Have you been noticing all of the rain and snow we have been getting this winter? Every time the skies open and precipitation begins to fall the rafting community and other whitewater enthusiasts get excited.
On February 28th, 2019 the California Department of Water Resources did its third snow pack study for the season, and the numbers are GREAT! Currently, the Sierra Nevada, we are sitting at 153% of our average for this time of the season. This is amazing news, not only for river users, but also for everyone in California. As the Sierra Nevada snow pack melts in the spring, it supplies 30% of California’s water needs.
What does this mean for whitewater enthusiasts? First and foremost it means there will be water for the American River region this season. Though sections of the American River have flows that are great for rafting on a consistent basis, undammed sections like the North Fork of the American River may run more consistently thanks to the higher snow pack.
Ultimately it is too early to tell exactly what will happen in terms of water flows this spring. Big snow pack winters can lead to spring flooding or just more consistently flowing rivers. Moving forward the biggest thing the rafting community will be watching is springtime rain on top of the snow melt in the coming months. Although there could be more volume of water running through our rivers this spring and summer the one certainty is that people from the Sacramento and Bay area should be excited for rafting.