Tag Archives: Pit River

Higher Flows Being Reduced on Portion of Pit River

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has begun reducing higher flows on a portion of the Pit River, and will reduce again to seasonal normal flows in late October.

Flows had been above 2,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) in the Pit 5 Reach since February while the Pit 5 Powerhouse near Big Bend has been off line. The powerhouse was unable to operate after winter storms deposited gravel and sand in front of the powerhouse’s tailrace, where water exits the powerhouse and returns to the river.

The Pit 5 Reach is the 9.3-mile portion of the Pit River between the Pit 5 Reservoir and the Pit 5 Powerhouse.

Flows in the Pit 5 Reach were reduced from above 2,000 cfs to about 1,300 cfs after one of the four generating units at the powerhouse resumed operation on October 5.  PG&E continues to remove sediment from in front of the tailrace so it can resume operation to the other three generating units at the Pit 5 Powerhouse.

In late October, PG&E expects to resume operations on a second generating unit at the powerhouse, at which point water will stop spilling from the Pit 5 Dam and flows in the Pit 5 Reach will return to about the season normal of about 350 cfs, depending on rainy conditions.

The other two generating units are expected to return to service in late fall.

The Pit 5 Powerhouse Road and the J.B. Black Powerhouse Recreation Area’s boat put-in, take-out remain closed to the public while the Pit 5 Powerhouse Road is repaired. The road was damaged in last winter’s storms should reopen in late fall.

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PG&E to increase water flows on Pit 1 Reach for whitewater recreation

 From PG&E

BURNEY, Calif. — Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will provide higher flows on a portion of the Pit River in eastern Shasta County over the Columbus Day weekend.

The higher flows will occur from October 6-9. Flows will be increased from about 220 cubic feet per second (cfs) and will reach 1,000 cfs by early morning on Friday, October 6, then to as much as 1,150 cfs over the entire four-day period before being gradually reduced starting the late afternoon of Monday, October 9.

Recreationists in or near this portion of the river are encouraged to use extra caution during the increased flows. This portion of the river contains Class IV and V rapids, which are appropriate only for skilled paddlers. The flows are not safe for tubing.

The Pit 1 Reach is the 6.5-mile portion of the Pit River that extends from PG&E’s Pit 1 Forebay in Fall River Mills to the Pit 1 Powerhouse.

The whitewater flows are a requirement of PG&E’s license conditions for the Pit 1 Hydroelectric Project.

PG&E offers the following water safety tips:

  • Sudden immersion in cold water can stimulate the “gasp reflex,” causing an involuntary inhalation of air or water. It can even trigger cardiac arrest, temporary paralysis, hypothermia and drowning. When faced with swift water, even the strongest swimmers may be easily overwhelmed.
  • Many unseen obstacles can be lurking below the water’s surface. Swift water can make these obstacles even more treacherous. Guided trips for inexperienced paddlers are recommended.
  • Recreating in PG&E canals and flumes is strictly prohibited. Stay out of canals and flumes, which are very dangerous due to slippery sides, sub-surface obstacles, fast moving water, and transitions to full tunnels and pipes.

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and pge.com/news.

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19th Annual Good Medicine Health Fair

On July 14, the Pit River Health Clinic held its 19th Annual Good Medicine Health Fair. There were both indoor and outdoor booths featuring more than 50 non-profit organizations, public services, and businesses providing health care service in the Intermountain area.

Lourdes Manzo from Health and Human Services at the Health Fair

Hundreds of people attended. Those who registered and gathered signatures from at least 20 booths received a free t-shirt. There was also a drawing for prizes and a wonderful chicken lunch provided for all who registered.

The health care topics included medical, dental, mental, and financial health. Some of the booths provided free tests for blood sugar, blood pressure, etc. California Highway Patrol and US Forest service also had booths to discuss public safety and fire prevention.

Indoor booths at the Health Fair

Even SNIPPP was there to talk about animal health and pet adoption!

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PG&E to Increase Flows Below Lake Britton Dam along Pit River

PG&E press release Dec. 27, 2016

REDDING, Calif.—Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will increase water flows on the Pit River below the Lake Britton Dam from early January through mid-April of 2017.

Recreationalists in or near the river are encouraged to use extra caution during the higher flows.

The higher flows are necessary so PG&E can dewater the tunnel which delivers water from Lake Britton to the Pit 3 Powerhouse. PG&E will then inspect the tunnel and perform minor maintenance.

With no water being diverted through the tunnel starting January 2, Lake Britton Dam will spill. Flows in the Pit 3 Reach will increase from about 300 cubic feet per second (cfs) to about 2,900 cfs.

Flows should return to normal seasonal flows on or before April 16 when water flows resume through the tunnel.

The Pit 3 Reach is the 4.5-mile portion of the Pit River in the Lassen National Forest between PG&E’s Lake Britton Dam and the Pit 3 Powerhouse.

PG&E is posting signage about the higher flows along the Pit River Road.

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and pge.com/news.

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PG&E Urges Caution as North State Reservoirs Spill and Rivers Run High

Press release from PG&E dated December 16, 2016

Several dams full in Shasta, Plumas, Butte, Lassen Counties

CHICO, Calif.— Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is cautioning recreationalists near rivers and streams to be aware of higher flows brought on by recent rains and spilling reservoirs.

Most PG&E’s reservoirs haven’t spilled this early in the wet season in years because of ongoing drought conditions, so recreationalists may be caught off guard by the higher water flows downstream.

Four of PG&E’s six reservoirs along the Pit River are overflowing or expected to be soon, as are four of the six reservoirs along the North Fork Feather River.

Reservoirs spilling or about to spill include the Pit 4, Pit 5, Pit 6 and Pit 7 along the Pit River in Shasta County, and Belden, Rock Creek, Cresta and Poe reservoirs on the North Fork Feather River in Plumas and Butte counties. Mountain Meadows Reservoir in Lassen County and the Grizzly Forebay in Plumas County are also spilling.

It’s not unusual for PG&E ‘s reservoirs to spill during the wettest parts of normal winters, because they tend to have less storage and are located at much higher elevations than state and federal multi-year water storage reservoirs like Shasta Lake and Lake Oroville. PG&E’s reservoirs are designed to capture rain and snowmelt runoff in winter, spring and early summer to generate clean, renewable hydroelectric power.

Below are some water safety tips:

Water Safety Tips

  • Sudden immersion in cold water can stimulate the “gasp reflex,” causing an involuntary inhalation of air or water. It can even trigger cardiac arrest, temporary paralysis, hypothermia and drowning. When faced with swift water, even the strongest swimmers may be easily overwhelmed.
  • Cold water entering the ear canal can cause vertigo and disorientation. This may confuse swimmers, causing them to venture deeper into the water.
  • Recreating in PG&E canals and flumes is strictly prohibited. Stay out of canals and flumes, which are very dangerous due to slippery sides and fast moving water.

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and pge.com/news.

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Whitewater weekend includes five-mile race to Big Bend Bridge

Saturday and Sunday September 10-11, PG&E again increased flows from Pit 5, thus creating another wonderful weekend of level IV and V rapids for whitewater enthusiasts.

Riding the river

Riding the river

I left Burney late Saturday morning and arrived at Big Bend just before noon. I went straight to the parking lot where kayakers exit the river by the bridge. It was full of people who had completed their first run.

The first person I met was Lauren Burlison from Redding.

“Hi! I remember you from last year,” she said.

Burlison had returned with her friend Ian Janosko for another run on the rapids. Both are students at Simpson College in Redding. Burlison has one semester left before finishing a liberal arts major preparing her to be a teacher. Janosko is a nursing student. They came with a group of friends from Placerville. Janokso was planning to organize a race from the Madesi River Access.

Lauren Burlison and Ian Jamosko Simpson-University with friends from Placerville

Lauren Burlison and Ian Janosko with fellow rafters from Placerville

Before heading up to the Madesi River Access where the race was to begin I met another group of happy kayakers from Southern Oregon who had just finished their first run.

When I arrived at the Madesi River Access, I met Susan Stalcut from Spring Rivers who was keeping track of how many people entered the river. As of 12:45 there had been 85 people on the river. Last month only 36 had signed up. Stalcut counted 59 kayaks and 6 rafts on her list.

Most had come to camp for the weekend. Friday night, several local musicians and drummers from Big Bend had come to the campsite for an evening jam.

Hobbs and Corona with their pontoon river raft

Hobbs and Corona with their pontoon river raft

As we were talking Nathan Stayrook Hobbs from Grass Valley and Nate Corona from Reno came in to get ready for their second run. Hobbs said that one of the other rafts had gotten stuck three times. It was an inexperienced crew with an underinflated raft, but they made it down to the bridge all right.

In the meantime, Janosko was busy signing people up for the race.

Ready to race

Ready to race

One of those present was a young daredevil, Rocco Russo from Cottonwood. Russo had been here last month riding down the river with a camcorder on his head. Russo has a video of him going over Lion Slide (Hatchet) Falls on youtube.

Russo and one other kayaker volunteered to go downstream to make sure that everyone was safe at two of the more intense whitewater areas. Then thirteen racers entered the river and lined up with their sterns on the opposite bank.

At just past 1:30 Janosko’s father, Boomer, using his hat as a starting flag yelled, “Ready, set, go!”

The race begins

The race begins

After watching the start, I headed down towards Big Bend. On the way there is an overlook where I caught a glimpse of the racers through the trees.

Glimpse of the racers through the trees from the overlook

Glimpse of the racers through the trees from the overlook

As they passed below I could see that Janosko had pulled into the lead. I headed toward the bridge at Big Bend.

When I got there, two PG&E employees had just finished measuring the flows. They told me their figure was 1275 cubic feet per second.

Shortly thereafter, Janosko came around the bend. He screamed with joy as he passed under the bridge.

The winner coming under the bridge

The winner coming under the bridge

Not far behind the remaining pack of racers descended.

Coming down the home stretch

Coming down the home stretch

I was happy that I had been able to come and cover the race. The Spring River and PG&E employees were happy to see that there was a good turnout. The kayakers and rafters were happy just to be here.

As I chatted with folks from the Sacramento area, Reno, Oregon, Placerville, and Redding, I heard comments such as

“You are so lucky to live in such a beautiful area!”

“It’s so peaceful here!”

“I love coming up here! It’s freedom!”

All very true. Pit River Country is wonderful.

Kayakers would continue to enjoy additional runs through the afternoon on Saturday and then again on Sunday till 4 p.m. That would conclude the whitewater flows on the Pit 5 reach for 2016.

However, there is still more rafting to be had on the Pit River this year. On the first and third weekends in October, PG&E will be increasing flows on the Pit River below Fall River Mills so kayakers can ride over Pit River Falls down to Pit 1 Campground.

See also:

Pit River Whitewater Draws Kayakers
Kayakers ride the Pit
Kayakers enjoy “good clean fun” on the Pit

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Kayakers enjoy “good clean fun” on the Pit

Saturday August 13, Kayakers from Northern California, Nevada, and Oregon gathered at the Madesi River Access above Big Bend to enjoy the thrill of riding level III, IV, and V rapids on a 9.3 mile stretch of the Pit River.

Gang of six

Gang of six

This was the first day of the first of two weekends in 2016 that PG&E will be providing high water flows on the Pit 5 Reach of the Pit River from Pit 5 Dam to the J.B. Black Powerhouse.

By 10 a.m. PG&E had increased the flows from 450 to 1500 cubic feet per second. They remained at this level until about 4 p.m. when they were gradually reduced to 600. Sunday morning the flows were raised again to 1500 and the after 4 p.m. gradually lowered back to 450 feet per second.

An interesting helmet - no wet suit

An interesting helmet – no wet suit

The most challenging stretch is from Madesi River Access to the bridge at Big Bend. There is river access just below the bridge. From Big Bend to J.B. Black Powerhouse the ride is easier.

My wife Linda and I arrived at 12:30 p.m. to watch the kayakers come round the bend in the river and ride the white water above the bridge. It’s fun for the kayakers but it’s fun for photographers too.

Here they come

Good clean fun

Spring River Watchers

Spring River Watchers

As we walked out onto the bridge, we saw two watchers from Spring Rivers. Spring Rivers is a company that provides biological and physical assessments of aquatic and riparian ecosystems. PG&E contracts with them to monitor the event, registering the kayakers at the Madesi access and then keeping count as they pass under the bridge and disembark at the Bridge access or J.B. Black Powerhouse.

By the time we arrived, one raft and 13 kayakers had passed below the bridge. A Spring Rivers truck arrived and told us that so far 32 kayakers had registered.

As we waited for more to appear round the bend of the river upstream, we met two of the group of 32, Sarah from Fair Oaks and Erica Gold from Oakland.

Sarah from Fair Oaks and Erica Gold from Oakland

Sarah from Fair Oaks and Erica Gold from Oakland

Sarah and Erica had opted to wait for some friends to ride the current to the bridge and then join them to ride down to J.B. Black Powerhouse. One of them had done this run in a previous year. The other hadn’t but had kayaked the Pit One run that goes over Pit River Falls to the Pit One campground. She said that was really exciting.

They told me that they were part of a group of kayakers that had gathered together for the weekend. In addition to Fair Oaks and Oakland, friends came from Reno, San Jose, Coloma near Placerville, and Trinity County.

It was a perfect day for kayaking, bright and sunny with a clear blue sky. Cool in the water, but hot on the bridge. The two young ladies went to get some shade. I told them I would call when their friends rounded the bend

And soon they did. A whole slew of them riding the rapids.

Here they come

Here they come

After they had passed under the bridge, I went down toward the access  to meet some of the kayakers.

Two Tylers - Bushnell and Bachtell from Oregon

Two Tylers – Bushnell and Bachtell from Oregon

I asked one of the Tylers from Oregon how the ride was.

Flushed with adrenaline, he responded, “Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! Nothing but smiles!”

Climbing up the bank to a waiting vehicle, Yann from Gold Hill Oregon added, “Good clean fun!”

Yann from Gold Hill Oregon

Yann from Gold Hill Oregon

They loaded their kayaks on a vehicle to head up for another run.

I went back to the bridge. Linda and I were thinking of heading home. However, I looked upstream and another batch of kayakers had just rounded the bend.

I think that more riders must have registered because we were now well above our count of 32.

In the groove

In the groove

Most of the kayakers planned to ride the river through the afternoon up till 4 p.m. and then camp together overnight so they could enjoy more runs the next day. More will probably come on Sunday to join in the fun.

Sarah had explained that whitewater kayakers are a community. Many are friends who have kayaked together at various locations. American Whitewater advertises the whitewater opportunities and groups of friends reconnoiter to navigate the flows.

The next weekend that PG&E will increase flows will be September 10-11. On both of those days, they will raise the flow to 1200 cubic feet per second.

It certainly is a rush when the rivers are rising and the riders are riding the whitewater flows.

 

 

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