Mono Creek, California, US
|Usual Difficulty||IV(V+) (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||169 fpm|
|Max Gradient||480 fpm|
This reach of Mono Creek was boated in Aug. 2008 at 500 cfs. The first mile (approximately) was too steep and too full of wood and sieves for kayaking at that flow. After this first section the gradient and difficulty eased enough that the boating became excellent.
A tentative agreement between SCE and the Forest Service will provide a short period of
dependable flows into this section during wet and above normal water years.
Language of tentative agreement:
Revised CRM Flow Language for Mono Creek
1. Channel Riparian Maintenance Flows for Mono Creek Downstream of the Mono Creek Diversion:
A. In each Wet Water Year , between July 1st and August 15th ,
i. if V*w is > 0.25 (see b. Adaptive Management for Sediment), Licensee shall release sufficient flow, augment a natural spill event, or document a natural spill event, which meet all of the following characteristics:
1) an average daily flow of at least 800 cfs for three consecutive days,
2) for three days preceding the release of 800 cfs, an average flow of 400 cfs representing a gradual increase from minimum instream flows to 800cfs,
3) for five days following the release of 800 cfs an average flow of 370 cfs representing a gradual decrease from 800 cfs to minimum instream flows, and
4) a total flow volume of at least 10,791 ac-ft of flow on those 11 days.
ii. if V*w is ≤0.25 (see b. Adaptive Management for Sediment), Licensee shall release sufficient flow, augment a natural spill event, or document a natural spill event, which meet all of the following characteristics:
1) an average daily flow of at least 450 cfs for eight consecutive days,
2) for one day preceding the release of 450 cfs a gradual increase in flow from MIF to 450 cfs with an average daily flow of at least 150 cfs,
3) for one day following the release of 450 cfs flows decrease flow from 450 cfs to MIF with an average daily flow of at least 150 cfs, and
4) a total flow volume of at least 7,722 ac-ft of flow on those 10 days.
B. In each Above Normal Water Year, between July 1st and August 15th, Licensee shall release sufficient flow, augment a natural spill event, or document a natural spill event, which meet all of the following characteristics:
1) an average daily flow of at least 450 cfs for two consecutive days,
2) for two days preceding the release of 450 cfs a gradual increase in flow from MIF to 450 cfs with an average flow of at least 225 cfs,
3) for three days following the release of 450 cfs flows, decrease flow from 450 cfs to MIF with an average flow of at least 250 cfs, and
4) a total flow volume of at least 4,158 ac-ft of flow on those seven days.
Water year types are those developed by the DWR based upon water condition forecasts made on February 1, March 1, April 1, and May 1 conditions and projected flows as identified in DWR Bulletin 120 and applied to the San Joaquin Valley Water Year Index or its successor.
Aerial recon in 2001 showed some short sections of bedrock and longer sections of forested terrain. A gorge a short ways downstream of the diversion dam is steep and was highly congested with brush and logs in 2002. High water years in 2005 and 2006 may have reduced the number of logs in the streambed.
Getting there: From Fresno, take Highway 168 to Huntington Lake. Take Kaiser Pass road to Edison Reservoir. Vermillion Valley dam forms Edison reservoir. Highway 168 is excellent and fast. Kaiser Pass road is narrow, pot-holed and slow, but very scenic. From Fresno, figure 1.5 - 2 hours to Huntington Lake then another hour to Edison Lake.
Put-in: Drive into and through Mono Creek campgrounds to the lake access. topozone map google map You could easily bypass the first steep section with a half mile downhill hike from the road if you park about a mile before reaching Mono Diversion. Study the maps.
Take-out: Mono Creek flows away from any road access and enters the SF San Joaquin 4 miles downstream of Mono Hot Springs Resort. Several trails are nearby or cross the SF San Joaquin. The intriguing possibility is that the proposed flows if provided late enough in the summer, might allow boating all the way down the SF San Joaquin to the Middle Fork when flows in the MF are low enough to survive. topozone map google map
Gradient: The first mile and a half loses almost 500 feet of elevation. Past that point, the average gradient is still about 100 feet per mile.
Google earth has high resolution photos of this entire section.
Mono Creek: Vermillion to Mono Diversion.
Other information sources:
JeffersonStateCreeking 2008 trip report with photos
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|1.5||Alternate Put in|
Somewhere in this vicinity the gradient eases off and the boating becomes good. It should be fairly easy to hike cross country from the road. Study maps and photos to determine where to park to make the shortest distance and easiest hiking.
A hiking trail comes down from Edison and meets the creek on river right in this area also, then follows the creek a short ways.
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