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2020 Pit River Update – Fall River Mills to Powerhouse 1 (CA)

Posted: 10/05/2020
By: Theresa Simsiman

Here is the update on the current boatable flows and remaining October recreational releases provided by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) for the Pit River. First, many may have noticed that PG&E has begun releasing approximately 900 cfs on the Pit 1 run above the powerhouse. PG&E reports this is due to both Powerhouse 1 units being taken offline. This outage is expected until November 3rd and will provide flows ranging from 900 cfs to 1500 cfs.

As for the scheduled recreational flows, PG&E is holding fast to a release schedule for the 2nd and 4th weekend of Oct. Here is the Pit 1 and Pit 5 lineup of scheduled releases:

October 10 & 11 - PIT 1 900 cfs or greater

October 17 & 18 - PIT 5 10am - 4pm 1500 cfs

October 24 & 25 - PIT 1 900 cfs or greater

As paddlers plan for Pit river adventures we ask boaters to please keep in mind a friendly discussion American Whitewater had with an adjacent landowner and a representative from the Pit River Tribe. The biggest concern for the landowner is paddlers relieving themselves on and within sight of their private property. The property is river left at the end of the 2-mile flatwater paddle before the rapids begin. You can see the landowner house from the river, and they request that paddlers not use their property as a restroom, nor do they desire to see that business done in plain sight.

Above all, the Pit River Tribe would like boaters to be aware of the importance of the tribal lands upon which we paddle and recreate through. The Pit River from Fall River Mills to Big Bend and beyond sits on Pit River Tribe homeland occupied by eleven different tribal bands. You can find more information on their official website http://pitrivertribe.org/ Paddlers especially need to be aware and respectful of the cultural sites that are at the Pit 1 put-in. This includes sites along the path to the river access and sites behind the fences that are being trampled when paddlers disregard the cultural signs and hop the fences to get to the shoreline.

Due to the popularity of the Pit 1 run it is obvious American Whitewater still has some management challenges to address including capacity of the put-in. This will take cooperation and collaboration with PG&E, the State Water Resource Control Board, the Pit River Tribe and other managing agencies. In the meantime, American Whitewater will remain in touch with the landowner and the representative from the Pit River Tribe in efforts to foster positive relations. We ask all paddlers to do their part in this effort as well.

Happy Pit paddling.


Photo by Trevor Croft - Rafting Magazine See Less

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