San Joaquin - 3.5 Big Creek #4 Powerhouse to Kerchoff reservoir


San Joaquin, California, US

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3.5 Big Creek #4 Powerhouse to Kerchoff reservoir

Usual Difficulty I (for normal flows)
Length 1 Miles
Avg. Gradient 5 fpm

Kerchoff Reservoir


Kerchoff Reservoir
Photo by Paul Martzen taken 08/15/07 @ 52 cfs



River Description

Kerchoff reservoir is a good year round destination for flat water kayakers, canoeists and beginning whitewater kayakers.   There are several locations along Kerchoff reservoir that are suitable for launching canoes or kayaks.  Boaters can explore the small reservoir, down towards Kerchoff Dam or back up the river as far as they can make it.    Most whitewater paddlers also launch on  Kerchoff reservoir, but then paddle upstream towards the powerhouse.   They can play awhile on the interesting eddy lines and in the small waves, then drift back down the river to their starting point.     With some additional work boaters can paddle past the powerhouse outflow, do a short portage and continue upstream till progress is blocked by huge boulders. 

The river between the powerhouse and the reservoir is very scenic with one large beach on river left about halfway in between.   For playboaters the main attraction is the deep and strong eddy lines.   There are also a few areas with interesting waves or small reversals.  

During spring spill season, expert boaters can paddle  Horseshoe Bend which is just upstream and Patterson Bend which is just downstream.

FERC information: 
This area is affected by 3 FERC licenses. Big Creek #4 powerhouse operates under FERC license # 2017 reissued in December 2003. Wishon powerhouse is the small powerhouse at the reservoir.  It operates under FERC license #1354,  Kerchoff reservoir itself is part of the Kerchoff project with FERC license #96,


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2012-02-06 16:10:43

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Rapid Descriptions

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