ve already sent a note to our contractor to leave the gate unlocked on Saturday night to accommodate Sunday boating.

Saturday IS a work day for our contractor. So, please call or text me this evening or early (before 8!) on Saturday morning if you’d like to schedule access to the SFAR on Saturday, 11/25/17.

Thanks in advance for your patience!

Dave Crespo, SMUD 916-718-4450 or


To those of you who look to Facebook for updates on boating reaches around Nor California … I’m a bit of a Luddite – and am NOT a Facebook guy, so look to boof for last minute updates on access to the Slab Creek Reach.

SMUD’s webpage is temporarily out of commission as our webmaster at SMUD updates the main SMUD webpage. It should be up and running before the end of the year. So anyone that is signed up for road condition reports (Slab Creek Dam Road and Forebay Rd. primarily) should see their links re-established as soon as the main page is re-opened for public access.


Dave Crespo


Happy Monday all you Happy Boaters!

OK… today is a concrete pour day at Slab Creek. No public access down Slab Creek Dam Road today. A second pour is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, 12/1/17 – same rules will apply. Check here to confirm the concrete pour is still on schedule.

The balance of the week, (Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat), our ‘call-ahead and book an escort’ program is in effect. Please call or text me at: 916-718-4450 the night before your planned ride down the Slab Creek Reach to arrange for an escort from North Canyon to the ‘crows foot’, where you off load your gear for the walk down the Construction Access Road to the boating put-in below the pedestrian bridge.

If you haven’t already done so, please send me your name and contact info (cell, email) if you’re a regular on the Slab Creek Reach – I’m trying to build up a contact list to help in our communications with the boating community. Thanks!

Be Safe on the Water!

Dave Crespo, SMUD - South Fork Power House Project


Good Morning Boaters!

An UPDATE on access to the Slab Creek Reach!

Our contractor has moved up a concrete pour to this SATURDAY (12/2/17) – it’s a big pour, with a LOT of cement trucks. Accordingly, in the interests of safety there will be NO PUBLIC ACCESS on Slab Creek Reservoir Road or the Lower Construction Access Road on SATURDAY, 12/2/17. The gate at North Canyon WILL BE OPEN SUNDAY, 12/3/17.

There IS another concrete pour scheduled for next week – most likely late in the week. I’ll post an update as soon as we have a firm date for next week’s pour. The rest of the week (except the pour day) we’ll provide escorted access for boaters and fishing enthusiasts to the SFAR. Usual procedures apply – call or text me at: 916-18-4450, preferably the night before you’d like to access the river and we’ll set a time to meet at North Canyon and Slab Creek Reservoir Road.

My apologies for the late notice. Please call or text if you have any questions.


This section of river is a gem. Thanks everyone involved on all the help keeping access open. A bit of water in there and it gets really idahoey. Plus, you can go wine tasting afterward!


Good Morning Boaters,

Here’s a recap of access restrictions to the Slab Creek Reach:

Wednesday, 12/6/17 – Concrete pour scheduled. No public vehicle access on Slab Creek Reservoir Road

Friday, 12/8/17 – Concrete pour scheduled. No public vehicle access on Slab Creek Reservoir Road

Saturday, 12/9/17 – POSSIBLE concrete pour. Update later this week.

On Monday (today), Tuesday and Thursday, public vehicle access to drop off kayaks/rafts for the walk down to the Slab Creek Reach put-in is allowed. Standard procedures apply (call me at: 917-718-4450) – call to arrange for me or Bill Collins to meet you at the North Canyon Gate for access. Please call the day before.

As of 10:30 this morning, flows at Slab were about 1,050 cfs.

NOTE: The North Canyon Gate was damaged this morning by a vehicle striking the gate. We don’t think this was a boater’s vehicle doing the damage, but it’s good to remind folks to drive slow, approach the gates with caution and please don’t try to crash through!

Forebay Road – As reported last week, extensive repairs are still underway on the stretch of Forebay Road east of the Forebay Road bridge over the SFAR. As there is still very heavy construction traffic on Forebay Road, the USFS upper gate near the Aikens Powerhouse remains closed. I’ve been advised that the goal is to have that gate opened by Christmas or sooner. I’ll keep you all posted.



Hi Dave
As stated above, not many people rely on for updates anymore. Could you, in addition to posting here, please send all of the updates that you post here to the boaters on your Slab contact list–the word will get out better that way. Saturday there was a large contingent of disappointed boaters trying to get to the run. Thanks for all the efforts, just trying to make it a better system for notices.


Hi Hilde and your fellow boating enthusiasts! I’m now also posting road access information on Slab Creek Road at Dreamflows… hopefully I’ve got my postings there in a spot where folks can find them.

Here’s the latest on concrete pours (the main concern when we close the road are the cement trucks!), I’m listing all our planned pours between now and Christmas. As these are very technical, complex pours deep inside our tunnel adit, the dates can change pretty quickly, so be sure to check ahead with me at least a day before you plan to come down to Slab.

Pour Dates (road closed to vehicles):

Dec. 6 (Wednesday). This pour is fairly small and the first concrete arrives at 6:30 AM. There’s a possibility of late access, check with me the day before or the morning of the 6th. But for now, assume no vehicle traffic.

Dec. 8 (Friday). This is another small pour. Check with me on the 7th or early on the 8th to see if we’ve finished pouring concrete and the heavy traffic is off of Slab Creek Road.

Dec. 9 (Saturday). I think this will be an all-day event.

Dec. 11 (Monday) Another small pour. check with me on the 10th or better, Monday morning.

Dec. 12 (Tuesday) Another small pour. Check with me on the 11th or the morning of the 12th.

Dec. 13 (Wednesday) I think this will be an all-day event.

Dec. 15 (Friday). I think this will be an all day event.

Dec. 18 (Monday) 1/2 day at least, check with me on the 17th or the morning of the 18th.

Dec. 22 (Friday) All day. Possible schedule slip to after Christmas

As you can see, we’ve got a LOT of concrete pours scheduled this month as we are trying to get the tunnel adit portal leading into the White Rock Power Tunnel completed as soon as possible so we can start moving water down the tunnel to the White Rock Powerhouse by mid-January.

Please remember, we also have a lot of equipment and materials scheduled for delivery to the job site in December (penstock sections, etc.), so NEVER assume – Always check with me before planning your run down the Slab Creek Reach!

Once the contractor’s crews stand down for the Xmas Holidays, I hope to have the North Canyon Gate open for Christmas week. I’ll keep you all updated!


Good Morning Boaters… Our contractor provided the following update on our concrete pour schedules. On the days listed, no public vehicle access is authorized. Pedestrian access is still available, but please use extreme caution as there are likely to be heavy cement trucks traveling up and down Slab Creek Reservoir Road. If you’re hoping to float the Slab Reach on one of the below listed dates, you can call to see if the concrete work is completed for the day and traffic is back to routine patterns. Thanks!

  1. Friday Dec 8th-6:30am-50cy-Elbow pour #2
  2. Saturday Dec 9th – 6:30am-56cy-Thrust Block #2
  3. Monday Dec 11th-6:30am-56cy-Upper Reducer #2
  4. Tuesday Dec 12th-10am-20cy-Elbow pour #3
  5. Wednesday Dec 13th-6:30am-Thrust Block #3

I’ll provide updates each week to note any possible changes in the pour schedules.

Dave Crespo
916 718-4450


Good Morning Boaters,

On the South Fork Project at the SFAR below Slab Creek Reservoir, today’s concrete pour has been cancelled.
Pours are still scheduled for Tuesday, 12/12/17. Our Wednesday pour is now set for Friday, 12/15/17. While not firm yet, it’s pretty likely we’ll have a pour on Saturday, 12/16/17.

As always, these scheduled are subject to field conditions at the job site. With that in mind, please don’t hesitate to call or text me with questions about access on a particular date or time of day.

Thanks and safe boating!

Dave Crespo, SMUD 916-718-4450 (text or call)


Good Morning Boaters,

We have 2 concrete pours today and one grouting operation. Accordingly, no public vehicle access is authorized this morning. It’s possible today’s pour could be completed by noon -but it’s a long shot. Feel free to give me a call around 1pm if you’re interested in yaking the Slab Creek Reach this afternoon.
Wednesday’s pour has been re-scheduled for Saturday 12/16/2017. No public vehicle access on Saturday.
The North Canyon gate should be open all day on Sunday.

NOTE: I’m hoping to get some video’s of the Slab Creek Reach. So, if you’ve got a video of your runs down the Reach, please let me know and we can arrange to pick up the video file. Thanks in advance!

Be Safe on the River!

Dave Crespo, SMUD 916-718-4450


Good Morning Boaters!

Public vehicle access to the Slab Creek Reach is authorized from today through Friday 12/15/17. Standard protocol – call me to arrange for an escort to the landing at the dam. From there boaters portage their boats down to the Slab Creek Reach Put-In.

There is a concrete pour scheduled for this Saturday, 12/16/17. It’s a fairly large pour, accordingly, there is no planned public vehicle access on Saturday. You’re of course, welcome to call me just in case the pour ends early.

Please contact me via a phone call, email or text to arrange for an escort or with any questions you may have.

thanks! Be Safe on the River!

Dave Crespo, SMUD 916-718-4450


Good Afternoon Boaters…

Access to the Slab Creek Reach below Slab Creek Reservoir will have the following access restrictions:

Friday, 12/15/17: No concrete pours scheduled for Friday. There will be limited staff available to provide escort, so if you’re hoping to yak the Slab Creek Reach on Friday, please text today (Thursday) to make arrangements. Friday morning from 10 to Noon is a good time to launch. Later in the afternoon we may have staffing challenges.

Saturday, 12/16/17: A small concrete pour in the morning. Public vehicle access should be allowed in the afternoon after 1pm. As always, call or text in advance to make arrangements for escort.

Sunday, 12/17/17: The North Canyon gate to Slab will be open and public access is available without advance arrangements.

Monday, 12/18/17: Public vehicle access is allowed. Call or text in advance to schedule escort.

Tuesday, 12/19/17: Concrete pour scheduled. This pour may be an all-day effort. No public vehicle access is allowed.

Thanks! Dave Crespo, SMUD, 916-718-4450 for text or voice.

Be Safe on the River!


Happy Holidays Boaters,

Access to the Slab Creek Reach during the Xmas Holidays:

The North Canyon Gate at Slab Creek Dam Road is open today through January 3rd. You’ll still have to walk to the put-in from the upper landing.

Enjoy your Holiday Boating!

Dave Crespo 916-718-4450