Slab Creek Reach - Kayakers and rafters


HI Dave,

Just wanted to say thank you for your dedication in keeping these post going – they are valued. I was out last weekend and there were at least 4 groups of kayakers and a rafting group (2 rafts). Probably 20+ ppl on a December weekend is a great turnout.

Happy Holidays.



Good Morning Boaters! I hope you all had a great Xmas Holiday! I know a LOT of you were out on the Slab Creek Reach …

As I reported late last week, the North Canyon Gate at Slab Creek Dam Rd. is open through January 2nd or 3rd as our contractor has demobilized for the holidays. No prior arrangements need be taken before heading to the put-in.
If you park at the Upper Landing, please do not park in a way that obstructs the gate leading to Slab Creek Dam – SMUD operators still need to access the dam. Vehicles blocking the gate are subject to tow.
Flows today are at about 1190 cfs. The swing in flow rates has been pretty stable at between 600 cfs and 1200 cfs. If I get more data on predicted flows on the Slab Creek Reach I’ll post them here and at Dreamflows.

Happy New Year!
Dave Crespo (916) 718-4450


Good Morning Boaters,

Welcome to 2018!

As I reported last week, our design/build contractor has returned to the South Fork Powerhouse jobsite below Slab Creek Dam. As of today, gate controls are back in force. We’re doing a concrete pour this morning, so no public vehicle access until at least noon. Call or text if you’d like to get a run in this afternoon. Tomorrow is a no-pour day. Always call or text to arrange an escort down to the upper landing.

Flows this morning are around 450-500 cfs., looks to be trending upwards a bit.

Hope all had a great New Years… enjoy the cloudy weather, rain tonight and tomorrow!

Dave Crespo, SMUD


Good Morning Boaters,

Greetings from rainy Camino!

Monday, 1/8/18: Public vehicle access to Slab Creek Road is closed all day today during a large concrete pour. Due to the slick roads and concrete truck traffic, pedestrian traffic is also limited to Slab Creek Dam Rd., no pedestrian (including kayakers) access on the Lower Construction Access Road.
Tuesday, 1/9/18 and Wednesday, 1/10/18: Slab Creek Dam Rd. at North Canyon gate is open to escorted vehicle access to the Slab Creek Reach put-in. Flat water kayakers may also travel down Slab Creek Dam Road to Boat Ramp Road with prior arrangements.
Thursday, 1/10/18: No public vehicle access in the morning (concrete pour scheduled). Check with me for possible escorted access after lunch.
Friday, 1/11/18: Escorted vehicle access available all day.
Saturday and Sunday, 1/12 and 1/13/18: Gate at North Canyon will be open all weekend. CAUTION – the current weather system has the potential to generate flows in excess of 2,000 cfs below Slab Creek dam.

It’s a good idea to always call me before driving to Slab Creek as construction schedules and weather patterns are subject to change.

Be Safe on the Water AND on the Roads!
Dave Crespo, SMUD


Good Afternoon Boaters,

The bulk of our concrete and valve placement work inside the tunnel adit below Slab Creek dam is nearly complete. Baring any complications, we expect to complete the tunnel work and close the butterfly valve that will isolate the White Rock Tunnel from the South Fork Powerhouse. Once the butterfly valve is closed, SMUD Hydro Operations staff will begin re-filling the White Rock Tunnel and return the White Rock Powerhouse off of Kona Drive in Placerville back to service. At that point, approximately 3,800-4,000 cfs of water will be diverted back into the tunnel to power the White Rock Powerhouse. As our Slab Creek spills over the past several weeks have been well under 4,000 cfs, once the White Rock Powerhouse is back in operation, there will be no more unmanaged spills at Slab Creek Dam except during high precipitation events when water flowing into Slab Creek Reservoir exceeds 4,000 cfs.
We will still be required to generate environmental flows at Slab, but they will only range from about 90 cfs into the low to mid 100’s cfs. based on seasonal flow requirements and water-year types (I don’t have the exact flow schedule in front of me as I write this).
The target date for returning White Rock Powerhouse back to service is January 19th. It is possible it will come back on line a day or two early if all goes smoothly with the re-start process.
Please call or text if you have any questions.
Thanks and safe boating!
Dave Crespo, SMUD


Good Morning Boaters,

Our design/build contractor was successful in closing off the tunnel tie-in concrete work inside Adit #3. With that work completed, the White Rock Tunnel has now been ‘watered up’, meaning that water will soon begin being delivered via the tunnel to the White Rock Powerhouse. It is expected that start-up testing of the White Rock Powerhouse should be complete this week (possibly by tomorrow), with the powerhouse coming back on line by the 18th or 19th.
Once the White Rock Powerhouse is back in operation, we’ll be entering the minimum stream-flow requirements for a “Wet Water Year” (WY 2017-2018), which in January will be about 90 cfs plus any uncontrolled flows resulting from local precipitation in the Slab Creek reservoir watershed.
There will be a new construction schedule beginning this week as well. Our contractor will be working 6-4:30 pm Mon-Thursday, 6-3:00 pm on Fridays. At present there is no weekend work scheduled for the foreseeable future, accordingly the gate at North Canyon will be open from COB on Fridays until Monday mornings.
Please call or email if you have any questions or suggestions!
Dave Crespo, SMUD


Good Morning Boaters,

This morning’s flows out of Slab Creek Dam are now down to the winter season minimums – as of right now, it’s running about 81 cfs. As I mentioned yesterday, we’re moving into a winter schedule with no weekend work forecast. Accordingly, the North Canyon Gate at Slab Creek Dam Road will be open every weekend until further notice. If you want to try the Slab Creek Reach at these very low flow levels, call or text me to arrange for escort down to the put-in.

Dave Crespo, SMUD