article photo 1

Yuba/ Bear Whitewater Flow Study (CA)

Posted: 05/14/2008
by Dave Steindorf



Yuba-Bear/Drum-Spaulding Projects Whitewater Boating Flow Survey Study

Nevada Irrigation District (NID) and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) are partnering with American Whitewater to identify a preferred range of whitewater boating flows on numerous reaches on the Middle Yuba, South Yuba, Bear River, Fordyce Creek, Canyon Creek and North Fork of the North Fork American rivers.  NID operates the Yuba-Bear Project and PG&E operates the Drum-Spaulding Project in these watersheds. The projects are undergoing relicensing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and NID, PG&E, American Whitewater and other stakeholders are involved in FERC's new Integrated Licensing Process (refer to the Public Relicensing website at for more information).

We have jointly agreed to survey whitewater boaters that paddle any portion of the river reaches near the project (see list of reaches below). Information from the survey will help us identify a flow preference curve for whitewater boating, which will identify minimum acceptable and optimum flows. This flow preference curve will be used to evaluate possible effects on whitewater boating from Project operation and help define flow needs.


Click here to fill out a survey


MIDDLE YUBA                                                                      BEAR RIVER
•    Jackson Meadows Reservoir to Milton Reservoir      •    HWY 20/Bear Valley to Drum Afterbay
•    Milton Reservoir to Plumbago/Wolf Creek                  •    Drum Afterbay to Dutch Flat Afterbay
•    Plumbago/Wolf Creek to Our House Dam                  •    Dutch Flat to Chicago Park PH
                                                                                          •    Chicago Park PH to Rollins Reservoir

                                                                                          •  Highway 174 to Ben Taylor Rd.

                                                                                          •    Ben Taylor Rd. to Lake Combie


SOUTH YUBA                                                                
•    Summit Run (Kingvale to Indian Springs CG  

•    Spaulding Run (Indian Springs CG to Lake Spaulding)     
•    Lake Spaulding to Langs Crossing    
•    Langs Crossing to Fall Creek Confluence    
•    Downstream of Fall Creek to Washington   
•    Washington to Edwards     
•    Edwards to Purdon Crossing     
•    Purdon Crossing to Highway 49    
•    Highway 49 to Bridgeport   


•    Fordyce Lake to Eagle Lake Crossing

•    Eagle Lake Bridge to Lake Spaulding


•    Six Mile Creek Confluence to North Fork CG     
•    North Fork CG to NF American River confluence    

 •    Upper Run (French Lake to Bowman Lake)

 •    Bowman/Spaulding Conduit Div Dam to Artic Mine
 •    Artic Mine to South Yuba River Confluence


Instructions for Completing the Online Survey
If you paddled any of these river reaches, please complete this questionnaire each time you boat each reach. Information from repeat paddlers at various flow levels provides valuable comparative information that helps us better understand the boatable flow range.  

We are interested in your use of any portion of the river reaches listed above.  Most of these reaches have real-time flow information available through the Dreamflows website.
Please reference these flow reports to determine what flow you boated before you complete this survey, if possible.  At the very least, be sure to accurately record the date of your trip so that flows may be determined using the flow history for the reach paddled.  Please pass along the word about this study to fellow boaters. The more responses we get the more useful our results will be.

For further information about the study contact

Dave Steindorf
California Stewardship Director
American Whitewater
Office 530.343.1871
Cell 530.518.2729

Kelly Bricker, Devine Tarbell & Associates
Cell:  (916)-206-3189

Dave Steindorf
4 Baroni Drive
Chico, CA 95928
Phone: 530-343-1871

Associated Rivers

Yuba, S. Fork CA
Yuba, S. Fork CA
Yuba, S. Fork CA