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Bear River: Drum & Dutch Flat releases cancelled for 2009

Posted: 09/02/2009
by Bob Center

Last Friday Bob Center, Pete Arpin, Moira McSweeny and Riley the Dog scouted the upper 1.5 miles of the Drum Powerhouse Reach.  On Monday we scouted the lower 1.5 miles.  In summary, the upper 1.5 miles are Class III-IV, with one log jam.  The lower 1.5 miles are solid Class V, with blind corners, hazardous wood, a log jam, and willows in the channel (We have seen the middle 1.5 miles at only one point, a Class IV-V rapid). 

We discovered that there is a PG&E or NID service road about 1.5 miles from the put in.  This is a major road that crosses the river via a concrete ford, and may connect the Drum Powerhouse Road with the road that crosses the Dutch Flat dam.  About 3 miles from the put-in there is a good trail on river left.  For much of the scouted reaches we could walk and scramble along the banks.


Next year, this accessibility and relatively friendly stream-side terrain will make it possible for boaters to scout the difficult and potentially hazardous lower section, and the unknown middle section, with a reasonable amount of effort, prior to paddling the reach.  Better information regarding the reach, the opportunity to scout the crux points, and more control will provide for a much safer flow study.

Those of you who were planning to paddle these reaches this weekend can look at the AW release calendar for alternative paddling opportunities.


Scouting reports and photos are being posted to the Bear River: Drum Afterbay to Dutch Flat page.

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Yuba and Bear Rivers (CA)
The Yuba and Bear rivers are some of the best whitewater resources in California. American Whitewater is an active participant in the FERC relicensing negotiations that impact these rivers.